5 Things to Know About Selling into Virtual Health
The concept of telehealth is one we’ve all become much more familiar with in 2020. It might even be in the running for Word of the Year.
Yet being able to see the doctor remotely is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how COVID-19 is transforming healthcare. The full shift is towards virtual health—an all-encompassing term that refers to the full slate of procedures and patient interactions that could be performed remotely. This includes everything from digital calling or messaging platforms to tools that monitor patients’ symptoms or allow them to self-report health data.
With COVID cases spiking again this winter, the shift toward virtual health is rapidly accelerating—and many of its changes will surely become permanent. Health facilities need to develop a strong digital framework to undergird all their day-to-day operations, which usually means speeding up their sales cycles and exploring novel products and technologies. Thus, as unsettling as the circumstances surrounding it are, this shift presents a unique opportunity for B2B companies who sell into healthcare.
Of course, opportunity alone doesn’t make the task any easier. On the contrary, there are so many unknowns that it’s easy for sellers to misjudge the market.
Over the past several months, VSA has partnered with a number of companies seeking to establish a foothold in virtual health—and we’ve identified some patterns in the type of background knowledge that makes such companies successful. If you’re presenting a first-time offering for virtual health, here are 5 key things to know:
- Know the needs in the market. As the pandemic continues, the specific needs of healthcare companies are also continuing to change—and there might be a lot more of them than you’d initially think. After all, the trend is towards digitizing all possible services; for each discreet medical procedure, there could be interest in a specialized module or app. By thinking creatively, you just might uncover one or more untapped opportunities you may not have known existed.
- Know who most benefits from your offering. It’s not only hospitals who are switching to virtual health. Private practices, neighborhood clinics, outpatient service providers, staffing agencies, rehab centers… they all feel a pressing need to up their digital game. It’s important to consider how your offering might impact these types of institutions. Often times, it is easier to break into the market with a more specialized set of institutions than by aiming for the biggest, most established hospitals. If you do decide to stick to big health groups, it’s important to know which ones might be seeking your services; many have clearly-stated priorities when it comes to investing in new initiatives.
- Know how regulatory agencies are likely to react to ever-changing conditions. Rules and regulations surrounding healthcare have changed almost as much in 2020 as the institutions they pertain to—in a pandemic environment, there’s no other way to keep pace with ever-evolving needs and conditions. Many of the changes address a context in which communication and processes must be sped up rapidly; cyber security and data privacy rules, for example, have become more streamlined. Many institutions seek tools that will help them best adapt to the new regulatory climate. Can you provide them?
- Know your prospects’ revenue model—not just their business model! How healthcare institutions receive revenue is changing a lot, too. After all, they don’t just earn revenue from patients—much of it comes from government agencies and insurers, which means a lot depends on the reporting process. For several years a large-scale shift towards value-based care has been underway—affecting reporting and reimbursement procedures—and the pandemic has accelerated the pace of this shift. Thus, there’s a lot of interest in offerings that help institutions receive the maximum amount of revenue under this new system. If you know the landscape, you’ll be able to explain how and if your offering does that.
- Finally, know what other products are out there. The dramatic shift in the healthcare market has attracted a plethora of vendors and products, ranging from new technology startups to established players. It’s a feeding frenzy, and success hinges on knowing where to find your slice of the pie. Therefore, its best to begin your lead gen campaign with preformed knowledge about how your offering matches up with similar products—or whether or not there even are similar products. Don’t get taken by surprise!
By the time the pandemic is finally over, virtual health will have inevitably established itself as the new normal. It’s essential for B2B healthcare companies to start adapting to this new landscape now in order to continue thriving in the future.
Making that adjustment might seem intimidating, but it can be done! The key is knowing exactly what’s going on in an ever-changing market—which of course is a continuous process. Keep your finger on the pulse of your prospects. Success stems from a willingness to be constantly learning.
Should you need someone to help, VSA has the right experience—and we’re always standing by! Just give us a call.