How to collaborate with insurance companies (B2B)?

I just recently started as an intern on an innovative swedish mobile health company, and my responsibility at the moment is to handle the marketing for one of their projects: A Sleep Aid app that helps people suffering from sleeping disturbances as well as prevent people from getting it in the first place. As this internship is a 3 months trial (1 month have already passed, so only 2 more to go) I will need to show that I can bring in revenue for the company, and the quickest way for that to happen is to start collaborate with insurance companies so that the app and the service that comes with it can be available to the insurance companies clients. I have a great deal of knowledge and quite a lot of experience in marketing, but I'm very new to the area of insurance companies. The most usual treatment today for sleeping disturbances is medication, and to my knowledge there are barely any effective treatments out there (at least in Sweden.) I don't know if insurance companies differs a lot depending on what country it is. What way/s could be effective to reaching out to the insurance companies and make them interested? Any help is very appreciated! Best regards, Gabriel


Start by getting a doctor to 'sponsor' you - to recommend it to their patients. Give them a few for free so their patients can try it out - which will get the physician sold on it.

Meanwhile, also start reaching out to the right people in the appropriate insurance companies through LinkedIn and via email. You may also want to connect with people who have been in Insurance - like Jeff, Daniel, Craig, or Liran here:

When you reach out to executives in insurance, keep it personal, and tell them you are looking for their advice. I have a 12 step system to walk you through the sales process once you get a call lined up, but to get you started you could read The Little Red Book of Selling (quick read) or The New Strategic Selling (dense but invaluable). SNAP Selling is good too. Remember, this is all about relationships, so start with personal.

InMails recently changed to make it easy for you to keep costs down for outreach. As long as you get a high response rate, your cost of $10 per unanswered InMail will go a long way. If you can't use InMails, try sending samples with testimonials and call them to discuss the day after you expect them to receive it. Use FedEx sign on delivery to increase the chance it gets to them instead of a mail room or secretary.

Answered 9 years ago

I agree with Ryan Dravening that you'd want to start off lower down the ladder with doctors -- and I'd add patients -- before approaching insurance providers.

Yes, the insurance companies have bigger distribution. But won't they want case studies, testimonials, endorsements from people who've used the Sleep Aid app?

I don't know how frequently doctors use LinkedIn. My guess is that they're busy with their clinics and have little reason to engage in online professional networking.

But they might attend professional conferences. If you could find an event where many doctors are in attendance -- doctors who treat patients with sleep anomalies -- then you could make plenty of useful contacts.

I'd also recommend reaching out to patients through the usual methods such as SEM. You can easily target sleep disorders. Patients often research their own conditions and introduce new treatment options (both quack and non-quack) to their doctors.

With some decent questionnaires and tracking, you can tell the insurance companies how many of the patients and doctors they cover are using the app. Then perhaps your sales pitch to the big providers will find more traction.

Answered 9 years ago

I have owned businesses in and personally directly worked in the healthcare industry in the U.S. and so cannot speak directly to how things work in your country... But I suspect that the similarities outweigh the differences.

That said... I can all but assure you that attempting to get to end users via insurance companies or doctors will be very unlikely.

The entire "mainstream" medical culture revolves around minimizing liability to the providers while providing tested and scientifically researched and validated solutions to end users (aka patients).

The efficacy (in practice) of the solutions may be something you question AND your solution may be a good one...However you being in love with your product does not equal the insurance industry OR doctors OR even the end user marketplace being in love with it or even being willing to try it.

One key to effective marketing is learning to see the world through the eyes of your market. And that often means learning to understand with what they WANT and not what you think or "know" they NEED.

I strongly suggest you connect with someone to help you flesh out your marketing strategy. The current advice provided (in the prior responses thus far) indicates a strong lack of familiarity with the medical industry.

I wish you the greatest success.


Answered 9 years ago

Hi Gabriel, I applaud your idea to partner with insurance companies. I'm presuming that your rationale is that insurance companies could use your product as a alternative to more costly sleep medications? Just so you know I've built and sold solutions to the insurance industry for many years (mainly software and related services). I can't say I've dealt with Swedish health insurance companies but for arguments sake I'll assume they are similar to other insurance companies.

