The changing landscape of the medical device market has manufacturers reassessing their go-to-market and sales strategies. Two of the major changes impacting medical device product launch plans include:
Changing customer delivery model
Delivery models have changed human healthcare – flu shots are given at work or the pharmacy, private practices sell to corporations, standard appointments are conducted via mobile devices rather than in person. These models have expanded to veterinary medicine as well. From in-store pet vaccination clinics such as VETCO at PETCO, to small practices selling to larger animal hospitals, the sales cycle has become more sophisticated. A typical sales cycle now includes:
- A buyer who cares less about individual sales relationships and product features and more about standardization, workflow, and ROI
- Multiple decision makers
- Shift to a consultative sales cycle
Changing end customer
The transformation that healthcare is undergoing is making everyone a payer, creating challenges for those considered providers to identify their true customer. Whether your system is physician or hospital based, the ultimate customer could be the individual, employer, health insurance company, or another party. Therefore establishing value is essential. In today's marketplace it's not enough to question whether or not a piece of technology is better, the technology has to be better and worth it.
Customer engagement is critical to generating sales, and it is often the difference between product launches that succeed and those that don’t. The bigger the company, the more difficult customer engagement becomes. GE Healthcare, for example, noticed that their customer engagement was creating issues. Their teams weren’t close enough to the customer. GE changed their innovation model for medical devices to address this problem, which accelerated time-to-market by two years.
In collaboration with Launch Team Inc, we compiled the following tips and resources for download:
10 Ways to Improve Customer Relationships
- Create customer personas.
- Conduct customer interviews
- Change your customer survey model
- Host a VIP product preview
- Follow up
- Be conscious
- Form an Elite 100 of customers
- Go mobile
- Get social
- Say thanks
To learn how to implement these customer relationship best practices and make your product launch a success: