MedTech salespeople are understandably so focused on their day-to-day sales activities and quotas that they often miss opportunities to improve their knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities. The most proactive MedTech sales professionals tend not to wait until they are seeking a new job opportunity to connect with thought leaders and read up on trends in their profession, but it’s challenging to find the time to participate in, much less seek out associations and networking groups.
Not to worry. We’ve compiled a list of sales associations and networking groups that medical technology salespeople should know.
There’s no escaping the reality that MedTech sales are getting harder in the new era of value-based healthcare. Hospitals and their health system parents are getting squeezed financially. The same reality applies to larger medical groups, ACOs, and just about any other healthcare provider business model.
As the pressure is increasing for the healthcare industry to make more careful purchases, mergers and rollups that are increasing the size of IDNs are giving these larger organizations more negotiating leverage, and not just with payers.
This means that MedTech companies also feel the financial pressure. Price sensitivity (always an issue) is more acute than ever, and value-for-price considerations are a major focus for the customers of MedTech companies in their evaluation of medical technology purchases. Further, product life cycles in the MedTech market are longer, and differentiation between competitive products is more difficult and less driven by features of the technology. Decisions to purchase refurbished equipment are increasingly driven by price considerations and what is “good enough” rather than best in class.
In this challenging business environment, how can a medical technology company scale its sales model to help increase sales system efficiency and hit company sales targets?
Marketing teams at medical technology companies are under constant pressure and scrutiny from corporate executives and sales forces to create more demand for their company’s products. Though demand generation is hardly a new requirement for marketing departments, lead generation tactics must continually evolve to keep pace with rapidly changing market conditions and pressures felt by customers and targets of MedTech companies.
What worked even six months ago to increase demand and produce qualified leads may not be effective next quarter, much less next year. “Change is the only constant in life” is not a recent quote (check your Greek history from 2,500 years ago). At the same time, the pace of change has never been faster in human history, and that certainly applies to healthcare — and to marketing for demand generation.
Read on for an update on the most popular demand generation tactics for medical technology companies as they stand today. Each of these topics is worthy of an entire article or series unto itself, so consider this more a brief overview and impetus for further research and reading than anything complete unto itself.
Do you know how much data decay is costing your business? Data loses value over time; what was true and accurate last month is probably not completely true and accurate today. In fact, ZoomInfo compiled the results of research on B2B data quality and found that, each year, 30 percent of people change jobs, 43 percent of people’s phone numbers change, 34 percent of people’s titles and job functions change, and 37 percent of email addresses change.
It’s possible, with the rapid innovation and M&A activity in the MedTech space, that your customer and prospect database could experience even more data decay in a year’s time. So, it’s likely that the next time a member of your sales team logs into your customer relationship management (CRM) system, at least one piece of information that he or she needs will be inaccurate. And the next time your marketing team sends an email campaign, there will be more hard bounces than you’d like to see. Even worse when your field-based sales team is in market and didn’t realize a practice moved offices or became employed by the local hospital.
There’s no doubt that bad data is frustrating for your sales and marketing teams, but remember it can also be a source of frustration for clients. Data that causes a breakdown in communication may seem like unanswered emails or calls to your sales team, but it may come across to the client as a sign of poor service. And in the MedTech space, the inability to connect with suppliers is more than inconvenient; it can directly impact patient well-being, and it may be reason enough to start talking to your competitors.
The circumstances leading to people’s visits to hospitals and doctors’ offices are as unique as the people themselves. If you were to try to imagine all of the possible situations that could result in a visit — both commonplace and unusual — you might doubt that healthcare settings could rely on pre-created codes for diagnoses that weren’t so general as to be useless.
Before you get too far in that line of thought, I suggest you scroll through the list of ICD-10-CM codes.
The MedTech industry is having another active M&A year, fueled by new technologies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) broadening their portfolios to provide new products to the markets they serve. Mergers, however, can create uncertainty for your customers. They may have heard horror stories of how doing business with a company can change after a merger. Perhaps they’ve even experienced firsthand a decline in customer service or product quality — and in the MedTech space, neither of those is acceptable.
Your sales team is the strongest and probably the most influential connection you have with your customers. Here are five tips that can help sales reps retain current customers and, ideally, even close business with prospective customers during a merger.
In this era of value-based care, hospitals and the health systems to which they belong are intensely focused on metrics that directly impact their scores and related financial incentives and penalties affecting their reimbursement.
For marketers and salespeople who target hospitals and health systems as clients for their products and support services, performance metrics are equally important. Sales and marketing teams also benefit when they can look at these metrics across facilities and geographies to slice and dice the data to better understand their prospects and opportunities.
So which metrics are most important for MedTech marketers and sales teams, and how can those metrics be used to align the value of your company’s MedTech products to the needs of those hospitals and health systems?