Outbound calls are a pivotal tool in healthcare sales. According to RAIN Group’s research, 57% of C-level executives and VP buyers prefer to be contacted by phone. In an industry largely in person, it’s a huge opportunity.

healthcare industry 2024

However, setting appointments with decision-makers in the healthcare industry is quite challenging.

Roadblocks in Appointment Setting with Decision-Makers in the Healthcare Industry

Booking sales appointments within the healthcare sector involves navigating a distinct set of challenges that can significantly hinder efficiency. Key among these challenges are:

Complex Decision-Making Process

The decision-making structure within healthcare organizations is often layered and involves multiple stakeholders. This necessitates sales reps engaging in extensive interactions, not just with a single point of contact but with a variety of decision-makers across different levels. 

In larger healthcare organizations, decisions frequently require the green light from a board or a committee. The percentage of doctors in hospital-owned or partially hospital-owned practices rose from 23.4% to 31.3% from 2012 to 2022. This adds an additional layer of complexity, as gaining board approval is often more rigorous and time-consuming. 

This complex decision-making process requires sales reps to be adept at navigating a multi-tiered system, understanding corporate governance, adapting to the evolving landscape of practice ownership, and identifying the diminishing segment of independent practices.

Busy Decision-Makers

Healthcare professionals, particularly doctors and senior administrators, are notoriously pressed for time, making it exceedingly difficult to schedule appointments or engage them in lengthy discussions about products or services.

According to a 2014 AMA Insurance study, the majority of physicians typically work between 40 and 60 hours per week. However, over 25% of them reported exceeding 60 hours, and a small yet significant group (about 5%) averaged upwards of 80 hours weekly.

One effective strategy to circumvent this hurdle is to leverage gatekeepers. Building strong relationships with office managers and administrative staff can be a gateway to indirectly reaching decision-makers. These gatekeepers often hold the keys to their superiors’ calendars and can provide invaluable insights into the best times and methods for making contact. 

Building Trust and Credibility

In the healthcare industry, sales reps face the critical challenge of overcoming skepticism toward sales calls. Healthcare professionals, accustomed to evidence-based decision-making, are often wary of being sold to without substantial proof of value. 

This situation necessitates a dual focus for sales reps: building trust and demonstrating the tangible value of their solutions.

To effectively engage with healthcare professionals, reps must be equipped with comprehensive knowledge of the product and industry. Their sales pitches should be grounded in evidence-based solutions, supported by research, case studies, or testimonials.

Sales reps should be upfront about pricing, product limitations, and potential risks. This honesty fosters trust and credibility. Focusing on cultivating long-term partnerships based on trust and mutual respect rather than short-term sales will yield more sustainable results. 

Outdated Databases

healthcare industry 2024

The healthcare industry faced significant staffing challenges, with healthcare job openings reaching a high of 9.2% in September 2022, more than double the average rate between 2010 and 2019. The constant shifts in roles, departments, and internal hierarchies within healthcare organizations necessitate a vigilant approach to database management. 

Without this, sales reps find themselves dedicating a substantial portion of their time to activities that do not generate revenue. The annual financial impact of invalid data on these businesses is a staggering $3.1 trillion in the US alone.

To mitigate this challenge, it is imperative to have a dedicated data operations team, tasked with regular maintenance and updating of the database to ensure the information at the disposal of sales teams is accurate, relevant, and reflective.

Why is Outsourcing an Effective Strategy for Appointment Setting with Healthcare Individuals?

These challenges necessitate advanced expertise and training to hone skills and achieve objectives, requiring significant investment in time and resources.

Outsourcing appointment setting to a vendor with specialized knowledge in the healthcare sector and its key decision-makers provides a direct route to meeting your sales targets.

Experience within the Sector

Specialized vendors bring a wealth of experience tailored to the healthcare industry. Their understanding extends beyond the basics, encompassing knowledge of industry-specific regulatory compliance and insight into healthcare organizations’ decision-making processes.

Consider a scenario where a sales rep is discussing a specialized medical device with a healthcare professional who is skeptical about its utility and benefits. In this case, an outsourced representative, armed with deep expertise in the healthcare industry, is well-prepared to address these concerns.

The rep can effectively back up his/her pitch with comprehensive research and data that highlight the critical need for your product and leverage existing relationships built within the healthcare community to further validate credibility.

Access to Up-to-Date Sector Database

Outsourcing partners maintain comprehensive, continually updated databases for your target decision-makers in the industry. Their data teams, specialized in research, keep your prospect list current, ensuring it remains relevant and reliable. 

Their proficiency in extracting and confirming information from sector-specific sources is essential for accurately identifying and reaching out to key players in the healthcare industry.

By collaborating with an outsourcing partner, you move beyond the limitations of a standard prospect list. You gain access to meticulously curated data, one that is not just precise but also finely tuned to the nuances of your specific segment within the industry. 

Flexibility and Scalability at its Best

The demand for sales resources in the healthcare sector can vary significantly, particularly given the industry’s dynamic nature and ever-evolving market needs.

Partnering with an outsourcing firm allows for seamless scaling of services to align perfectly with your fluctuating requirements. This flexibility ensures that you don’t overcommit resources during slower periods or find yourself underprepared during times of high demand. With this adaptable approach, your organization can maintain efficiency and responsiveness, regardless of the changing landscape of the healthcare market.

AEs Focus on Closing the Deal

Account executives often find their efficiency compromised when juggling both prospecting and closing deals. By delegating the prospecting role to an outsourced team, your AEs can concentrate exclusively on their forte – sealing the deal. 

This focused approach allows them to leverage their skills and expertise where it matters most, leading to more successful deal closures and a streamlined sales process in the dynamic healthcare industry.

Rapid Expansion in the Pipeline

Capitalizing on their in-depth knowledge and strategic approaches, an outsourcing partner specialized in the healthcare sector can swiftly generate a greater volume of leads right from the start, surpassing the results of an internal team that may not have the same depth of industry-specific focus. 

This expertise in the healthcare domain equips them to identify and pursue opportunities more effectively than an in-house team, accelerating the growth of your sales pipeline in this complex industry.

Case Study: Captify’s Breakthrough in Healthcare Sales with SalesRoads

To gain insights into the effectiveness of strategic outsourcing in the healthcare industry, let’s delve into the experience of Captify, specializing in technology services for gastroenterology offices.

Captify’s Challenges in Expanding Healthcare Clientele

Captify had primarily relied on referrals and established relationships for business growth. However, they faced the challenge of cost-effectively and proactively reaching out to key decision-makers in gastroenterology offices across the United States. 

Their goal was to introduce their services and demonstrate how they could enhance GI outcomes while reducing the cost of colonoscopies.

SalesRoads’ Strategic Approach to Captify’s Expansion

In response to these challenges, SalesRoads crafted a strategic outreach campaign, which was meticulously designed to engage administrators, physicians, executives, and practice managers in meaningful conversations. 

SalesRoads skillfully generated interest in Captify’s managed GI prep process and scheduled qualified appointments for Captify’s team.

The results of this partnership were remarkable. On average, 16 quality appointments were generated each month, significantly boosting Captify’s market presence. A notable success was securing a deal with the Cleveland Clinic, marking the largest client acquisition in Captify’s history. 

You can read the full case study here.