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Health IT's top 4 challenges from current sales models

How health IT sales models impact revenue growth


In our first blog in this series, we talked about the six market trends and challenges health IT companies face that are hampering profitable revenue growth and optimized commercial ROI.

Looking inside health IT organizations, current state commercial models (e.g., sales, marketing, service) also have their share of growth blockers. Here are the top four issues that could impact your results and cause you to lose revenue or fail to capitalize on opportunities:


1. Difficulty executing go-to-market strategies across segments and medical specialties

  • Imbalance between a focus on medical specialty vs. provider customer account size, as well as targeting large or PE backed roll-ups which operate quite differently
  • Channel mix and routes-to-market depend on your specialty focus, which makes scaling hard and requires constant fine tuning to optimize productivity, particularly when adding headcount or going into a new specialty
  • Ineffective inside sales models deployed for lead generation, customer success, or service sales may not scale with technology, data, or process improvements
  • Underinvested commercial operations and customer insights functions, that could drive sales and marketing plays, don’t have adequate resources, talent, or status within the organization


2. Complexity in aligning go-to-market efforts between software and non-software products, people, and cultures

  • Increasingly, mergers and acquisitions marry health IT or tech with businesses unfamiliar with how these organizations operate (e.g., a health IT company operates very differently from a medical device company)
  • Different and non-compatible offerings between traditional healthcare businesses and newer software and service businesses prevent scaling up sales models and create coordination challenges, resulting in above-normal sales costs, service costs, and headcount
  • Poorly integrated complementary offerings, unclear value messages, and mismatched cultural style prevents well-intentioned teaming (e.g., fast-paced vs. slow and steady, move fast and break things vs. regulatory risk aversion)


3. Keeping up with fast-paced market developments and needs

  • Continuous investments in health IT create break-neck demand that requires continuous evolution of sales models, updated toolkits, and an agile ecosystem
  • Investments in digital and commercial projects and/or commercial operations realignments and reorganizations were pulled forward but not well planned, executed, or sustained
  • Organizations without refreshed talent strategy or competency models can end up held hostage by high-cost resources who “own the customer” but cannot execute new strategies with new products or customers                      
  • Some sellers focus on maintaining their base and have a laundry list of reasons that they cannot change accounts or compete for new business, making it more difficult to adapt and compete with more nimble competition


4. Lack of effective and sustainable customer success capabilities

  • Customer models do not utilize resources cost effectively, often under-prioritizing high value customers and often overserving low value ones
  • Many customer and account coverage models typically only engage as needed to win steady-state business or get reorders / renewals, leaving money on the table to deepen relationships or increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities
  • Organizations that can’t provide clean insights to customers that help reduce healthcare costs and increase patient engagement increasingly get pulled into pricing and contracting conversations
  • Companies invest in technologies that yield little to no tangible, long-term customer value. Despite being touted as drivers of revenue, cost savings, and customer experience, and fail to realize a return on their investment

It’s time for a transformation to a new commercial model and approach. Your selling model should be structured to help you go to market across customer segments and the most up-to-date digitally enabled ways of selling and servicing customers. Your talent strategy, training, goal setting, and incentives should be continuously dialed into to your growth drivers and market-driven insights.

See the next blog in our series on how you can refresh your model.


  1. Alex Tolmasoff, Director, KPMG Sales Transformation and HCLS Lead

How can KPMG help? 

KPMG can help you improve the ROI on your sales investments. We can help with your winning sales strategies, processes, and talent with connected insights.

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Payers, top 6 challenges from legacy sales models

Blog series: How healthcare payer sales models impact revenue growth

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Meet our team

Image of Walt Becker
Walt Becker
Principal, Customer Advisory, Sales Transformation Lead, KPMG US
Image of Alex Tolmasoff
Alex Tolmasoff
Director, Customer Advisory, Sales Transformation, KPMG US

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