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9 ways to ace your next c-suite presentation

By February 7, 2023November 28th, 2023No Comments

Communicating with the healthcare c-suite is a skill that anyone selling to the healthcare industry can master. Remember, they are people. They just happen to be people who are short on time, probably won’t recall what you presented last month, and want the data and facts in easily digestible bullets.

No sweat, right?

For real, though – it isn’t. Prepare and think ahead. As long as you speak directly, nail the high points, and defend your shortcomings with corrective action plans, you will satisfy the most critical bigwigs.

Here are 9 tips from our award-winning healthcare marketing agency for winning your next healthcare c-suite presentation.

1. Focus on results, not activities.

Your team may be “hard at work” on XYZ, but the tactics don’t make the investment profitable. What goal(s) did you accomplish that she can report to the Board?

Results (good):

  • Increased patient engagement by 40%
  • Improved patient use of existing patient portal by 26%
  • Improved patient experience scores by 18%

Activities (nobody cares):

  • Upgraded notification features
  • Added a new branded background to the app
  • Created more automated patient reminder emails

2. Show the relationship of results to their goals.

Stats in a vacuum are useless. Always tie them to the bigger picture.

Results (good):

  • Increased patient engagement by 40%
  • Improved patient use of existing patient portal by 26%
  • Improved patient experience scores by 18%

Results (great):

  • Increased patient engagement by 40% in Q2 vs. the target of 31%
  • Improved use of the existing patient portal by 26% in Q2 vs. target of 19%
  • Improved patient experience scores by 18% in Q2 vs. the target of 12%

One of my first bosses told me, “In God I trust. Everyone else, bring the right data.” Speak in bullets, but don’t delve into minutiae, and don’t use indirect communication.

3. Communicate value in business terms, not sales and marketing terms.

The healthcare c-suite can smell fluff a mile away. If the reporting doesn’t connect with their strategy, you’ll lose them in a heartbeat.

Business terms (good):

  • Saved $700,000 in estimated operations and turnover costs in Q2

Insider speak (nobody cares):

  • Patients rated the “physician finder” feature 9 out of 10 stars
  • Patients spent an average of 2 minutes and 57 seconds on the portal during each visit in Q2

It’s also essential to know your audience. Research the stakeholders’ LinkedIn profiles, where they went to school, their degrees, etc. If you’re speaking to an accounting major, use numbers and ROI. Marketing major? Lean on stories – just keep them brief.

4. Provide context for results.

There are two ways to do this effectively.

  • External benchmark: Our robotic process automation (RPA) vendor implementation resulted in an overall medical coding productivity improvement of 17% vs. our competitor’s average of 4%
  • Internal benchmark: Our RPA implementation resulted in an overall coding productivity improvement of 17% vs. our target of 12

5. Be consistent with your reporting format and content.

Copy the economic buyer on all weekly and monthly reports unless they ask to be removed from them.

Remember that your audience reviews this data infrequently, and they often consume lots of different kinds of information, including financial information, sales reports, research and development updates, operations data, etc.

6. Tell the truth. Tell the WHOLE truth.

Vendor: Our proprietary app improved patient experience scores by 30%.
CEO: How much of our cost does the app represent?
Vendor: 8%
CEO: What happened with the other 92% of our budget?
Vendor: *crickets*

Have an answer and a corrective action plan when you’re falling short. Any concealing or lack of transparency will hurt you big time. Honesty is always the best policy — no exceptions.

7. Take the opportunity to teach, not preach.

A common complaint is that CEOs don’t “get” the technology. Many times they think vendors don’t “get” their function. The highest-performing relationships have great depth and understanding across the executive team.

8. Use an authoritative (not arrogant) tone.

Leave your horn untooted. Your product or service may be crushing goals right and left, but don’t get cocky. Do, however, bring excitement and, if necessary, reinforce your successes with how your team and strategy are making them possible.

It’s important to understand your role as a vendor partner in teaching clients about your product or service.

9. Always answer these key questions with your product/service performance report.

  • Are we on target to achieve our goals?
  • How much is the client spending to achieve its goals, and what is the implied cost per outcome and ROI?
  • What are the best and worst performing (insert things we did)
  • Are we on budget to achieve the planned goal?
  • What optimizations could improve the plan’s outcome?
  • What has changed in the market we serve?

I had a good friend who was a CIO at a big health system. Before he passed, he told me any healthcare c-suite executive only had time to worry about the top 3 fires on his desk. Make sure you know what those are and are working to solve them.

Chris Slocumb

Author Chris Slocumb

Chris is the founder of Clarity Quest Marketing and Chief Growth Officer of Supreme Group. To learn more about Chris' experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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