Veterinary practices are clamoring for products and services that can deliver improvements to client communication, compliance, and calendar appointments. Cloud-based technology solutions offer sales reps another arrow in their sales quiver.
The first quarter of each year is home to several industry shows on the calendar, including VMX, WVC, and the Southwest Veterinary Symposium. For distributors and manufacturers, it’s a great opportunity to talk to current and prospective clients about products, services, and even customer wish-lists.
Amy Besoushko, solution marketing manager, AmerisourceBergen Animal Health, said technology-based solutions were a hot topic with clients, one which MWI reps were eager to discuss. That’s because, in 2018, MWI added the ALLYDVM client engagement platform to its portfolio. MWI reps have a leading technology solution “as another arrow in their sales quiver, so to speak, which allows them to provide an offering that will help their accounts improve business processes and achieve growth,” she said.
Indeed, technology solutions, especially those that are cloud-based, can provide a variety of benefits for veterinary practices, said Besoushko. For instance, with cloud-based software, practices don’t need to purchase or maintain (additional) hardware onsite to power those solutions. Having software “running in the cloud” provides greater scalability, data security, and data recovery.
“Another advantage of cloud-based software, such as the ALLYDVM client engagement platform, is that it can be accessed anywhere, anytime via mobile phone, tablet, desktop computer or laptop, making it easy for staff members to access patient records, appointment schedules, invoice reports, and more… all of which can result in better efficiencies within the practice.”
This accessibility also provides practices with the opportunity to better connect and engage with their clients via mobile and web app and patient portals, “both of which ALLYDVM provides as part of its platform,” said Besoushko. Through the ALLYDVM PetPage® patient portal, pet owners can access their pets’ medical reminders, the veterinarians’ appointment schedules, and clinic’s loyalty program. Convenient and valuable services like these provide the practice with greater client compliance, retention and satisfaction. The ALLYDVM client engagement platform integrates with most practice management systems, both server-based and cloud-based.
The use of technology within a practice is not really a new phenomenon, but practices leverage technology to different degrees and, therefore, realize different results. In the past, sales reps traditionally didn’t support or provide technology for a practice. “Today, business operation and management software has become more of a necessity in any business, and over time more solutions have been developed to help run the business of a veterinary practice,” said Besoushko. “The more solutions a sales rep can provide to help the practice become more efficient, increase compliance, retention, revenue and customer experience, the more successful the practice is and the stronger the rep and customer relationship becomes. Like any business, a well-run and well-managed veterinary practice is able to do what they do best – take care of animals.”
The selling of technology requires a different mindset from sales reps. “It basically comes down to selling something tangible – equipment or pharmaceuticals for example – versus selling something intangible such as software and services,” said Besoushko.
The value proposition is different. Besoushko said a sales rep must understand not only the features and functionality but must be able to sell the value and benefit the technology will bring to the practice as a whole. “The value of technology along with the functionality, features, and benefits takes a bit longer for the practice owner and staff to visualize and commit to since it affects the operation of the entire practice,” she said. “The impact on the practice and the client base is a big consideration when deciding on integrating a new technology solution.
It is a return-on-investment conversation that is best conducted with the owner and/or practice manager who is interested in growth and understands that growth requires investment.”
For the reps, the sales cycle is longer and more complex due to the decision-making processes of the practice. Once the decision is made to invest in certain technologies, the next steps are the actual implementation, installation, and the training of staff members, all of which are managed by the sales rep. “During these steps, our sales teams’ focus is on helping with and supporting the adoption of the technology over time and helping reduce any undue disruption.”
MWI reps do more than offer great products at a great value with great efficiency and great reliability… they help their accounts grow, especially in the area of client compliance, by offering a powerful and customizable technology-based client engagement platform, said Besoushko. “The true value of the ALLYDVM solution is its ability to enable simultaneous improvements in health outcomes for patients and financial outcomes for practices through improved client compliance, retention, and experience. By using ALLYDVM to automate communications, schedule more appointments and improve data quality over time, the day-to-day operations of the practice become easier, more efficient and effective, giving the staff more time to dedicate to the animals and the pet owners.”
Per day gains
Besoushko said according to industry figures, the average veterinary practice has roughly a dozen opportunities each day to schedule an appointment for a pet that is (1) currently past-due AND (2) living in the household of a client who is already bringing in a different pet that day. Inviting clients to bring in those other pets is the easiest way to increase health outcomes for the patients and financial outcomes for the practice, she said.
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