New research from McKinsey & Co reveals the MedTech industry is making a landmark shift towards hybrid sales – augmenting field sales with remote selling. Things are moving fast. Remote technology existed before COVID-19, but the pandemic catalyzed the use of remote technologies across all sectors – including MedTech.
A lot has changed in a year. It’s no longer a question of should a MedTech sales team embrace remote technology, but how to best implement it in the buyer journey. In this blog post, we take a look at what’s changed in MedTech sales, where it’s headed, and how remote assistance solutions from Rods&Cones can mitigate the challenges of selling in medical environments.
Looking Back To The Future
Only a year ago, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was charting the rise of a new generation of ‘MedTech milkmen’ empowered by digital technology. Whilst here at Rods&Cones we were highlighting the opportunities and business benefits of remote assistance solutions in our white paper A Lens Into The Future Of Medtech.
Amid COVID-19, it was clear from the findings, that to meet the challenges of 21st-century healthcare there was a pressing need for the entire space to adopt digital communication solutions. BCG’s research indicated that a typical MedTech company was some way from reaching its ideal digital maturity. It identified six components of next-generation MedTech sales:
- A bigger role for marketing – use more data-driven, multichannel methods.
- A customer-first mentality – identify their problems rather than sell them solutions.
- A bionic sales force – use digital tools for customer strategy and success efforts.
- Prioritized customer success – reduce churn and boost loyalty.
- An agile, use-case-oriented design approach – aligned with the customer journey.
- Digital enablers – with the skills, technologies, data, and platforms to drive success.
Just over a year down the line, what’s changed in the MedTech sales landscape?
The Future Is Now
There’s no question that MedTech is a fast-moving industry. McKinsey’s report suggests many of those key pieces have already fallen into place for forward-thinking medical device companies. That’s largely because they’re listening to customers.
Today, healthcare professionals are more open and willing to use remote technologies, largely because they’ve seen the advantages, and they don’t want to give them up. Remote assistance technology can bring expert guidance into the operating room (OR) without the need to travel or scrub in. It can also enhance medical device training and support, especially in remote and hard-to-reach locations.
Whilst face-to-face interaction is still the most popular, the preference for digital communication such as email, video, calls, and text messaging remains much higher than their pre-pandemic levels. This is good news for MedTech sales reps.
Rather than only turning up on-site to make one-off support, MedTech reps can build an ongoing relationship with customers. Remote assistance technology enables them to provide device-specific support, at a time that suits their customers, helping them move into the position of a trusted advisor.
Remote assistance solutions also facilitate product demonstrations and enable sales reps to offer guidance from outside the OR. Whilst an in-person demo is still possible, there’s no reason why it can’t be done through remote technology.
McKinsey’s report also identifies that the preference for remote interactions extends beyond demos, deliveries, and service appointments to ongoing needs such as product updates, and support.
The Way Forward With Rod&Cones
According to McKinsey, there are two main barriers to the use of remote technology in MedTech sales:
- Complex products need careful examination by healthcare providers and procurement professionals.
- Sales reps often need to accompany frontline healthcare professionals using the equipment during medical procedures to provide guidance.
Rods&Cones addresses both of these challenges. It allows sales reps to be in the OR remotely, giving them the same view as the surgeon, and an even better view than they would typically get from being beside the surgeon in the OR.
By cutting out travel time and attending remotely, sales reps only need to assist for the time they’re needed – allowing them to increase their commercial productivity. On top of that, they can potentially cover any geographical region without needing to travel. This saves both time and money.
Interested to see how you can use Rods&Cones as part of your MedTech sales strategy? Book a demo.