As a CEO, CDO or SVP Business Development in the health care services industry, you likely have a dozen things on your plate at any one time. Perhaps you are dealing with a competitive market, or maybe changes in the reimbursement landscape are adding to your everyday challenges. Regardless of all of the priorities on your current plate, if hiring a Director or Vice President of Business Development is on your to-do list, it needs to be a priority.

It is essential to know precisely what to look for to ensure that a health care Business Development candidate can meet your organization’s needs, and be successful in the position. Here is a look at some factors to consider when interviewing and choosing the best candidate.

Detailed Knowledge of the Health Care Services Industry

When you work in a specialized sector such as health care, it is essential that the individual you hire has the knowledge needed to succeed in that environment. General knowledge is valuable too, especially as it relates to financial acumen, business strategies, and understanding the needs of the hospital C-suite to whom the individual will be selling. Here are some potential screening questions you can use during an interview to determine if a candidate is a good fit.

  1. What are current business conditions that you feel keep hospital C-Suite executives up at night?
  2. Why do you feel the things you just mentioned are a hospital C-Suite executive’s most important concerns in today’s health care landscape?

Successful sales experience selling to the hospital C-Suite

  1. What type(s) of services have you sold to the hospital C-Suite and what were the job titles of the specific buyers you sold to?
  2. How long was the average sales cycle per deal?
  3. How did you manage the sales process (and move it along quickly) while also addressing the needs of each buyer?
  4. How many deals did you sell on average per year and what was the average Revenue and EBITDA per deal?

Capable of Developing Goals and Actions Plans

A leader in Business Development is going to be excellent at determining short-term and long-term needs, in addition to having a plan to reach each of those goals. In a specialized position in a busy health care environment, you need someone who can jump right in and find success quickly. Ask what the candidate’s plan would be going into the position.  Also, consider asking some of these additional questions to tap into how they think and whether it meshes with your organization’s needs.

  1. How do you go about organizing a sales territory, and how do you make sure you are spending your time wisely / focusing on the right / best prospects first?
  2. How many deals would you expect to sell during your first year? What about your second year and beyond?
  3. How was the Cold Calling process handled in your 2 – 3 most previous employments? (And if appropriate to your company’s environment) How do you feel about doing Cold Calling yourself?

Understanding Buying Process and Patterns

The person you hire should be fully aware of the buying process and patterns in buying within the health care industry. These days, finding information is as easy as searching online, so everyone involved in sales must be exceptionally prepared. In a situation where the individual will be responsible for Business Development / Sales to the hospital C-Suite, you need someone who is well-versed in consultative selling. Questions to consider may include:

  1. How should Business Development / Sales work hand-in-hand with the Operations team?
  2. How should Business Development and Marketing work together to ensure success?
  3. Tell me about how you invite / orchestrate team-members from the company to come into the sales-process at the appropriate time? And if so, how did you prepare them for their role in the sales call they participated in?
  4. What sales tools have you used? Which ones have worked well for you and which ones haven’t?
  5. What size VPBD team do you believe we need given what you know about this industry and our organization?

If your company is considering adding exceptional Business Development professionals to round out your healthcare Business Development team, consider using an executive search firm such as THE LEIS GROUP. We specialize in finding experienced, accomplished candidates with proven track-records who are perfect for Director, VP/SVP, President, or C-level roles. We work hard to create the exact right match between you, your company, and your next high-impact executive hire.