Facing an increasingly digital world, is this the year medtech finally catches on and says goodbye to the traditional sales model? Conventional thinking tells us that revenue depends on relationships. Plenty of data exists to support this; relationships build loyalty and loyalty increases retention; increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. What’s changed in modern selling is that the decision maker no longer has the patience or time for relationships that don’t exceed their expectations. Medtech needs to meet end users and decision makers where they are, and on their timeline. A traditional sales rep model simply can’t keep up to the 24/7 demand for digital support. It’s time to evolve.
Here’s what the future might look like for medtech.
According to McKinsey & Company research, what b2b customers want is “more—more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience. And if they don’t get what they’re looking for, they’ll take their business elsewhere.” According to the recent article, end users feel most comfortable with a mix of three formats for communication: in-person, remote and self-service (digital), which requires a hybrid approach to selling.
This personalized and hybrid approach, with an emphasis on delivering differentiated value in bite sized buckets can unleash the power of a true, modern omnichannel marketing strategy. In other words: “Be Brilliant and Brief,” a refrain we heard repeated in a recent podcast on this subject.
Creating a compelling customer experience requires the exploration of both in-person and digital channels that provide opportunities to educate and sell to end users seamlessly.
- Want to meet for coffee? Your sales rep can be there.
- Need online support? A nurse practitioner mans the chat bot.
- “Text me the specs.” Done.
- Need visuals on the procedure? Watch this quick “how to” video
A hybrid sales and marketing strategy takes the idea of “omnichannel marketing” and puts it into practice by building internal structures and tools to support every aspect of the customer journey. A traditional sales and marketing model supports the infrastructure of the brand, while a modern hybrid model is built around the needs of the customer, from lead generation, to sales support, to customer retention.
The Hybrid Approach: In-person, Online, Remote
The Evolution of In-Person Experience
The medtech sales rep will always remain a cornerstone of the medtech marketing strategy. In this highly competitive industry, feet on the ground make a difference and offer incredible opportunities for customer loyalty. How can medtech marketers use in-person experiences to increase impact in hospitals and clinical offices? There is a case to be made for the evolution of in-person medtech sales and marketing. Consider bolstering the power of the client experience by providing highly qualified clinical training, or offering subject matter experts and key opinion leaders for high level strategy and planning. In-person interactions could include more personal and differentiated experiences that resonate much more deeply.
Online, Everywhere, All The Time: Channels & Distribution
Time & attention are everyone’s most valuable asset these days. Here’s a consideration: if medtech marketers concentrate on packing value into their content, they might be able to attract MORE attention, in LESS time. Yes: Be brilliant and brief. Bonus: the ability to provide concise, impactful content when and where the decision maker is looking for it shows that you both understand their needs and value their time. Instead of talking at them, the brand is supporting their success. Recognizing the needs of the decision maker, and providing the content and support in every aspect of the sales journey is the basis for building customer loyalty. Digital channels give medtech brands the ability to create, distribute, and repurpose content quickly and efficiently, delivering it directly into the hands of clinical decision makers.
Recently McKinsey & Company reported that “81 percent of physicians and 89 percent of procurement professionals who participated in the August 2021 survey said they prefer to use more than one channel as they engage with medtech companies.” According to respondents, there is a returning demand for in-person meetings as the COVID pandemic has waned, but the growth in demand for email, phone, text and digital conferencing is increasing more quickly.
Combining omnichannel marketing strategies with innovative technology and a unique approach to organizing the sales and marketing structure not only provides a seamless experience for the client but allows the medtech brand to make the most of internal talent and outsourced expertise.
Digitizing the Human Experience with Remote Teams
Which brings us to the use of remote teams. These groups are instrumental to the success of a hybrid model. Why? They combine human intelligence and communications with digital convenience. They are teams of experienced clinicians, available at the touch of a button, and yet utterly “on-demand”. Remote teams can provide convenient support, relying on scheduling capabilities that keeps the time and calendar in control of the decision maker AND yet still provide one on one and group support that can only be provided by an experienced clinician or subject matter expert. Think webinars, online training and phone support solutions that make it convenient, simple and efficient to receive content, on the timeline that aligns with the buyer journey, instead of the sales reps office schedule.
A hybrid approach to marketing and sales only works with a deep understanding of the needs of the end-user. This requires an “ask, listen, learn” mentality.
Creating a truly seamless experience requires medtech brands to take a close look at their customers, and deep dive into their preferences and expectations for communication. Adopting a customer-centric view becomes simpler and more effective when a hybrid approach is adopted, because it intrinsically provides so many more ways to capture customer feedback, and adapt as needed. The final layer in the hybrid approach is the ability to apply rich and personalized content to the end-user through best in class solutions; eliminating inconsistencies, syncing sales and marketing touch points, and moving quickly on technological advances.