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Building Long-Term Relationships with Hospital Executives

GE Healthcare is a global leader in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services. Large strategic accounts play an increasingly important role in GE Healthcare’s long‐term success, and the ability to connect, engage and build long‐term business relationships with their customers’ senior decision makers is a critical skill for Account Managers. GE Healthcare in Europe was looking for a change in mind‐set from the typical day‐to‐day sales approach that would de-emphasize ‘selling’ to executives and focus on engaging them.

SOLUTION

Recognizing this challenge, GE Healthcare collaborated with Global Partners Training to create Engaging with the C‐Suite, a customized version of GPT’s Value Recognition™ program. This GE Healthcare account manager training program emphasizes key skills needed to effectively engage with Hospital CXOs, including:

  • Developing a global vision of the business of a Healthcare Facility;
  • Interpreting the financials and business metrics of a Healthcare facility;
  • Understanding the profiles and responsibilities of Hospital CXOs and their urgent challenges, issues, and opportunities;
  • Knowing how to gain and maintain access to Hospital CXOs by building credibility and trust with them; and
  • Formulating business proposals that address the CXO’s concerns and create value for

To ensure the new skills and behaviors were applied in the field and embedded in the behaviors and practices of Account Managers, the program was delivered in 3 distinct stages:

  1. Discovery and Preparation: Participants attended interactive online training sessions in small groups. Participants were charged with creating macro and micro analyses of their local markets using the PEST tool (Patients, Economic, Stakeholder, and Technology) and the CXO Mapping tool. Participants returned to a second online coaching session for feedback on their pre-work.
  2. Implementation & Planning Workshop: In keeping with the experiential nature of all Global Partners Training programs, a key part of this classroom element was to practice ‘Business Dialogues’, which required participants to engage the CXO and position themselves as a Trusted Business
  3. Application & Follow‐Through: A round of online coaching sessions provided feedback and guidance to participants while implementing their CXO plans.

RESULTS

Engaging the C‐Suite has been run in multiple locations in Europe, and a further adapted version has also been developed for the Life Sciences group of GE Healthcare. Some resulting highlights include:

  • Winning a large deal and opening up further opportunities using a Total Cost of Ownership approach
  • On the last day of meetings leading up to a sale, the GE point-person was asked what his position/role was, and he answered, “Sales”. Their reply was, “We would never have guessed”.

These GE Healthcare account manager training participants are applying the new skills and behaviors and, as a result, connecting with executives around their strategic challenges, issues and opportunities. This has resulted in creating new Trusted Business Partner relationships as well as deepening existing ones with hospital, life sciences and bio-pharmaceutical executives.

Notable quotes from participants

“Thanks to the ‘smart water’ I gain more trust from the customer and my open questions are allowing me to understand his real issues.”
Account Manager, Imaging, EU
    “The confidence we managed to build allowed us to pursue the tender of the service renewal contract and avoid third party maintenance.”
    Service Sales Manager, Imaging, EU
      “Along with other things, the C-Suite program has created a better relationship with our customers through the perception that GE thinks differently.”
      Account Manager, EU