Want IDN Customers? Compel Them With Content!

The most common segmentation strategy has gone the way of the type writer, VCR, and rotary phone. The days of hiring 10-20 former Division I athletes and assigning them a dozen IDNs to call on just doesn’t work anymore. But I see so many great healthcare brands do just that year after year.

“We are keenly focused on 40 IDNs” or “Our key accounts group calls on the top 125 IDNs” are common strategies I hear. However, I would contend that over half of those IDNs would not convert to the vast majority of suppliers even if offered stuff for free!

I recently had a supplier tell me they met with Ascension Health and were shown a one-page infographic depicting Ascension’s six strategic imperatives for 2017. The supplier was admonished that if their solutions didn’t contribute directly to at least one of those six imperatives, there wouldn’t be a dollar available.

I think this is more common than any of us want to admit. These big IDNs only have so many initiatives they can work on each week, quarter and year, and they must choose wisely what they use their goodwill and conversion clout on internally. You can only go to your clinicians and docs so many times asking them to change the way they do things.

So what are you supposed to do? Sit around and wait for the phone to ring? Nope. You can start publishing and distributing content that will energize, invigorate and inform IDNs enough to want to engage with you. Sounds simple enough, right?

Content comes in many forms, and frankly, I think these forms are all grossly under used in the healthcare supply chain arena. Great forms of content you should consider to attract customers include:
• Surveys
• Blogs
• Webinars
• Conferences
• Educational seminars
• Primary research
• Podcasts
• Presentations

We have helped dozens of suppliers develop these types of content and create distribution strategies for it. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and we’d love to share our experiences with the rest of the industry.

Imagine a prospective customer requesting information from you about your area of expertise or the service line you help supply. This puts you in the driver’s seat for client and business development. Just think how much more rewarding the call will be for your key account superstars!

Drop me an email or give me a call if you’d like to discuss how this type of program could work for your organization!

About the Author

John Pritchard
John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.

1 Comment on "Want IDN Customers? Compel Them With Content!"

  1. David R Stone | May 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Reply

    I agree with John; IDN’s have limited band-width prioritized by their Strategic Imperatives and many Corporate Accounts programs have failed to adapt accordingly with IDN strategies, resources and skills necessary to do the job.

    Just as Healthcare reform has forced Providers to move from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance, so to must Corporate Accounts move from SKU level pricing, market share and volume based contracting schemes to Solution Selling strategies aligned to the Strategic Imperatives and business needs of the Provider.

    As John suggests, The Journal of Healthcare Contracting can help Corporate Account programs develop customer relevance through solution oriented content that redefines “who” we are, “what” we are selling, “why” we are selling it and “how” it differentiates us from the competition. Perhaps they can also help us re-purpose Marketing to support solutions rather than products and sales incentives to solve problems (cost, quality, outcomes, efficiency, utilization…) rather than sell more, faster…

    For our part, Corporate Accounts professionals must continue to develop our clinical, business and economic sales skills, study our Provider’s business needs and speak to their Strategic Imperatives.

    The changes brought on by Healthcare reform can’t be understated, nor can the growing importance of Corporate Accounts and the alignment of resources to support our IDN Provider customers.

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