How medical device sales teams can embrace digital transformation
Selling amid a global pandemic has changed the face of sales forever. This is nowhere more pronounced than for medical device sales teams, who typically schedule regular visits to hospitals and doctors’ offices to create a personal, ongoing connection that drives forward the sales process. Now, those field sales experts need to sell virtually – which can be increasingly difficult when healthcare professionals have a packed schedule and limited time away from patients and the practice.
As such, there’s a greater need now more than ever to utilise new tools and technologies that support hybrid and digital selling in this new era. By utilising automation, AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), and asynchronous communication, salespeople can reach increasingly busy medical professionals who are juggling the demands of being on call and are fundamentally time-poor.
Just as automation has impacted hospitals to digitally transform outdated paper processes and create and deliver more efficiencies around patient care, automation can also streamline the sales function. Sales enablement technology allows salespeople to do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently, while remaining customer-centric. By putting doctors and medical professionals at the centre of their buying journey, sellers are able to circumvent some of the challenges of scheduling face-to-face meetings, while serving as a resource for these healthcare professionals on their own terms.
Often, sales teams can have multiple pieces of content, decks, and even video explainers. Instead of sharing via email, sales enablement allows these sellers to leverage branded microsites or digital sales rooms. When sales materials can be shared securely via a centralised portal, collaboration between healthcare professionals and sellers is much more streamlined throughout the buyer cycle. Sellers are able to automate who can see marketing-approved and sales-generated content, share additional context, and make it convenient to interact with these medical device buyers by commenting on files. Centralising content also improves healthcare professionals’ engagement, as sellers can gain key insights into how they connect with this content and make more informed decisions based on usage and engagement data. Moreover, in an industry as highly regulated as medical devices, sales enablement can ensure materials reflect up-to-date legislation, creating an accurate single source of truth.
Every healthcare professional is different so it’s crucial that salespeople personalise the sales experience based on their needs and interests. With digital selling, complex concepts and products need to be brought to life. As such, sellers should consider other means of engagement outside of ‘traditional’ sales techniques, as PowerPoint decks and one-page explainers just don’t cut it anymore. This is an opportunity to bring in more creativity and allow these buyers to engage in the sales process through a more gripping experience.
By using visual, interactive storytelling, the buyer experience can be elevated. Picture the impact and immersion of a 3D presentation that brings to life how a tiny heart valve can transform cardiac surgery, or how an innovation in engineering can accelerate the outcome of a hip replacement operation. This compelling visual experience can’t help but surprise and delight healthcare professionals – enlivening the impact of the device in question.
Sellers can demonstrate equipment and devices virtually within the context of how they would be used daily. By leveraging AR and VR, sales teams in the medical devices industry can deliver a better, more immersive experience, transforming how medical professionals learn about these products. Using 3D models, doctors can also get an actual ‘feel’ for the product and understand how they can incorporate it into their practice. What’s more, with tailored interaction and follow ups, sellers can easily determine how the AR/VR interaction resonated with the healthcare professional and whether they need any additional context.
Within the healthcare industry, navigating diaries and timezones to book a virtual meeting can prove challenging. However, leveraging video, sellers can record and send personalised video messages asynchronously to prospects in order to create engaging experiences, even if they can’t meet simultaneously for a virtual meeting.
According to Aragon Research, 85% of buyers will open a piece of video content, but ignore any other type of content. As such, video builds a more captivating experience, as sellers can film walkthroughs, which healthcare professionals can review at a time that’s convenient for them. What’s more, with a robust video platform, they can also easily annotate and highlight key information or ask for clarity on any of the materials. This type of engagement provides all the benefits of a personalised sales experience based on the healthcare professional’s availability. And, when they don’t feel rushed through the sales process to deal-close, the relationship feels more collaborative and reciprocally rewarding.
Digital transformation is making sales in the medical devices field much more interactive and, in turn, more engaging. Time is a precious resource for everyone in this profession, so when a seller can initiate a buyer-led sales experience that is respectful of the healthcare professional’s time, everyone benefits. Medical device buyers are able to absorb the content on their terms, while the salesperson can track engagement analytics and touch base with them at key decision-making points throughout the buyer journey. As salespeople embrace more digital tools, selling medical devices will forever be transformed.
About the author
Hendrik Isebaert is CEO of Showpad. After joining the organisation in 2016, he embarked on an extensive business immersion, working in leadership positions across Showpad’s dual headquarters in the U.S. and Belgium. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Hendrik spent two years serving as the COO, where he was fundamental to the growth and success of the organisation. In this role, Hendrik was responsible for the full customer journey, from prospect to close, to upsell and renewal, overseeing Showpad’s global sales, customer success, professional services, partnerships, revenue operations, and enablement. Before joining Showpad, Hendrik held positions at Bain & Company and Procter & Gamble. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Master’s in Science in Marketing and Economics from Ghent University.