As the health care industry continues to recognize the value of non-medical home care services, a growing number of providers are offering both medical and non-medical services. Agencies that offer the continuum of care can benefit from dividing their sales team by service, industry leaders say.
Executives shared that view and other winning sales and marketing strategies April 10 during a panel discussion at Home Health Care News’ Capital + Strategy Forum in Washington, D.C.
“A home health sell is very different than a home care sell and is very different than hospice,” panelist Wanda Coley, president and COO at Wilmington, North Carolina-based Well Care Health, told conference attendees. “[We’ve been] trying to really divide those sales teams so you can speak to the customer at that level.”
Panel moderator John Griscavage, CEO of San Francisco-based PlayMaker Health, agreed.
“In my experience, it’s a very different sale,” he said. “The several-hour conversation, holding the hand of the family member is a very different thing than the more transactional nature of home health.”
As those conversations have grown more sophisticated over time — with a larger focus by clients and referral sources on factors such as readmission rates and quality scores — Well Care has updated its sales teams to match.
“Most recently, we separated our teams,” Coley said. “We did have our sales teams selling the care continuum.”
Well Care provides home care and home health services to patients in eastern North Carolina. It’s also working to roll out hospice offerings.
“What we found was home health really took the majority of the [sales representatives’] time,” Coley said. “They were incentivized more on the home health side, so that’s what they sold. Private duty or home care received less attention, so we separated our marketing teams. In fact, we eliminated marketing on the home care side and rolled it into a branch manager role.”
The move has allowed sales representatives to hone in on selling home health, maximizing referrals. Well Care’s hospice line will also have its own sales team, Coley said.
Panelist Tim Hanold — CEO of Richmond, Virginia-based CareAdvantage, which offers medical and nonmedical services in the mid-Atlantic — also lauded separating service lines. His company has also recently taken a similar approach to marketing, allowing CareAdvantage to customize content for different areas.
“Previously we took a broad brush approach to our digital marketing platform,” he said. “We found that we really needed to outsource it and use a company called Five19 out of Richmond. They have these different tactics that allow us to be more hyper-local across the mid-Atlantic. That’s native video, that’s really unique blog content and things that really speak to our different markets.”
Meanwhile, panelist Lesly Cardec — senior vice president of marketing and public relations at Sunrise, Florida-based Interim Healthcare — says the home care and hospice franchise is also leaning into local marketing.
While maintaining brand consistency is a priority, the company is exploring new ways of allowing local offices to make locations their own.
“It’s a balance game,” Cardec told attendees. “Consumers are local. They want local marketing and local marketing is now becoming hyper-local marketing. … Where the opportunity lies is maybe the industry should look at the franchisor from the marketing perspective a little differently. Maybe the way that they view us is more providing the infrastructure to allow the markets to make it their own and adapt to their market’s needs.”