The COVID-19 pandemic is a major disruptor. While problems caused by the viral outbreak go far beyond the private sector and its sales operations, businesses need to know what to expect as the country reopens in the wake of the coronavirus.
Healthcare buyers have changed
On June 4th 2020, Definitive Healthcare hosted a client panel to discuss how organizations were forced to shift focus and reorganize business strategies in order to capture the attention of the unique set of buyers that arose during this time of global crisis.
When a problem is affecting the world in a similar vein as COVID-19 has in recent months, healthcare providers need a partner, not a vendor. These organizations had to ‘take off their sales hats’ and reach out to existing clients to ask, ‘what can we do to help right now?’
So, what about going forward? Will businesses hoping to thrive in this industry be able to return to their norms after the dust settles? Not likely.
Panelists, lead by Definitive Healthcare’s very own Allison Snow, VP of Customer Marketing, gathered to discuss this very dilemma. Keep reading for expert predictions on how COVID-19 has changed healthcare buying for the long-term.
Videoconferencing will continue to thrive - it's not just getting us through COVID-19
Samson Magid, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of HealthSnap, first suggested that videoconferencing will become a staple of modern business. With the option for in-person meetings removed entirely, his sales team quickly realized during the trying months of quarantine that video calls are far more effective than initially thought.
Where previously, the HealthSnap sales team was regularly flying across the country to add a very necessary human touch to their sales pitches and client meetings, Magid found that setting up a videoconference was just as effective as meeting in-person, while also being much more efficient from a time and resource perspective.
Jonathan Trombly, Senior District Manager at Medtronic, agrees with this prediction. Trombly expects to see growth in the commonality of telemedicine as well as the regularity of virtual business meetings
The most consistent trend in healthcare is inconsistency
When asked about personal predictions for which COVID-consequent business tactics he expected to become a more permanent practice within his organization going forward, Mark Erwich, VP of Marketing at Imprivata, says, ‘Be careful with the term "permanent.’
If there were only one takeaway from the events of the past few months, Erwich says, it would be this: never get too comfortable with a particular tactic or business practice in the healthcare industry. Throughout this pandemic, Erwich has noted time and again particular pieces of content his organization had produced could, seemingly at the snap of a finger, transition from irrelevant to audience interests to a major source of traffic and lead generation.
Erwich attributes fluctuations in consumer behavior to the surge in remote work and furloughed employees over the course of the pandemic. With workers having more time at home and many job descriptions shifting to adapt to this unprecedented climate, people want to continue to be productive and are finding new, informative content to consume that which might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
This uptick in content consumption, however, could be causing anomalies in internal data that can misinform predictive business tactics. Simply put, new business strategies forming in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis might not work when the country stabilizes again.
New healthcare vendors may face additional adversity for some time
Trombly reminded the audience that hospital priorities have shifted dramatically in response to COVID-19. Hospitals, more than ever before, do not have the time or interest in talking to new or potential vendors. Healthcare leaders have put up rigid walls to block out any white noise that does not contribute to their immediate problems — and it will take time for sales reps to break through these walls after the pandemic dies down.
Sales teams that have made and maintained relationships over the years have an advantage here, and organizations that focused on helping and forming partnerships during the coronavirus crisis will be the ones communicating most seamlessly with hospital points of contact in the foreseeable future.
Trust is critical in these delicate times. Newcomers to the market can expect to face additional resistance when trying to form new relationships with hospital leaders.
This was just the tip of the iceberg. For more details and even more insights and predictions into the post-COVID-19 healthcare landscape, watch the full panel replay: The Long-Tail of COVID-19: Healthcare Buyers Have Changed Forever, So What's Next?
You can also register for our upcoming trends webinar: Updated Healthcare Industry Trends: Selling to Doctors and Hospitals In a Changed Market