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Five key themes for healthcare executives during this market disruption.

 

Alexander Group hosted a pair of virtual roundtables March 25 and 26, 2020 attended by over 70 healthcare leaders to discuss issues and potential actions in the face of the current pandemic. As a backdrop to the conversation, we reviewed results from Alexander Group’s Sales Leadership Flash Survey from the week prior, of which 25% of the 255 respondents worked within the healthcare industry. Several key themes emerged during the wide-ranging and lively discussion:

  1. Leverage Collaboration Tools: Equip and enable employees with the necessary tools and training to successfully engage with customers and their co-workers. Re-think cadence and tactics for coaching and mentoring at distance.
  2. From Product Sales to Customer Engagement: Shift focus, and resources, to maintaining customer relationships. Prioritize your most important customers and look for opportunities to understand and alleviate their concerns.
  3. Make Necessary Compensation Adjustments: Evolve your sales compensation programs in a multi-staged approach that reflects current business realities with respect to quotas, pay levels and headcount. Ensure the changes are done within the context of any overall corporate sales compensation adjustments.
  4. Shorten Your Planning Cycles: Move to a more frequent planning cadence taking into account the most recent customer insights and business results. Plan for different crisis scenarios with respect to both severity and duration, updating inputs on a regular basis. Ensure your leadership team is in regular and frequent communication amongst themselves and with the employee base at large.
  5. Plan for Reality beyond the Crisis: Commercial organizations are experiencing what amounts to a wide-scale proof-of-concept around the use of new tools, technologies and pathways to engage with employees, customers and patients. The resulting acceleration in the use of digital, telehealth and inside sales will alter the commercial landscape long after the current crisis subsides.

Roundtable attendees agreed that the post-pandemic customer landscape will look different. In some cases, customers may no longer be commercially viable. In others, you may need to plan for significant pent-up demand for your products or services. At this point, no one can predict the precise duration or severity of the disruption, as evidenced by a 70% response rate to that very question in our flash survey from cross-industry and healthcare respondents alike.

In such uncertain times, we find forums such as our weekly COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable a valuable venue for the sharing of ideas and concerns while also providing a little sense of community; particularly in these days of social distancing.

We encourage you to register for the upcoming virtual event. If you are unable to attend, or would simply prefer to speak with someone directly, please contact us for an individual discussion. Finally, you may also visit our website for our latest articles on the COVID-19 crisis. Please stay safe and healthy.

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