2021 HME Business Handbook: Strategy

Harnessing Data to Navigate the Post-PHE and Grow Market Share

The market data solutions now available are light years beyond what we once had. How so, and how does an HME sales organization maximize its effectiveness with them?

The post-acute marketplace continues to shift into a new normal. This journey that we’ve been on during COVID-19 has been an adventure, and true to most expeditions, it’s not always followed a specific course.

There are many things we learned along the way. One key learning for many HME providers is that the previous way of doing business, specifically, sales and operations, did not hold true, and it continues to evolve.

Many found sales and operations were in deep water, in trouble, and out of one’s comfort zone. But as many providers would discover, this did not leave them high and dry or stranded without hope but instead was a temporary change in navigation and course-correcting as required.

For many HME leaders, this sales course correction began with a deeper dive into the referral community to better understand the currents below their businesses The referral community, while in many cases steady, proved to be dead in the water with no progress to be made. By looking deeper into referrals, providers relied on market data and real-time intelligence to ensure they were on the right track and set a course of action to help them navigate to today’s new normal.

Prior to the Pandemic, some providers had market data and, in some cases, did not use this to navigate their sales efforts. For some, the sales efforts were smooth sailing, and they used the market data to back up or to validate existing referral sources. This would prove to be a navigational error.

RE-APPROACHING SALES THROUGH MARKET DATA

With market data, a provider can use HCPCS to validate a prescriber’s volume of referrals. This can be done for both existing and prospective referral sources. The market data and in-depth physician profile help the sales professional navigate and find what additional opportunities exist with current referral sources and what new and untapped sources are available.

Market data can be filtered for a specific market strategy, down to the zip code or territory as needed. A provider can filter this data geographically to expand an existing territory or set a course for a new one. Market data can filter by Dx and referral volume, a tremendous navigational tool for the sales professional to have a holistic view of a prescriber. When a provider wants to focus on a niche business, the market data can be also be filtered by Practitioner Type. This will then help in a targeted market approach with messaging that would capture opportunities.

A provider can also filter the market data by payer mix. Having a clear understanding of the prescriber’s payer mix and how it parallels or varies from the provider’s business is a great tool and can be valuable in selecting referral sources to focus on. Finally, market data offers the provider a clear view of the competitors working with each prescriber. This is invaluable to a sales professional. This will help with the marketing message, approach, and understanding of pain points for each prescriber.

Having this data prior and now postpandemic will be the course-correcting platform needed for a sales team. Without the help of market data, a sales professional will get off-course and spend countless hours drifting down a navigational path with a would-be referral source only to confirm there are no referrals to be had from that propsect. Also, without market data, a sales professional might assume that they are receiving the majority of referrals from a prescriber, when, in fact, they are receiving a very low percentage of that source’s referrals. With market data, the sales professional can know the right prescribers to engage and receive the referrals.

This will set a new course for every provider and the team of sales professionals. Finally, a provider who runs a tight ship can turn the corner and pass this critical point to a new normal for sales efforts. In nautical terms, this would be considered making up leeway or making up for lost or wasted time.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • It is time for HME providers to course-correct their sales efforts.
  • Market data will bring providers to the right track (your compass).
  • Market data can grow existing and new prospective opportunities.
  • Filtering tools within market data will offer diversification in market approach.
  • Filtering options include geographic, demographic and referral volume, practitioner type, payer mix, and competition.
  • Market data provides a deep dive into prescribers’ and referral sources’ business.
  • Market messaging and predictive analysis are directly tied to market data.

LEARN MORE

To learn more about market datadriven sales strategies and resources, schedule a PlayMaker Health Data Solutions Demo at playmakerhealth.com/request-a-demo.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of HME Business.

About the Author

Ty Bello, RCC is the president and founder of Team@Work LLC, which offers more than 50 years’ combined experience in assessing, developing, and coaching sole proprietorships, sales teams, C-suite executives, individuals and teams in a variety of industry settings. Bello is an author, communicator and registered coach, and can be reached at ty@teamatworkcoaching.com for sales, customer call center, and management coaching needs. Please like Ty on LinkedIn and visit www.teamatworkcoaching.com for more information and join The Coaches Corner at teamatworkcoaching.com/coaches-corner.

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