Healthcare Podcast - Alexander Group, Inc.

How Capital Equipment Vendors Gain Account Insight by Integrating the Deployment of Field Sales and Service Teams

In the medical selling environment, capital equipment vendors traditionally differentiate themselves on product performance and total cost of ownership. Alexander Group Principal Mike Miller discusses how capital equipment vendors gain account insight by integrating the deployment of field sales and service teams, and how this field approach can deliver results for vendors.

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Full Transcript:

Welcome back to our medical sales podcast series, I’m Mike Miller with the Alexander Group. Today, we’ll discuss how capital equipment vendors gain account insight by integrating the deployment of field sales and service teams and how this field approach can deliver results for vendors in the medical selling environment.

Capital equipment vendors traditionally differentiate themselves on product performance and total cost of ownership. This is an incomplete and unsustainable strategy. Now their largest customers are connected to consolidating provider networks, demand customized vendor service and sales motions done correctly. Customized key account coverage will help vendors accumulate deeper account insight, which they can use as a powerful differentiator. But how can equipment vendors accumulate and monetize this insight?

Start with field engineering and service. Capital equipment vendors rely heavily on their field engineering and service teams for timely and flawless installations, ongoing maintenance and ultimate customer success. Field engineering and service are critical when the capital equipment is very costly, and it’s used for expensive and or risky patient procedures. Companies selling the classic big-ticket items, radiology and imaging machines have the most riding on field engineering and service. They have the most insight to gain and the most to lose by doing nothing for the critical few large integrated regional network customers.

We recommend capital equipment vendors realign local field engineering service and core field sales. Indeed, it’s a challenge to figure out how to deploy key account managers for the customer C-suite, but the part that’s even harder.

The part that’s often overlooked is figuring out the right sales and service motions on the ground at the patient care level, across multiple sites and call points. One big-ticket capital equipment vendor redeployed all of its field resources to gain greater account focus and better alignment between service and sales. The old model is signed lots of different field service and sales reps to cover the key account sites. No one in the field service team, no one in the field sales team was especially focused on the key account sites. What’s more, the corporate-level key account manager was unable to add much value, with only dribbles of field insight coming in from six people covering the local key account sites in the new model. The vendor realigned territories to gain maximum account focus from fewer service and sales reps, fewer heads deployed but with a greater percentage of their workload focused on that key account with the focus can account insight with insight, the quality of the vendors service and sales motions increased. The old model also deployed service and sales resources in silos. Missed opportunities became obvious where a service rep knew a key piece of information, for example, when a hospital’s radiology department implemented a process improvement to personalize treatment. But this nugget was never shared with the local sales rep.

The few observations that were shared between service and sales came by accident in fragments. The new model enabled better teamwork and communication enabled service and sales reps to implement a consistent approach to local key account sites, with the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing. Service reps executed, better informed and more robust service calls and provided a better customer experience all around. Teamwork benefits to the Salesforce appeared quickly as well.

Service reps provided key information on precise locations and floors for equipment upgrades, service contract expansion and new product launch targeting. Service reps also provided equipment performance data for the vendors and also the competitors’ machines, plus procedure analytics to help the sales reps hone their sales pitch for management. The alignment enabled integrated service and sales pipeline management for capital equipment vendors.

The call to action is clear realign local sales and service resources to gain greater focus on key accounts. Do it with fewer service and sales resources spending more of their time on those accounts. Expect clearer and more frequent communication across service and sales, deeper insight into customer operations and site-level non-competitive penetration opportunities and hold the entire field team accountable for market share gains and regional key accounts.

If you’d like to learn more, contact us at Alexander Group. Thanks for joining our podcast.

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