Finding New Business in 2020

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By: Ryan Ball

This article was first featured in Essential Advantage Fourth Quarter 2019. 

Strategic planning season is upon us, are you ready? Often times strategic planning feels like you’re pulling numbers out of thin air. You have a goal in mind, but it is difficult to quantify how, exactly, to get there. In today’s world of providing specialty medical equipment, with increasing competition, women’s health boutiques must leverage business from more physicians if you are to remain relevant and thrive in changing markets. As we plan for 2020, a greater focus on finding new business and maximizing our potential value is a necessity, but how do you get there?

In order to properly create and execute your strategic growth plan, you must first have a keen understanding of your market and be able to answer the following questions:

  • Who are the largest potential referral sources in your market, and how much of their business do you receive?
  •  How many total referrals for your products/services are generated in your area?
  •  Who are the largest referral sources for your main competitors?
  •  If you are entering a new product or geographic area, how do you plan to target your sales and marketing efforts to establish yourself in the marketplace quickly?

Helpful Hint: data can make these questions a lot easier to answer!

Step 1: Invest in data analysis

The first step in finding more business in 2020 is utilizing data to identify, qualify and target key markets and referral sources.

Your EMR can tell you information about your business, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. What if there was a platform that provided you with market intelligence on which physicians actively prescribe mastectomy and/or compression therapy to not only your business, but also your competitors, in your markets? Or allowed you to value your markets by potential volume of relevant business and determine your market share?

Understanding market dynamics is a large piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to make that information actionable and mobilize your resources to execute your plan. Incentives can be developed for executing the contact plans and growing business with key identified prospects. Properly done, this process helps ensure that your team is focused on the accounts that have the greatest potential value for your business.

Step 2:  Focus on high-volume opportunities

If you want to convert larger physician prescribing behavior, you must create tiered contact plans.  Breaking your prospects into defined groups based on potential value can help ensure you focus appropriate resources for each tier based on their potential value to your practice. The old adage, “all customers are created equal” must be adapted to say “all customers are created equal, but some are more equal than others”. Contact plan strategies should prioritize visits, touches, personnel and marketing to ensure your top prospects are the main focus because they can bring the largest potential return to your business. The best contact plans include multiple communication mediums and provide targeted, relevant information based on your market intelligence of the prospect.

Step 3: Evaluate effectiveness and invest in technology

Measurement is also important to any strategic plan. Evaluate your contact plan to ensure you are effective in the marketplace.  You can do this by tracking the volume attributable to physicians identified in your targeting plan.  What are you getting from them on a monthly average over the past twelve months? After three months of targeted engagement, review volume attributable to each targeted physician and see whether you’ve moved the needle. This exercise should also be done for physicians that you are not currently working with; did you find new business? These tracking mechanisms help you set and deliver on compensation plans for your sales team that are data-driven and attainable.

Focusing your sales efforts is a necessity in today’s provider environment. Resources are finite; tools are available to help enable you to better understand your market and create a more efficient sales and marketing team capable of identifying new business opportunities. Engaging key referral sources and increasing your brand awareness is more important than ever. Valuable physicians can’t send you business if they don’t know who you are and the benefit of working with you to manage the care of their patients. Make utilizing data and focusing on highest-value opportunities a reality in 2020 to find and drive new business.

Ryan Ball is the director of VGM Market Data, providing data targeting services to independent post-acute healthcare providers. 

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