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Building a Liaison Sales Force
Posted 12.29.2015

We're in the process of building a sales force of liaison marketers for a local hospital here in the Mid-Atlantic States. This team will focus on "marketing" the benefits of clinical service lines in their respective territories in the surrounding community. Each rep will focus on just three service lines as they call on 90 referral practices in their communities. Reps will be measured, monitored, and rewarded based on their % increase of referrals compared to the corresponding time from the previous year. Reps are being recruited from a myriad of backgrounds including business to business , Pharmaceutical, medical supply sales and others. Each rep will receive in house training as well as on-going field training in referral marketing, territory management, and professional sales. Teams of reps (up to 8 reps per team), will report to a field sales manager who will travel with, train, monitor, and motivate these individuals to ever greater performance month after month, quarter after quarter, and year after year.

The term "marketing" also means sales in some regards. This is a sales force which works hand in hand with hospital marketing to distribute hard copy marketing tools and materials. When meeting with referral sources the liaison will endeavor to communicate the benefits of each service line as they uncover the needs and perceptions of staff and providers in the referral community.

Detail:

Each rep is limited to three service lines as sales call time and interest limitations never allow for more.

Each rep is limited to a catchment area of 90 potential referral practices based on our experience with other specialty practices.

An arbitrary base line of referrals needs to be established for each practice in each territory for year one. In year two a true and accurate base line can be established for each referral practice based on the previous year referrals by month, quarter, and year to date.

It can be nearly impossible to create fully equal territories in terms of potential practices, providers, economics. Therefore a measurement metric based on % increase over the previous year-quarter-corresponding month is more fair while still promoting growth.

Recruits include professionally trained sales people who understand territory strategy, time management, needs satisfaction selling, and the fundamentals of healthcare and medical specialists. The pharma model seems ideal for this but it may prove to be outside the skillset for many. Ideally those with substantial business to business sales combined with some pharma or supply sales experience prove best.

These reps need a direct supervisor report with experience in managing remote field sales people. The sales manager should have a minimum of five years of sales management experience combined with 5-10 years of sales experience as a minimum. The ideal ratio is 7 to 1 reps to manager allowing sufficient travel time together each quarter.

The term "marketing" Is a separate entity from sales. It requires similar but remarkably separate skills, experience and motivation, so much so that marketers seldom succeed in sales and sales people seldom succeed in marketing in the corporate world… and clinical personnel (RN's) are even farther from a good fit for either specialty, (round pegs in square holes with apples and oranges).

Current and past evidence proves that a professionally trained and managed liaison can grow a specialty practice referrals by 25-40% in year one and two, providing a strong ROI for this component of a hospital marketing strategy. The key is to put trained and experienced personnel in place and manage them on a continual basis with an experienced, credentialed manager.

This is our experience…based on 30 years in this industry. You won't find this in a course or a book as they haven't been written yet.

We can help. Give us a call at 610-310-1621


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