Sales · Healthcare

What are some good ways of making cold connections with hospitals for medical sales?

Shingai Samudzi

May 11th, 2015

For those who have experience in medical device or software sales, what are some good techniques for finding the right decision-makers within hospitals for which you do not have any warm introductions?
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Vijay MD Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)

May 11th, 2015

Depending on how nich-ey your tool is, topical webinars, whitepapers, and conferences can give you a pretty good entry into an organization.  The sales tend to be consensus based, so finding someone who is a potential "champion" and more of an early adopter is important given the number of initiatives floating around.

Scan the conference speaker and attendee list for some of the more niche-oriented topics and you can hone in on some of the more passionate folks around any particular issue.  If they gave a talk/ published some slides online it's fair game to email them about it.

Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD

May 12th, 2015

I agree with Vijay and John. In my experience, because medicine is generally conservative you want to pilot your product in the hospital and get a champion or even better "champions" in different hospitals. This is fairly easy to do - find the leaders in your space (often called KOLs) and reach out to them. You might have to reach out to many to get a reply so it's a numbers game. You can also meet folks at conferences. In my experience they are often willing to try new technologies in their area of interest.
In terms of channel partners, McKesson may be a good partner. They distribute to a number of hospitals

Shingai Samudzi

May 11th, 2015

Interesting advice @Vijay and @Brent. I have a fairly good idea about where to start in terms of finding the passionate folks in my niche. Any thoughts Brent about where I might find channel partners? Any good online platforms for that? I just fear spending as much time seeking a channel sales partner as seeking actual customers.

Brent Wittke CEO, Co-founder at Resale Therapy

May 11th, 2015

Don't reinvent the wheel and try to generate another list. Someone's already got the list, and is already selling devices to the appropriate individuals.

Use existing sales channels. Find channel partners who are already selling to the customers you've targeted, devise a partner agreement, and you will instantly have access to their existing sales channel.

Think of the sales channel like a roadway, the more individuals trying to make their way in independently, the more congested it becomes, and ultimately, the more difficult it becomes to actually reach the decision maker. Find a channel partner and "Car-Pool". Save yourself a great deal of time and effort - easily worth the cost of an agreement.

Good Luck!

I am a physician and had a sales rep reach out to me with LinkedIn to describe her product. I thought it sounded interesting and she dropped off some samples for me to try. Some docs may not be open to LinkedIn or hospital visits, but she explained how her product met a need and was invented by a physician colleague. While docs may be the purchasers for medical products for their private offices, most docs are now employees of hospitals who will be making the ultimate purchase decision.

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May 11th, 2015

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Peter li.blueoyster~@~gmail.com] Peter Jones creates solutions for product USP, market messaging, team building, venture and other commercial capital

May 11th, 2015

Here's my suggestion.

Walk into your nearest hospital and try your pitch for real.

If your product is good enough, you'll make one sale. If not, you'll find out much more face to face than at arms length.

If you do this a few times, you'll know if you want to pursue this particular course.

If it works, use your newly made contacts as reference points, ideally here on LinkedIn, and then you have something more appealing to go to your channels with.

Hope it helps...

Brent Wittke CEO, Co-founder at Resale Therapy

May 11th, 2015

@Shingai I made the assumption from your experience with Kaiser Permanente, that you'd have a fairly good idea as to whom, already sells to hospitals. 

However, I can think of two off the top of my head: Johnson & Johnson sells $Billions to hospitals each year, and UHS (Universal Hospital Services www.uhs.com) sells to over 7000 hospitals in all 50 US states. Either one of these as a channel partner, and I'd say you'd have a fairly successful pilot - assuming your product delivers needed value.

Jossy Onwude Founder at Medifund

May 12th, 2015

@John Dayton, love what you are doing with medforums. Any possibility of a partnership that can lead to having doctors on your platform invest in med students having financial problems on my platform? Sorry for the off topic. Am also wondering how to reach out to partners in the medical field. Am currently a medical intern by the way :)

@Jossy.  Thanks for the kind words.  We are still figuring out our beta, but that is a great idea.  Let's connect.