Questions

How to collaborate with insurance companies (B2B)?

I just recently started as an intern on an innovative swedish mobile health company, and my responsibility at the moment is to handle the marketing for one of their projects: A Sleep Aid app that helps people suffering from sleeping disturbances as well as prevent people from getting it in the first place. As this internship is a 3 months trial (1 month have already passed, so only 2 more to go) I will need to show that I can bring in revenue for the company, and the quickest way for that to happen is to start collaborate with insurance companies so that the app and the service that comes with it can be available to the insurance companies clients. I have a great deal of knowledge and quite a lot of experience in marketing, but I'm very new to the area of insurance companies. The most usual treatment today for sleeping disturbances is medication, and to my knowledge there are barely any effective treatments out there (at least in Sweden.) I don't know if insurance companies differs a lot depending on what country it is. What way/s could be effective to reaching out to the insurance companies and make them interested? Any help is very appreciated! Best regards, Gabriel

4answers

Start by getting a doctor to 'sponsor' you - to recommend it to their patients. Give them a few for free so their patients can try it out - which will get the physician sold on it.

Meanwhile, also start reaching out to the right people in the appropriate insurance companies through LinkedIn and via email. You may also want to connect with people who have been in Insurance - like Jeff, Daniel, Craig, or Liran here: https://clarity.fm/search/insurance

When you reach out to executives in insurance, keep it personal, and tell them you are looking for their advice. I have a 12 step system to walk you through the sales process once you get a call lined up, but to get you started you could read The Little Red Book of Selling (quick read) or The New Strategic Selling (dense but invaluable). SNAP Selling is good too. Remember, this is all about relationships, so start with personal.

InMails recently changed to make it easy for you to keep costs down for outreach. As long as you get a high response rate, your cost of $10 per unanswered InMail will go a long way. If you can't use InMails, try sending samples with testimonials and call them to discuss the day after you expect them to receive it. Use FedEx sign on delivery to increase the chance it gets to them instead of a mail room or secretary.


Answered 5 years ago

I agree with Ryan Dravening that you'd want to start off lower down the ladder with doctors -- and I'd add patients -- before approaching insurance providers.

Yes, the insurance companies have bigger distribution. But won't they want case studies, testimonials, endorsements from people who've used the Sleep Aid app?

I don't know how frequently doctors use LinkedIn. My guess is that they're busy with their clinics and have little reason to engage in online professional networking.

But they might attend professional conferences. If you could find an event where many doctors are in attendance -- doctors who treat patients with sleep anomalies -- then you could make plenty of useful contacts.

I'd also recommend reaching out to patients through the usual methods such as SEM. You can easily target sleep disorders. Patients often research their own conditions and introduce new treatment options (both quack and non-quack) to their doctors.

With some decent questionnaires and tracking, you can tell the insurance companies how many of the patients and doctors they cover are using the app. Then perhaps your sales pitch to the big providers will find more traction.


Answered 5 years ago

I have owned businesses in and personally directly worked in the healthcare industry in the U.S. and so cannot speak directly to how things work in your country... But I suspect that the similarities outweigh the differences.

That said... I can all but assure you that attempting to get to end users via insurance companies or doctors will be very unlikely.

The entire "mainstream" medical culture revolves around minimizing liability to the providers while providing tested and scientifically researched and validated solutions to end users (aka patients).

The efficacy (in practice) of the solutions may be something you question AND your solution may be a good one...However you being in love with your product does not equal the insurance industry OR doctors OR even the end user marketplace being in love with it or even being willing to try it.

One key to effective marketing is learning to see the world through the eyes of your market. And that often means learning to understand with what they WANT and not what you think or "know" they NEED.

I strongly suggest you connect with someone to help you flesh out your marketing strategy. The current advice provided (in the prior responses thus far) indicates a strong lack of familiarity with the medical industry.

I wish you the greatest success.

Cheers,
David


Answered 5 years ago

Hi Gabriel, I applaud your idea to partner with insurance companies. I'm presuming that your rationale is that insurance companies could use your product as a alternative to more costly sleep medications? Just so you know I've built and sold solutions to the insurance industry for many years (mainly software and related services). I can't say I've dealt with Swedish health insurance companies but for arguments sake I'll assume they are similar to other insurance companies.

In order for your solution to be selected as an approved treatment (that they would pay for) by insurance companies, you would have to demonstrate clinical efficacy and lots of data to support the treatment. Additionally the care providers are going to have to make the ultimate decision to use your treatment. Generally speaking not many treatments that are considered holistic or natural make the list of approved treatments because they lack the rigorous clinical data proof and governmental approval that prescription drugs provide.

Have you instead thought of targeting the holistic and natural remedies market? There is a huge global demand.

Good Luck!


Answered 5 years ago

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