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By Ashton Davis, Marketing Engagement Manager at Trella Health
A consistent stream of referrals is a top priority for most post-acute care organizations. Referrals are the lifeblood for success, and every PAC organization needs a reliable means of identifying targets and tracking patterns of patients entering post-acute care.
One of the best ways to manage activity with referral partners is to use customer relationship management (CRM) software. A CRM can increase sales performance and sales team productivity, as well as improve efficiency in the sales team’s management of referrals and ability to identify top partners, which will increase the overall number of referrals to the business.
Selecting the best CRM tool for your organization can be a daunting task. The right CRM should provide:
- A high-performance sales process.
- A roadmap to referrals.
- Data for proving the success of referral partner visits.
Team Efficiency and Productivity
Due to the Great Resignation brought on by COVID-19, many sales teams today have been scaled down. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to refine your sales process. This includes a targeting plan, target prioritization, and periodic reviews to ensure the plan leads to more referrals and increased profitability for the organization.
A recent analysis of Medicare claims nationwide shows that less than 53% of Medicare FFS patients are discharged from inpatient stays with post-acute care instructions. This statistic points out an opportunity for serious growth to identify physicians in your area who are not referring to post-acute care as often and have patients that would benefit from your care. These physicians present a great opportunity for new referrals to your agency. With a CRM, you can capture their contact information and send sales reps to educate these physicians on the offerings of your care setting. The next step involves populating the CRM with details of the sales calls and what tactics worked or did not work. These notes will help ensure your reps meet with the right people and have productive conversations and is a great way to improve sales efficiency over time, which then leads to higher admissions.
The CRM becomes the first place a sales rep looks to prepare for meetings with referring partners and referral prospects. The CRM maintains important account activity information and is accessible to reps whenever and wherever they need it—which can be especially helpful in the moments on the go preparing for meetings. The account information can also be used to educate new sales reps as they learn from the seasoned pros.
Insights to the Right Targets
Identifying the right accounts to pursue is critical to a sales team’s success, and a CRM can help. Gaining access to market intelligence provides PACs a clear view of the market, the market share they currently receive from referring partners, and the growth potential for those accounts. This data can be tracked on a dashboard that is your first view each morning and is a guide for reps as to where there time can be best spent. From a sales manager’s perspective, a CRM documents where a rep is in the sales process and provides much-needed visibility.
A key insight that can help build a more effective targeting strategy is data on unaffiliated physicians in your market. This group of providers understands the value of home health, hospice, and skilled nursing; they just haven’t developed a strong relationship with a particular agency in the area. If you have a specialization for the population these doctors serve, be sure to point out that fact. When you target these accounts, encourage your sales reps to share the value of your specific organization. Show them data points demonstrating how you stand out in the market by decreasing readmission rates, lowering costs and improving outcomes.
An agency needs to review how many referrals it gets from each physician in the local market and how many patients the physician sends to other agencies. This information helps the agency focus attention on its top accounts and frame their strategy for those physicians that are not yet affiliated. Weekly visits with these top referral sources should increase admissions by maintaining in-contact. Sales reps meeting with physicians who most often refer to the agency can shift the conversation straight to the needs of patients and prospective patients and what services your facility provides that would address their needs. Sales reps become more productive with their time and your agencies referral potential will grow further.
Suppose your team uses a CRM with electronic health record integration. In that case, your sales reps have visibility when a referral comes through and can plan a lateral call to the referral partner. This information is invaluable for building stronger, trusting relationships with your partners. It may also bring to light a referring physician that you are not currently visiting. That’s an account that deserves prompt attention.
When the organization has visibility to its current standing with referring partners, sales managers have a clear starting point to make strategic decisions – such as determining whether it’s more profitable to educate existing partners about services the agency provides, or to target new partners with significant potential for growth.
A CRM provides essential data about referrals that improve sales performance, and helps sales reps and managers track their current referral and admission trends and referral conversion rates. With this knowledge, they can adjust their plans and activities to ensure your organization is achieving admission targets.
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