Of all the training and resources I ran across as Head of Product for a Healthcare Tech company, Pragmatic Marketing Training was, hands down, the most beneficial.
Everyone in a Sales, Product, or Marketing leadership position should attend a Pragmatic event if given the chance. I was able to take my entire Product Team to a Pragmatic Training, and it changed the way I approach Primary Market Research in healthcare, but more on that later.
The framework Pragmatic provides is deceptively simple. It’s straightforward but at the same time is an excellent blueprint for developing and launching successful products. It’s also genuinely motivating.
The energy you’ve got flowing after coming out of a Pragmatic Marketing training can be amazing, but that training can also be a complete waste of your time and money if you don’t do anything with it. If your training doesn’t result in something concrete (say, an improved product roadmap that helps you build offerings your clients will actually want and be willing to pay for), that energy isn’t doing anything for you or your business.
That’s why I’m going to review some examples of how Pragmatic Principles apply in Healthcare Technology. Use them to implement your past (and future) training takeaways within your work in the HIT space.
Discovering Market Problems
Describing the market problems in healthcare as “unique” is a gross understatement. Not only are they specific to the industry itself, they also change over time and can be highly nuanced depending on exactly which stakeholder problem you’re working to solve.
Take, for example, the recent shift in providers taking on the functions traditionally performed by payers. Any healthcare tech company that’s had a history of servicing payers could look at this shift as a great opportunity to expand their market — and they’d be correct at a certain level. However, providers are not payers and the solutions you create (as well as how you sell to them) should be centered around market problems that are specific to their needs.
Building Buyer Profiles
This is an element of the Pragmatic Marketing Framework I wish I could spread across all of healthcare, but especially in the hospital Revenue Cycle Management sector.
I’ve seen entirely too many RCM vendors who target Hospital PFS Directors when launching new products — new products that support Patient Access. Of course, no matter how well-designed the product is, vendors then struggle to upsell their new solution because they’re simply talking to the wrong person.
Not all providers are the same. Not all Hospital Leaders are the same. Making the effort to build out Buyer Profiles is a great way to make those essential differentiations concrete and understand the profiles and priorities of your decision-makers.
Just remember that you can have the best product in the world with a great ROI, but if it doesn’t solve one of the top 3 to 5 pain points of your Buyer, chances are you will not get very far.
Developing Sales Tools
Well-developed Sales Tools are essential in an industry like healthcare where buyers
We’ve run across several examples where a sales rep is off the chart at selling one product — absolutely stellar; but you ask them to sell any other product and they’re dead in the water. Why? Because that one product is the only product they really know.
In healthcare, thorough knowledge of products and market needs is extremely important, but many Healthcare Technology Sales Reps have simply never worked in Hospitals or Physician Offices. If you’re in a situation where you have a portfolio of solutions and your sales reps are missing the opportunity to sell 3 or 4 products to a large client, you have a Sales Tools problem.
Sales Training and effective Sales Tools, such as product guides and case studies, can mean the difference between selling one product at a time and selling 4 products in one contract.
Understanding a Competitive Landscape
If there’s any area where I’ve seen healthcare tech companies consistently trip up, it’s in understanding their Competitive Landscape across time.
We’ve performed many healthcare Win/Loss Analyses and it’s been amazing to see small competitors or startups regularly creep up in the market and displace larger, better-established vendors who haven’t done the work to stay competitive, let alone continually solve pressing healthcare problems.
Plenty of companies start in the right place. They understand what sets them apart from their competitors. Unfortunately, as they grow and stabilize, they often lose that uniqueness just as the rest of the market catches up to them. As healthcare becomes more tech-focused, an ongoing understanding of your Competitive Landscape will become a necessity for companies that want to thrive.
The Power of Pragmatic Marketing TrainingPragmatic Marketing Training forces you to stop and think about new product development in a way that focuses on market pain points — but, as I realized from my own attendance, the time you’ve spent away at Pragmatic Training means you start that process already days behind.
As my team and I left Pragmatic Marketing Training, we brainstormed how we could implement everything we’d learned during our two-day event. We eventually decided we needed a consultant who could help us lay out a blueprint for how we could be more effective at thinking “Outside In” and get away from the typical “Inside Out” decision-making that is the norm in corporate conference rooms.
Since healthcare is such a unique industry we began a search for a consultant who leveraged the Pragmatic discipline but also had extensive knowledge in healthcare — someone we never found.
We soon realized that all the elements of the Pragmatic Marketing Framework — Identification of Market Problems, Market Validation, Buyer Persona development — these were all things we would have to do ourselves while keeping up with our existing tasks (defining user stories with IT, training sales on newly released functionality, measuring the P&L of our Product Portfolio…)
Discovering this gap between Pragmatic Marketing Training and the reality of daily execution for Product, Marketing, and Sales teams is why we launched Eliciting Insights.
We are dedicated to helping Healthcare Technology vendors invest their precious development resources in the right solutions for the market, and not just solutions that Sales, or IT, or even competitors think are important.
When you need help implementing and executing the Pragmatic Marketing principles, let us know. We can support you in your journey.