3 remarkable ways Salesforce CPQ can transform healthcare

by Paul Stevenson

There’s a dental office near my home that I’ve used for five years. Why do I keep going back? The dentist seems to know what he is doing, yes. The office is good about getting me right in for appointments—that’s nice too. But the real reason is the level of customer service. My dentist communicates with me between appointments. The hygienists know me when I walk in the door. None of the other medical offices I’ve been to can match their service.

Service is only one issue facing the health and life sciences industry right now. New state and federal rules make life more complicated, but there are tools available to help. One of the best tools is Salesforce CPQ, which can help you control company costs, increase collaboration, and improve the patient experience.

Controlling company costs

Keeping healthcare prices down for patients is one of the biggest issues in the industry. In 2018, state lawmakers introduced a total of 160 bills aimed at controlling the price of prescription medication. Of the 160 bills, 37 made it through their state’s House and Senate, where governors signed them into law. As more rules pop up around pricing, how can a company with a large, expensive operation keep care costs down?

Meet Zimmer, the world’s leading supplier of orthopedic products. Each day, it communicates with three main groups: healthcare providers, hospitals, and patients. With more than 100,000 products, Zimmer needed an effective way to connect these groups without raising prices. With Salesforce, the company merged all its customer data into one location. In business, time is money, and costs went down as well. This allows Zimmer to offer personalized, effective care to patients without increasing prices.

Salesforce also has the ability to automate some processes, one of the trending issues in the industry. In fact, 39 percent of healthcare executives reported investing in automation in 2018. The more routine tasks assigned to artificial intelligence, the less time employees have to spend on them.

Enhancing collaboration

Another big issue facing the healthcare industry today is a question of how to enhance collaboration. Communication is vital in any operation, whether you’re trying to recruit more patients or solve the opioid crisis. Whatever your goal, Salesforce CPQ can help.

In 2015, Dr. Laura Esserman, director of the University of California San Francisco Breast Care Center, faced a challenge. She had just been awarded a five-year, $14.1 million grant to study the benefits of a personalized approach to breast cancer screening. The study Dr. Esserman had in mind would involve 100,000 women and need a massive amount of data collection and analysis. She had funding for the study; now she needed the tools to carry it out.

Salesforce was an ideal solution for Dr. Esserman’s problem. Her team uses its platform for everything from recruiting to information storage. “These tools allow us to collect this big data and analyze and use the findings to make changes,” said Carlie Thompson, resident physician at the UCSF School of Medicine. “The scientific progress and the tools are now in sync.”

Improving the patient experience

There’s no question: customer service and patient care are important. They are now more important than ever, as the healthcare industry moves toward value-based compensation. Health executives know to compete in a value-based future world, they need to make changes in their companies today. To remain competitive, they must focus on changing patient behavior and improving outcomes.

For Merck KGaA, a major pharmaceutical company based in Germany, this new trend in healthcare is a historic part of its business. “In the old days, your salesman or pharmacist was at the counter, and you had that one-on-one interaction all day long. This was the only way to get served at a pharmacy,” said Christian Stuppy, director, Global Marketing & Sales Domain Architect. “Now, we need to go back to those one-on-one relations.” But how can that be possible for the company today, when it has millions of customers?

Efficiency and personalization are key. Using Salesforce tech, Merck KGaA has been able to establish workflow processes that enhance the entire patient experience. Its marketing and sales teams share the information, which improves lead generation. Interested individuals can talk to existing patients about how Merck’s products and services work for them. Doctors are able to follow up with patients more between appointments, and patients don’t have to wait for their next visit to ask questions. Each aspect of the business is tailored to the needs of the individual seeking care.

It all goes back to my local dental office. Are they successful because they’re affordable, because the level of their internal communication makes me feel like the hygienists know me, or because they tailor their service to my individual needs? No, they’re successful because they exhibit all three, and they’re not alone. You, too, can step into the future of healthcare with Salesforce CPQ.

Paul Stevenson

Paul is a Principal CRM Strategist here at Simplus. An expert with deep CRM experience in healthcare, telecom, distribution, and financial segments, Paul is a consultant who drives CRM innovations to clear a path for growth in revenue and operational efficiency. He has hands-on experience in developing, marketing and selling CRM Apps and is a proven project leader with skills to lead CRM integrations with payer, provider, telecom, and proprietary operational and financial information systems.