3 Strategies to Successfully Sell a Medical Device During COVID-19
To sell a medical device during a pandemic, companies should optimize the sales process and invest in new market intelligence to understand how customers are impacted by the crisis.
Well, we made it – sort of. While 2021 has clearly brought its own uncertainties, 2020 has come to a close. In many ways, the global pandemic has fundamentally shifted almost everything we do, from marketing strategies to product development. And there is no doubt that different sectors of the medical device market have been impacted differently. Non-essential markets like aesthetics have seen a decline. However, point-of-care products, many of them related to COVID testing and treatment, have seen a boost and are expected to continue to grow.
But, pandemic or not, if you have a medical device that is either in the market or on its way, you need to get it into the hands of providers and/or patients. For some, this will be navigating health and safety concerns. For others, it will be standing out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
COVID-19 has changed the game, however, MedTech companies can learn to play by the new rules. Here are 3 strategies you can use to improve stakeholder engagement and successfully sell your medical device as you navigate the impacts of the pandemic.
Reevaluate your Sales Process
There is no doubt that your sales processes will need to adapt to COVID-era market shifts. However, this is also an opportunity to reevaluate how you sell in “normal” times as well. Is your value proposition effectively articulated? Are you presenting the right information and data at the right time when engaging with your audience? Are you practicing “smarketing” – in other words, is your marketing messaging and strategy married effectively with your sales approach? Is each stage formalized with clear cut requirements and success analytics? You may believe your current sales process is a well-oiled machine, but there may be missed opportunities or ways that you are not properly standing out from the competition.
Often it is a disruption to our workflow that allows us to reexamine how effective our operations actually are. Start by ensuring that you have a clear, well-defined sales and marketing process. And as you progress through analyzing each step, retrofit it for pandemic-era life. Not only will you end up with a more effective sales approach, but you have one that is scalable and able to flex in an uncertain future.
Use Fresh Intelligence to Engage Your Target Market
Now that you’ve effectively reevaluated and optimized your sales approach, consider your target client. COVID-19 has had profound effects on almost everyone in your ecosystem, your target audience included. One of the most important elements when you sell a medical device during a pandemic is understanding how your target audiences’ perspectives, motivations, and needs have changed. You need to have a clear picture of how they have adjusted as it relates to their ability to engage with your company and product.
Consider investing in market intelligence, especially primary market research, to dive deeper into the state of play and ensure your response is aligned with your target’s needs. If they are in emergency mode, you will need to adapt. Rather than approach them with a hard sell, perhaps it’s time to explore ways that you can provide other value during this time. On the flip side, if they are in desperate need of your product, work with them to optimize ordering or articulate the value your company brings to other stakeholders within their organization. The pandemic has taught us that we have to be ready for change, and that includes how you work with your customers.
Get Comfortable with Remote Engagement Strategies
Like many organizations within and outside of MedTech, traditionally, work is done in-person. And like other industries, you may find yourself conducting business via Zoom, Webex, or another platform. This is challenging for many reasons, not only due to the fact that demonstrating your physical product in a virtual environment likely doesn’t do it justice. It also might be challenging to get an appointment. Often those who are involved in the value analysis process with medical devices are often the same people who are tasked with procuring critical items like PPE. In many respects, you may have lost both physical access as well as mindshare.
Resist the temptation to “wait it out” related to stakeholder engagement. Many of us are eager for life to go back to normal. But the truth is, issues with access are likely not going away anytime soon. It’s important for MedTech teams to understand that, first, standing to the side may create an opening for a competitor. Second, remote engagement in some form is likely here to stay. Use this time to perfect your virtual sales process, from interactive online tools to webinars.
Selling Your Medical Device Requires Future-Forward Thinking
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that adaptability and capitalizing on the moment are two crucial company traits. Those that optimize their processes, collect up-to-date data, and wrap their arms around the tools of the future will get ahead.
As you market and sell your medical device, remember that the only way to leverage your value proposition is by ensuring your product gets into the right hands. And it’s only through innovative sales and marketing approaches that your product will enjoy that opportunity.
Are you looking for a trusted advisor to make your medical technology market-ready? Do you need updated market intelligence? We’d love to help. Contact us.