In order for your solution to be selected as an approved treatment (that they would pay for) by insurance companies, you would have to demonstrate clinical efficacy and lots of data to support the treatment. Additionally the care providers are going to have to make the ultimate decision to use your treatment. Generally speaking not many treatments that are considered holistic or natural make the list of approved treatments because they lack the rigorous clinical data proof and governmental approval that prescription drugs provide.

Have you instead thought of targeting the holistic and natural remedies market? There is a huge global demand.

Good Luck!

Answered 9 years ago

To set right tone for collaboration with a insurance company, choosing the right one really matters. Keep in mind the following when choosing the right one:
The price tag: Of course, you cannot put a value to your life, but when it comes to choosing an insurance company you have got to do some number crunching. A good idea is to use the web aggregators that are easily accessible today, to compare the prices and the various charges involved in the policy or policies you are interested in. Make sure that the insurance company you choose offers a pricing that complements your financial plan and you do not overshoot your budget.

History: An insurance company may put out flashy advertising, but you have to be a discerning investor and see how long the company has been in the business. An established track record is something that you must go are looking for when choosing an insurance company. Look at things like claim settlement ratio that is available on the site of the Indian insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and insurer ratings that are available on the websites of the respective companies, efficacy of the online platform (in case you want to buy your policy online), network and reach of the company. If you are considering an investment product such as a Unit Linked Plan or ULIP make sure you check out the performance of the fund online. Look out for companies providing ULIPs that have a steady performance and are not erratic in their returns.

Size matters: It all boils down to the brass stacks when it comes to choosing an insurance company. Check out the crucial numbers such as total assets, market share and growth ratio in new business premiums to assess whether it has the financial ability to meet your claims, if you need to make one.

Service quality: This is also an important factor while choosing an insurance company. You must take a call based on the kind of attitude the insurers have towards potential customers like yourself. Are they available to answer your queries whether on the phone or in person? Are they patient in their approach or do they seem too busy to make a sales pitch without understanding your financial needs. These are some of the questions you must ask yourself before you make a final choice.

Complaints and reviews: One does not pay much heed to this factor, but it does make sense to look out for the number of complaints or bad reviews a company may have. Although some of it may be fake and generated by competition, a volley of complaints of a similar nature against a same company should not be ignored. This should give you a fair idea about which companies to consider and which not to touch with a barge pole. Choosing an insurance company today may not be the easiest of tasks today, given the plethora of insurers that are there today. If you are having trouble choosing out an insurance company by yourself, take the help of a trusted family member or a friend who you know has the financial acumen to make a right choice on your behalf.
To successfully collaborate with insurance companies are as follows:
1. Define Your Purpose: First and foremost, you need to have a strong shared purpose. So, before you set up a collaborative project, take some time to identify and clarify what you want the group to achieve.
2. Choose Open or Closed Collaboration
If this is the case, open collaboration will likely be the most suitable. A great example of successful open collaboration is Lego's Create and Share website. It allows Lego community members to share their designs with each other and the company. When support for an idea reaches 10,000, the company then evaluates it and produces it under its Lego Ideas label.

In contrast, if your purpose is to perfect a product or process that requires specialist knowledge, closed collaboration will likely work best.
3. Involve the Right People
Once you have set your goals, you need to identify the people who are best placed to achieve them. Think about people who have relevant expertise, experience, and skills, or who are good at challenging assumptions and can contribute different perspectives. Assign roles within the group, too.
4. Achieve "Buy-In"
While some people will jump at the chance to collaborate, others may not be so keen. So, before you ask someone to collaborate think about how it can benefit him or her. But so, can outlining the personal benefits to individual collaborators, such as recognition, the opportunity to learn new skills, career progression, or the chance of a bonus.
5. Encourage Collaborative Behaviour
Collaboration can demand a lot from people. It means being open-minded, listening to other people's opinions and putting personal agendas to one side. So, it's essential that you try to encourage collaboration across your organization. You can do this by: Building trust. Collaboration can stall when people do not feel able to open.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 3 years ago

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