6 Things to Know About Health IT Prospects Before You Enter the Building

HIMSS Analytics

Did you know that only three percent of buyers trust a sales rep? It's true. That's a score almost as low as the credibility of politicians, car salespeople or lobbyists. But you don't have to fall into the same old category. You can earn trust just by committing to having the right information.

1. Know Whether Or Not They're in the Market

First, meet them where they are. Most prospects (60 percent) want to connect with you while they're already considering products. Don't drive to a hospital for an appointment with a decision maker unless you're sure they're considering purchasing technology in the first place. Identifying where your market opportunity exists is a matter of searching for green space in a sophisticated data tool. Find out which hospitals or practices are trying to purchase the type of technology you sell. When will they be purchasing it?

This knowledge acquisition solves two issues: First, it helps you meet your prospects where they are, allowing you to gain trust. Second, it allows you to save time by weeding out those prospects who definitely don't have technology green space. (Be careful not to eliminate prospects just because they aren't planning to purchase your specific technology at this moment. They might have related technologies and a budget that indicate they could be good prospects in the future.)

2. Know About Their Other Vendors

You may have noted that the use of a certain vendor within a system or practice indicates strongly that your technology would be an appropriate complementary purchase. Then again, you may have noted that there is a vendor that tends to push prospects away from your technology and toward a competitor's. Either way, you should know who the other technology vendors are before you approach a prospect, and you should be able to speak to how your product integrates with all other technologies in use.

An installation base can and should be part of your market opportunity research, but we find that knowing the specific vendors a system or practice uses is critical to gaining trust; you have already done your research, and you clearly care. Additionally, if you do want to target a prospect who is currently using a competitor, knowing ahead of time will allow you to share materials related to the ease of switching over.

3. Know The Buildings Within the System Individually

It's very possible that a health system is comprised of multiple facilities that all use the same technologies. But it's just as possible that each facility uses different technologies from one another. Identify whether your solution could run throughout the system, and if so, what it would take for each individual building to get to that point and for the system to bring them all together.

4. Know Their EMRAM Score

EMRAM score is the ultimate gauge of a facility's technological capabilities and of its commitment to aligning strategic objectives to technology decisions. Knowing that, before you head into a building, will tell you where that organization stands currently and where it still has potential to grow. Ideally you will also have a sense of the hospitals within close physical proximity to each facility you prospect, such that, if you know the hospital you're prospecting has an EMRAM score of 6 and its closest neighbors average a score of 4, you can recognize that your prospect is in a leadership position in the community. Understanding EMRAM scores in the general vicinity can also give you a better sense of where provider competition stands in the area, so you can play off that idea in your conversations.

5. Know Their History of IT Adoption

Look at the historical trends of IT adoption at the hospital and within the system you're prospecting. They could have gone through 10 vendors in the last 10 years. Why? You can identify reasons via their historical installation data — or just show up armed with relevant questions. You might also find that there are larger hospitals that have historically gone with smaller vendors, but need larger ones today as they grow. Knowing these historical facts before you walk in the door will again reiterate that you care about the best outcome for the hospital.

6. Know The Contacts

Finally, you need to know the key contacts within the organization. Who is the CIO? Are you better off chatting with the head of nursing? Who has been spoken to in the past? Who is most likely to be in the consideration stage? Look into all of the possible decision makers just before you get out of your car or hop on a call. That way, you won't be caught offguard by recent transitions.

Where do You Get All This Info?

When you're on the go as a field sales rep, finding all this information before you actually enter a facility doesn't have to be a strenuous process. Our latest addition to LOGIC is a mobile app that gives you both an overview of your prospects and a more detailed view, so you never walk into an engagement uninformed. Want to learn more? Get a demo today and see how it can help you close more sales.

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