In B2B healthcare, a private practice isn’t the only type of business where you’ll need to concern yourself with doctors. Whether it’s a small clinic or a large hospital, being aware of how doctors are doing can have an impact on the quality of your medical leads, the success of sales, and the future of your business relationship with that particular institution or practice.
Recent studies cited by Businessweek are reporting disturbing statistics regarding burnout among doctors:
“The first nationwide study of burnout among doctors in the U.S. offered that grim diagnosis this week. The authors, led by Tait D. Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic, reported their findings in theArchives of Internal Medicine. About 46 percent of the 7,200 doctors surveyed showed at least one symptom of this condition, described as an “erosion of the soul” in the book, The Truth About Burnout.”
That same 46% could include the doctors in either your contact list or your customer database. In both cases, being aware of the doctor’s state of mind could offer some surprising insight on whether or not they qualify for appointment setting or hint to the current satisfaction as your B2B customers.
For example, it could indicate their performance as implied by one of the researchers behind the cited study:
“Burnout worries Shanafelt, an oncologist and professor of medicine, because ‘burned-out physicians are more likely to make mistakes’—such as the failures of communication or the intimidation that experts say beget medical errors.”
Salespeople can benefit from being forewarned about this. It’s not even because they can tell you if the doctor (or their organization) is interested. Better yet, it can tell them what solution to provide to make things easier on their mind. For private practices, it could be better tools. For hospitals, it could warrant some advice on their management (e.g. finding ways to reduce bureaucracy).
You can think of business lead generation as your own way of doing research. Use your tools as a means to ask questions, conduct surveys, and then push forward with a more well-aimed and accommodating marketing campaign. Already the first paragraph of the article can give you ideas on what to ask:
“Is your doctor suffering? Do the symptoms include cynicism, emotional exhaustion, or viewing patients as objects rather than people? He or she may be experiencing burnout. In fact, there’s a 50 percent chance that any doctor is—a rate 10 percent higher than among the general population of working people.”
Another thing you’d do well to determine is the state of their practice. Are they on a low budget? Is their industry declining? (The article also makes a few mentions on what particular fields have lower levels of satisfaction).
Patients are the only things you need to concern yourself with B2B healthcare. In fact, don’t forget that they’re not even your target (despite how many industries like EMR software, facilities management, as well as medical devices concern themselves with their treatment). Your target market still comprises of the medical professionals who are still their main provider of quality care. Your medical leads should reflect the state of their minds because that in turn will the best way your business can help them.