Managing Through Difficult Times

National Account Executive of the Year said patience, bold visions will lead the way in 2021

Todd Betz, vice president, SCA, and the National Account Executive of the Year, talked COVID challenges, collaboration and commitment to success with The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.

The Journal of Healthcare Contracting: How has your role changed/evolved as a result of the last 12 months? In what ways has it remained the same?

Todd Betz: 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for everyone in healthcare. For me personally, the challenge of being effective in my role while limited to working out of my home office on a daily basis has been a bit of a struggle. I really enjoy being around people. While phone calls and web conferences do bridge the communication gap, they lack that missing personal element of a warm hand shake or a shared meal that can create a bonding opportunity between people. I’ve been in my current role for 12 years now, mostly with the same account, and that has certainly helped both me and my customer(s) manage through this difficult time.

JHC: Can you talk about the importance of collaboration in how you approach clients?

Betz: Before my short 20 years at Siemens Healthineers, I worked in the hospital and was a customer. My own personal experience of managing a dynamic and fast-paced Radiology Department presented me with many challenges. While many suppliers called on me, I had the good fortune to know one supplier who really made it his routine to understand my business and the challenges I faced. He positioned himself not as someone who wanted to sell me something, but as an interested partner in my business who was more of a collaborative consultant and trusted advisor. 

That’s how I approach the business today. The customer always comes first for me, and I always look to add value for them. I want my customer(s) to be successful, and I approach each day looking for ideas and solutions that help them grow and/or improve their business.

JHC: What do you believe it will take to succeed in 2021?

Betz: COVID has placed a heavy burden on healthcare, both occupationally and financially, and both will be a strain on healthcare’s near-term future. Yet, a rebound of demand is expected. First, I would say be patient. Priorities will shift away from COVID-related supplies and care in 2021, but that doesn’t mean that hospital purchasing activities will resume to the pre-COVID levels immediately. Be both patient and supportive while hospital staffing levels and financial health rebound. 

Second, have bold visions. Transactional selling may quickly transition into long-term partnerships that are driven by standardization, risk sharing, and co-creation of new care models. Trust and Brand will be critical during this transition. 

Todd Betz

Last, reimagine sales. While we all believe that we will be back on airplanes and attending large meetings and conferences, that may not be the case. Employees may continue to work from home and the tools they use; cell phones, computers, social media may need to be polished and improved upon. Continue to look for new and improved methods to have successful encounters with your customer(s). As we move into 2021, suppliers will value their employees as their strongest asset and greatly rely on the customer relationships which they have developed.