Selling to a Health System: All you need to know about tactics, pitfalls, and ways to elevate your pitch

Recently the UPMC Enterprises Digital Solutions team hosted the expert panel presentation, ‘How to (and How NOT to) Sell to Health Systems’, where attendees were given the chance to hear directly from health system representatives about what they can do to elevate their pitch when selling to a health plan or health system.

Joining us for this panel were Robert D. Bart, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer for UPMC, and Mary Beth Jenkins, Chief Administrative and Operating Officer for UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Insurance Services Division.

Understand How You Fit into The Organization

“Smart people have great solutions, but haven’t always figured out how to fit them within the operations of the [health plan or health system]. They need to understand how their solutions actually function within the organization they’re selling to.” Dr. Robert D. Bart, CMIO, UPMC

Each health system is unique. Vendors should have the background to speak to how both value-based care and fee-for-service models work today and know how their solution changes or supports the model of the systems they are trying to gain as customers. A good vendor knows enough about a target system to explain how they can help the system achieve their goals.

Expert Tip: A white paper or use case adds value to your pitch. Show how your solution worked for a similar organization.

Know What Your ROI Is (And Is Not)

“There’s typically no new money to be spent. If we are going to spend money with a new vendor, it has to come from an existing budget or we really have to justify ROI.” Mary Beth Jenkins, COO, UPMC Health Plan

When working on your pitch, highlight both qualitative and quantitative results. Figure out how to monetize aspects that don’t hold a true financial ROI. Whether it’s physician efficiency or a certain percentage of patient population, there’s value to that.

Expert Tip: Don’t focus on cost avoidance. The important number is the value to the organization.

Engage with the Right People

“You need to develop a relationship with the decision makers.” Robert D. Bart, MD

When you’ve identified a best practice solution and need to deploy it quickly, how do you expedite the process as much as possible? Our experts recommend getting as close to decision makers as you can in the organization. If you have the right ROI and the right executive or clinical champion supporting you, things can move relatively quickly. Engage with the health plan or system to keep your pitch moving, ask about potential challenges or bottlenecks and supply all of the needed information to overcome those roadblocks. Don’t overlook the relationship with implementation teams and departments. A successful vendor is able to meet the needs of the client’s legal or IT teams for a smooth partnership; the more flexible you can be, the more successful you’ll be at closing a deal.

Expert tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from the client. They’ll see that you’re involved and interested.

This access to renown medical experts represents the type of unique resources that our portfolio companies have access to, allowing them to gain a valuable edge over their competitors.

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