Hospitals and medical professionals in healthcare facilities always need high-quality devices and supplies to cater to the varying needs of their patients. These devices and supplies are very essential in the day-to-day activities of these institutions, and they can range from gloves and masks (PPE) to very vital niche tools required by specific surgeons, doctors, and health professionals.
These professionals or institutions tend to work with medical supply businesses or even medical sales reps to purchase these devices and supplies. According to industry reports, the medical supplies market is projected to reach $160 Billion by 2025.
The market also registers a CAGR growth rate of 7.2 percent. Owing to these very encouraging numbers, selling medical supplies is a very viable business to consider. However, you will first have to understand the ins and outs of starting a medical supply business.
You will also need to establish very concrete relationships with office managers who are tasked with the acquisition of the supplies. If you intend to sell medical supplies and devices to hospitals in the United States, ensure you pay attention to the regulatory hurdles, such as the FDA’s medical device registration and listing process coupled with any relevant state-level requirements.
Also take your time to become conversant with how device purchase decisions are made in hospitals and, more importantly, the persons who are tasked with making those buying decisions. A good number of hospitals have a committee that analyzes, chooses, and purchases medical devices for the organization.
Have in mind that choosing the right sales channel is very necessary because it’s going to influence whether or not your product reaches the customers you intend on reaching. Once you’ve noted your target hospitals, you should leverage specific, data-driven metrics to get a full understanding of that care facility.
Steps to Sell Medical Supplies and Devices to Hospitals
Selling medical supplies and devices is no easy task, however, when it comes to selling to hospitals, there are two routes to consider. They include;
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Partnering with a Distributor
To sell medical supplies and devices to hospitals, you can choose to align with distributors, resellers, and channel partners who have the connections necessary to access buyers in a specific region. Most often, these buyers or clients can be out of reach to your business because you lack the resources to establish a presence in that area.
Since a third-party channel partner knows this region and can align with the hospitals in that area, working with one can help you expand into a new market at a lower cost than entering directly. Howbeit, your company may have to give around 10% to 50% of revenue to these distributors as commissions and partner discounts. But this route is a good option if:
- The added income provided by the channel partner is way past the cost of venturing into that market and growing that relationship.
- The partner can provide the value you’re looking for, such as the customer base, reputation, and market reach.
- The channel partner allows you to directly deal with end-users by offering support and maintenance services on your device.
Direct Sales Route
Selling devices and supplies directly to hospitals entail establishing and managing your own sales team. Truth be told, the typical medical device selling and buying process requires your sales reps to be physically present at various points in the buying cycle. Also, note that selling or targeting multiple hospitals at different locations will warrant that sales teams stay close by or be available on short notice.
Although having your own sales team and selling directly to hospitals comes with numerous advantages such as having full control over the sales and revenue process as well as direct interaction with your customers, have it in mind that this route also comes with additional costs and overhead related to managing sales teams. Most often, this route is ideal if:
- Your devices or supplies don’t need much customization and setup for each customer.
- The expenses of managing your own sales team are less than the amount of revenue you need to share with potential channel partners.
- Your business has the resources to handle multiple sales teams, most likely in different locations.
Tips on How to Sell Medical Supplies and Devices to Hospitals
If you are looking to sell medical supplies and devices to Hospitals successfully, consider these tips mentioned below.
Show That You Care
Most often, the first meeting you have in a hospital or doctor’s office will not end with a device or supplies purchase. Each visit will aim to establish a reliable relationship with the hospital staff. It is also advisable you make conscious efforts to get to know the people tasked with making those buying decisions and improve your chances by bolstering trust and starting a long-lasting relationship.
To also capture the interest of every stakeholder and address their various concerns and doubts, you need to carry out your homework and find out the exact aspects of your product that are most important to each buyer.
Leverage Performance Metrics to Show the Value of Your Product
Truth be told, you might not be able to make any sales if you cannot outline how your device or supplies will help a hospital attain its goals, such as improving quality performance. To be taken seriously, your point of contact will have to see the need or understand the true benefit of your products.
Therefore, when putting together your value proposition, ensure you point out applications and care outcomes that your clients might not have considered.
According to experts, you can improve your medical device selling strategy by noting specific metrics. For instance, if you intend to sell a drug-eluting stent with an encouraging success rate than existing options, indeed the device will genuinely improve care outcomes for angioplasty patients.
In addition, it could also do away with 30-day readmissions and limit secondary diagnoses and other complications like restenosis. Note that by stating the numerous ways in which your device can improve care quality and reduce costs; you grow your possibility of closing a deal.
Show your Knowledge of Prospects Pain Points
Understanding the pain points of a particular hospital or medical professional shows your potential clients that you understand their peculiar issues and have put together well-tailored solutions for them. When selling to hospitals, some of the most important metrics to understand include diagnosis volumes, procedure volumes, and quality performance metrics.
Have it in mind that a good number of hospitals may have to contend with readmissions, while others report high rates of healthcare-associated infections. According to reports, the most common quality metrics that hospitals focus on include HCAHPS patient satisfaction scores, hospital-acquired condition scores, and value-based purchasing reimbursement adjustments.
For instance, if a hospital’s complication rates for a total knee replacement are way past the state or national average, the medical institution may have to deal with some financial penalties from CMS.
However, a supplier that provides a prosthesis with unique joint cushioning that enhances implant longevity could more or less help reduce long-term care costs and limit the possibilities of complications and secondary surgical procedures—averting hospital revenue loss and CMS penalties.
Stay Involved and Helpful
To attain success in this line of business and also maintain your clients, you must offer constant support and guidance to them. It’s very pertinent you assist in preparing equipment for implementation, coupled with being present when the device is delivered to the hospital and installed.
If you manage a long sales cycle, have it in mind that being present during installation is very vital for solidifying a long-lasting business partnership especially since it buttresses commitment, readiness, and a willingness to help with any technical issues that might come up.
As long as you can show your value from the onset to the end of the sales cycle – be it providing answers to questions quickly, making steady hospital visits, or offering assistance to hospital staff – you will have a much better chance of fostering a long term relationship that will survive well into the future. Also, make sure that your clients understand or know how to contact you in the future.
Understand all Necessary Regulations
Coupled with legally registering your company, it is imperative to obtain the necessary business licenses and permits for running your medical supply business. Note that forming an LLC or C-Corp doesn’t most often mean you can legally operate, it simply means that the state knows you exist, but you will still be expected to get your licenses or permits before you can start making supplies.
Also, make sure to comply with regulations or other quality control for goods and services. Have it in mind that this can take the form of certification for applicable items as well as less formal qualifications. You may even be expected to fill out a qualification form at each hospital or on their website.
These forms tend to vary from one hospital to another, but will most often detail the regulations your goods and services are expected to meet coupled with any potential conflicts of interest.
How you choose to sell your devices and supplies to hospitals will depend on the route you can readily afford, your target market’s characteristics, and your business’s present capabilities. However, regardless of the route you choose, you have to engage various stakeholders with frequent visits, and also show technical expertise with your product and supplies.
You don’t even need a strong medical background to attain success in this business, you only need to understand what medical professionals need and also put together a marketing plan to make your business more effective.