Here are some key takeaways from CMR Institute’s recent webinar on “Selling in a Dynamic Hospital Environment.”
Recognize that decision-making is becoming more centralized in hospitals and health systems. “This is true even for integrated delivery systems that are contractual in nature, such as high-performance networks,” says L. David Harlow, III, PharmD, assistant vice president for professional services and chief pharmacy officer, Martin Health System. “We’re seeing the move toward centralized decision making, especially around product selection and value analysis on which products are most effective and how to use them. This idea of centralized decision-making is casting a broader and broader net as time moves forward.”
View innovation as an opportunity for partnership with hospitals and health systems. A hospital’s innovation office may be a new entry point for potential partnerships. “A lot of organizations are starting to think about how to commercialize their intellectual property,” says Jeffrey Farber, MD, MBA, FACP, CPE, CEO, Mount Sinai Care and senior vice president and chief medical officer for population health, Mount Sinai Health System. As a result, many leading hospitals have developed technology transfer offices or innovation offices as well as joint ventures with other stakeholders in the market. This opens up an opportunity to think about what value-added services you have in the life science industry that might work well with whatever IP the hospital or health system is trying to grow and get to market.”
Trainers should continually provide tools that support their sales team’s success in selling to hospitals. “To truly impact market access, sales professionals must have a strong understanding of current market forces that are impacting providers and payers, including the move from fee-for-service to value-based models and the implications for the products they offer,” says Michelle O’Connor, MEd, CMR, president and CEO, CMR Institute. She suggests the following advice for trainers:
Provide sales teams with resources that give them a strong knowledge of a hospital’s reimbursement structure. This helps sales professionals understand what drives purchasing decisions and how to best position their products and services.
Help sales professionals sell around evidence-based medicine. It is critical that sales teams understand where their products fit into clinical pathways in hospitals.
Find ways to help sales teams develop their business acumen. “Training can provide the tools that can help sales professionals profile and segment their customers, and identify their needs based on those roles,” O’Connor says.
Provide training on a wide range of decision-makers. Resources should cover the makeup of a P&T committee and a value analysis committee and what drives their decision-making. They also should cover the C-suite, as these executives may be primary influencers or decision-makers for product decisions.
Leverage field trainers. “Field trainers can help implement training at a regional level that aligns to the specific market conditions in different regions across the country,” O’Connor says.
For more takeaways, look for CMR’s upcoming white paper on selling to hospitals.