10 ways to drive customer engagement and navigate around shifts in the medical device industry

Many in the medical device industry are reevaluating their go-to-market and overall sales strategies due to market consolidation, and impact on economic growth rates. Here are three reason as to why:

1. Cost reduction and corporate consolidation strategies

Medical device behemoths and venture capital groups are increasingly searching for rapid growth medical device companies to add to their portfolio of brands. The market is seeing a direct impact from this as collaborative opportunities are beginning to scarce. There has been a dramatic decrease in the salesperson to doctors ratio. Where you once saw that there was approximately one sales person per doctor, you are now seeing limited sales people with region segmentation. There is less one-on-one time, that is taking place in person while technology advancement is streamlining ways to engage and communicate.

2. Delivery Model Modification

Delivery models are not what they used to be. The overall sales cycle within the medical device and healthcare industry, have become much more sophisticated. Patients no longer need to go in to see a physician to get a flu shot, but rather medical professionals are coming into workplace environments to administer flu shots. This is a primary example of the industry shifting away from traditionally conventional models and becoming more refined. You now are seeing smaller private practices selling to corporations and even larger hospitals. This shows that buyers are beginning to care less about the individual relationships they once had with sales reps, and are starting to prioritize workflow processes, system standardization and overall ROI. This has a direct correlation when there are multiple decision makers involved, and the switch to more of a consultative sales approach, where focus is on the customer rather than the product being sold.

3. End Customers Continue to Change

It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify who the end customer is in some cases. This means that everyone is considered the “payer” at some point in time depending on the scenario and market. End customers have the potential to be health insurance companies,individual employers, an intermediary and/ or another third party. It is no longer about “Is the technology better”, but rather “is the technology superior and worthwhile. For this reason, it is extremely important to have high-quality and demonstrate value in all interactions with the sales cycle.

The Emphasis on Customer Engagement

Without a strong strategy to drive customer engagement, the probability of a successful medical device product launch is questionable. Customer engagement in all aspects of the sales cycle, is what is going to produce sales and drive growth. Many medical device companies leave gaps in their customer engagement strategy and leave parts of their plan vulnerable for failure. This is frequently seen more in larger organizations as customer engagement becomes more difficult the larger the company is. Here are some ways that you can enhance your relationships with customers:

  1. Creating and understanding customer persona’s
  2. Follow Up with customers
  3. Be aware and intentional
  4. Engage in interviews with customers
  5. Modify survey models to drive adaptive insights
  6. Drive pursuit of dream customers
  7. Create opportunities for product previews
  8. Build digital responsiveness
  9. Build consistent social content
  10. Show appreciation with “thank you’s”
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