How medical device companies can improve the provider experience and deepen partnerships with Salesforce
Doctors and other healthcare providers don’t have time to spare. They spend countless hours each week seeing patients and updating records, researching and implementing care plans, coordinating with other team members, staff, and consultants—and the list goes on. So when they need support for the medical devices they and their patients use day-to-day, it needs to be direct, efficient, and time-saving. Less time spent finding solutions and troubleshooting means more time to focus on patients. Medical device companies that deliver seamless provider support can quite literally be lifesavers (in addition to the lives the devices themselves save).
To understand how Salesforce fits into this picture, let’s take a step back and look at the entire provider experience with medical device companies. Much like our patient support journey, the provider support journey has several key phases:
- Utilization and Adoption
- Support and Retention
Healthcare providers are essential partners and customers for medical devices. Whether they need a new ultrasound machine or a patient needs a pacemaker or insulin pump, they search for solutions within the medical device industry. The first step in expanding your company’s provider network is deceptively obvious: make more providers aware of your device.
But it’s not just about more providers; it’s about the right providers—and capturing their attention can be a challenge. There’s a lot of digital noise competing for notice. When implemented correctly, Salesforce Marketing Cloud can help you stand out. With it, you can define your ideal audience and execute campaigns that will reach providers across multiple, interconnected channels.
Once providers know about your medical device, it’s time to press for your advantage. In other words, they know who you are, but now it’s time to show why they should care. Design unique educational marketing journeys that engage providers based on their top needs and concerns, not your device’s features, allowing them to freely learn about your product or service’s core benefits.
With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can use individual and industry data to center the provider and connect with them at the right moment on the right channel. For example, if you have a respiratory product that’s built for remote lifestyles, it’s important to emphasize and educate the provider on the relevant patient audience, as well as its medical benefits. With the right mix of features and engagement tactics, you’ll prime providers to be open and excited about further conversation.
Medical device sales can be a delicate, tricky stage. While providers may be intrigued or excited about your device, it’s not a guarantee they’ll sign on the dotted line. Providers are looking to save time and effort anywhere they can. If the sales process is too long or complicated, they may lose interest.
Sales Cloud can streamline and simplify every stage of your sales cycle—qualification, quote, contract, negotiation, final signature—to help you keep providers engaged and committed. Plus, Marketing Cloud can continue to deliver targeted messaging in concert with the provider’s conversations with your sales team.
Utilization and Adoption
What does your post-sale process look like? Do you send a series of automatic communications with instructions and resources? Or do you schedule an in-person welcome meeting? Whatever your onboarding experience looks like, welcoming new providers should be routine, seamless, and automated wherever possible.
For example, if the medical device requires installation, using Field Service Lightning to offer one or two-click digital scheduling can speed up the process while making it more convenient for providers and your technicians. And the same goes for maintenance and service requests. Plus, if the device is connected to Salesforce IoT, it can monitor itself and send you usage reports to track adoption and proactive alerts to stay ahead of problems.
Support and Retention
Strong provider partnerships and networks are built on longevity. But without the right support and data management infrastructure, how do you know and serve providers’ needs to build lasting relationships?
Tracking and analyzing provider engagement data is crucial to providing effective support. Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning can work together to keep provider experience data organized, accessible, and trackable. When providers reach out with questions, concerns, or maintenance requests, any team member can see their history and quickly provide the right support. That data can also be shared with Marketing and Sales Cloud to give you more insight into upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Experience Cloud (aka Communities) can also be extremely effective in retaining providers. In healthcare, consults are routine. Extending that idea to your medical device community and offering a space for digital consults and advice among colleagues could deepen provider engagement and commitment, all within a HIPPA certifiable environment. Make it easy for providers to share ideas, learn, and get more value.
Where to Begin with Salesforce for Improved Provider Support
The provider journey is an ongoing cycle that repeats throughout the lifetime of your provider relationships. Building an interconnected support system that can manage that journey, handle complexity, and scale with you isn’t easy, but it is possible.
In our experience, Salesforce is a critical platform to create, manage, and grow a strong provider partnership network. How you choose to engage and build on the platform depends on what outcomes you’re trying to achieve. To better understand your current needs and opportunities for provider engagement and support, here’s what we recommend looking into:
- Provider Turnover: How many providers have ended their partner or customer relationship with you in the last year? How does that compare to the number of new providers you’ve gained? High turnover is a clear sign that your sales and marketing efforts are effective, but post-sale support needs work. Find out why providers are leaving and how you can fix it.
- Average Lifetime Value: How much is your provider network worth? Which providers are ordering from you more consistently than others? Do you know when providers should be ordering new supplies, parts, or complementary products and services? How are you gathering, storing, and analyzing provider data? Tableau, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Customer 360 can integrate and work together to provide deeper insight into every provider journey to increase lifetime value.
- Referrals: Are providers referring you to their patients and colleagues? How do you track referrals and their success? This data is critical to building an effective partnership network. Rather than approaching every provider with the same strategy, with the right data in Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud, you can target individual providers with outreach that’s designed to address their needs and engage with them via their preferred channels.
- Contract Fulfillment: Do you sell service and maintenance contracts in addition to your medical devices? How do you track and fulfill those agreements? In our experience, medical device companies often sell maintenance contracts, but don’t fulfill them due to gaps in their tracking systems. Missed maintenance impacts satisfaction, safety, and compliance. And without regular follow-up, you also miss opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. Field Service Lightning can be the bridge between your sales relationships and post-sales support.
Providers offer medical device companies an interesting challenge because they’re often both partners and customers. Navigating those nuanced, multi-faceted relationships requires systems that can build detailed profiles, automate repeatable processes, gather and analyze data, and provide meaningful ways to engage (whether that’s ordering, support, or community building). Salesforce can be the central nervous system that connects and facilitates more effective provider support across your teams, external systems, and internal processes.
Connect with us and find out how you can use Salesforce to transform your provider experience and amplify your impact.