2024 NICA Annual Conference

June 21 - 22


Las Vegas, NV.

IV Therapy Practice Pearls
May 17, 2023
Biosimilars 101 for AIC Organizations
August 22, 2023

Operationalizing the Sales Process for an Independent Ambulatory Infusion Center

July 25, 2023

Operations, Providers, Risk Management

By: Ty Bello, BS, RCC

The objective of this article is to provide information with application so you, as an Independent Ambulatory Infusion Center, can either begin the sales journey or accelerate the existing sales process in your business. So regardless of whether or not you have a sales team, this article will provide insight and information that can move the needle on your sales process and team.

To approach this topic so broadly, we will need to scale the depth of this article back just a bit and focus on what many believe are the sales essentials that infuse (no pun intended) a dynamic sales process. We will define the sales funnel, and sales metrics and cadence.

The sales funnel is an illustrative approach to the overall sales process and is made up of four distinct levels. Imagine a funnel like the one used to put transmission fluid in a vehicle. This type of funnel is wide at the top and narrows as it gets closer to delivering the fluid into the transmission.

The sales funnel has similar shape and rather than delivering fluid, the sales professional is delivering valuable information that will ultimately encourage the person(s) being called upon to refer their next patient to our care. The sales funnel is heavily influenced by sales metrics and cadence which will be talked about later in this article.

The Four Levels of the Sales Funnel

  • Building the Relationship / Earning Trust
  • Partnering for Outcomes
  • Being a Trusted Advisor
  • Gaining the Referral

Before entering the top of the funnels, every sales professional must begin the journey with the referral source by getting them to know and even like their company and themselves as sales professionals. Referral sources send referrals to people they know and like and this is not done with one sales call or encounter every six months. Getting to know and like someone always has an element of consistency, which we refer to as cadence in the sales process. This is the frequency of calls or encounters that we have with each referral source over a specific period of time.

Now let’s briefly define each of the four levels of the sales funnel.

Building the Relationship and Earning Trust does occur as we begin the journey of getting the referral source to know and like us. Then it deepens as we have a consistent cadence and provide value to the referral source. The challenge many salespeople have is how to build this relationship with value. A great mantra for sales professionals would be “Bring Content, Not Calories.” As sales professionals, we have a choice of bringing content that fills the referral source with valuable information about our business and how we make a difference in patients’ lives or being another company that fills the referral source with snacks, coffee, and even lunch. Which do you want to build a relationship on?

Partnering for Outcomes is not what it may appear to be considering the industry conversation around value and outcomes-based care. Partnering for outcomes would include that, but let’s consider the daily activity of getting a referral and providing positive outcomes one patient at a time; that ultimately provides value to the referral source and the patients. Every referral is part of our “partnership” with the referral source to provide positive outcomes.

Over time, as we provide positive outcomes for the referral community, we will become a Trusted Advisor. This is when you continue to get strong referrals but are also called on to help with patients who require increased care or attention. Yes, this is more work, but also rewarding and further deepens the referral relationship.

Through all of this, we continue to get referrals, and if we have done our job, we will see growth with each referral source.

Sales Metrics and Cadence

What we are experiencing in our industry is the transforming power of metrics, cadence, data, and technology. A decision not to adopt these as it relates to the growth of your business could leave you behind your peers.

So, let’s explore metrics and cadence; specific to sales and how this translates into actionable items that produce sales growth.

Metrics for Infusion Sales

Let’s begin by defining what metrics for infusion sales must include.

Metrics provide the measurement and cadence the rhythm and structure to report and review the metrics. Cadence is a business buzzword, referring to steady and efficient scheduling. This terminology was popularized in the 90’s after IBM published a paper about sales called “Chaos to Cadence.

Infusion metrics for sales must include:

  • Number of Sales Calls per Day
  • Number of Key Accounts and Prospects
  • Monthly Sales Goals by Product / Service with specific Sales Revenue

If cash flow is a business’s lifeblood, then sales is a business’ pulse; and metrics and cadence are the leading indicators of a strong pulse.

To better understand why these metrics are so important, let’s journey to the end of our business process. The last step in every infusion center’s business process is the revenue cycle. This is where we get paid for the products and services we provide that change the lives of the patients we have been charged with caring for. We need to look no further than the revenue cycle to draw our attention to why sales metrics are critical to our business. Sales metrics are at the beginning of everything in our business but, unfortunately, are often the least defined and measured.

The three metrics we have just referenced are the most important metrics an infusion sales professional, manager, and owner must measure and monitor.

The cadence that must be implemented with these metrics is found through coaching and regularly scheduled sales meetings. By establishing metrics and cadence for infusion sales, a high level of accountability will be realized.

As we move through the yearly business quarters, how have you done on your sales strategy? Did you achieve your individual and company goals? Did you have a plan, and did you stick with it?

In conclusion, as an Independent Ambulatory Infusion Center, the adoption and execution of a sales process that follows the sales funnel by using metrics and cadence is essential for business and referral growth.

About the Author

Ty Bello is the President and Founder of Team@Work and a Registered Corporate Coach with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. Ty is a highly sought-after speaker and provides relevant and best in class information during his presentations and during his one-on-one coaching. Ty has over 33 years of experience as a sales professional, leader, and coach in the HME, Infusion, and Complex Rehab industry. Ty coaches Owners, Leaders and Team Members to raise the bar in their performance and business metrics. Ty continues to carry the bag as a Sales Professional and on average logs in over 200 Sales Calls per year while Coaching Sales Professionals. Ty comes alongside post-acute care businesses through Sales Coaching, Training, and Sales Process Development; with a personal mission to serve others while growing brand awareness and market share.

About the National Infusion Center Association

NICA is dedicated to ensuring that the nation’s infusion centers remain a safe, more efficient, and more cost-effective alternative to hospital settings for consistent, high-quality care.

Infusion providers have a vested interest in the sustainability of the infusion delivery channel and its ability to serve vulnerable patient populations. NICA Provider Members have a voice and a seat at the table to inform NICA’s activities and the opportunity to remain highly engaged in the expansion and optimization of the infusion industry. Learn more about becoming a NICA member, here: https://infusioncenter.org/member-partner-page

Is your organization interested in becoming a featured subject matter expert on The Infusion Blog? Email [email protected] to inquire about opportunities for participation. 

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