Penetrating into the healthcare market can be an uphill task, even for experienced suppliers. So what gives distributors a competitive advantage while identifying their top hospital prospects? Sales representatives should;
- Aid potential prospects in reaching their goals
- Create prospect specific campaigns
- Know who to target specifically with their sales pitch
Those could be some of the basics. Medical supplies can be sold to hospitals either through direct sales or through a distributor. Using the right channel is key in determining whether or not your supplies will get to the target market.
Have you done your groundwork?
Clear all regulatory hurdles and comply with any relevant state-level requirements. Are you familiar with the rules governing supply purchases in the hospitals you are targeting? Without such knowledge, it will be a futile attempt. Also, are you aware of the decision makers in these institutions? Armed with the knowledge of the process and the people involved will ease the task of identifying the right sales channel.
Direct sales route
A sales team will be required who will be selling directly to hospitals. It will involve meeting with prospective buyers and closing deals. The entire selling process will need the physical presence by the sales reps at different locations so that multiple hospitals can be targeted within the shortest time possible. Direct interaction with customers is one advantage of direct selling. Also, being in control of the sales and revenue process is a highlight attributed to direct selling. However, this method attracts a lot of overhead costs associated with managing a team of sales reps. You can choose to take this route if,
- Enough money is available to manage a sales team or,
- The supplies require no customization
Using a distributor
Resellers often possess the connections and knowledge required to get supplies to their designated buyers. If a company cannot afford an establishment or even maintaining its presence in a particular area, the use of a distributor would be the best idea. Channel partners can help you lower the cost of entering into a new market since most of them already do business with the hospitals you are trying to sell to. In this case, partner commissions are involved. This option can be chosen if,
- The distributor is able to deliver the value you intend, for example , the market share
- The revenue brought by the distributor exceeds the costs of maintaining that relationship
- The distributor allows you to deal directly with the buyers.
Whichever route you decide to take will depend on your revenue streams and also characteristics of your target market. Some hospitals will require direct selling while others will do better with distributors. If the two options are weighed carefully, the right decisions are likely to be made.