In the wake of the pandemic, how we sell medical devices needs to change. Opportunities to approach healthcare providers in person shrank to a dismal level, and some offices are adjusting their policies so that they are no longer taking in-person sales meetings.
However, in an industry where professionals must constantly seek information and knowledge to succeed, adjusting their strategies to match the changing climate has opened doors and improved understanding of how to market and sell your products effectively.
Now, as hospitals begin scheduling elective and non-emergency surgeries again after being paused at the height of the pandemic, along with the technology advancements already taking place, medical devices are as in demand as ever.
How do you capitalize on this momentum? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Some Efficient Marketing Tips?
When you want to get your product on the market, whether you are a start-up or an established corporation, an outbound sales team is essential to collect and connect with prospective customers.
If the pandemic has taught us anything about working in medical device sales, it should be that inbound marketing and sales are great resources to have when attempting to reach the most significant number of prospects in the shortest time.
However, creating this content is not enough. Consider these next few steps to make yourself available online and become a trusted authority in your field that attracts interested buyers and holds onto them.
1. Design a Target Future Customer Journey
To begin selling your medical product, you must determine your buyer’s persona. The next step (often overlooked) is what you want your future customer’s buying journey to be.
This could include using a sales cadence, a specific and consistent follow-up schedule that is performed by all those in your sales team after attempting to connect with new prospects.
For many, inbound sales and marketing are the first steps when identifying potential buyers. Those in these positions should be helping to generate and nurture prospects using data-driven and personalized digital marketing.
This helps foster a trusting relationship between the company and the product before handing over this hotter and more concrete lead to the direct sales team.
While marketing your product, consider the following touch points (when and how to contact your prospects):
Social media attracts 4.6 billion people worldwide for an average of two-and-a-half hours or more daily. This means that social media is an excellent resource to help establish yourself as a recognizable and trustworthy brand between patients and providers.
LinkedIn, a social media site known for being a professional networking stomping ground, is an excellent choice when attempting to identify and contact the decision-makers within a healthcare facility.
Busy healthcare professionals check their emails more frequently than they listen to their voicemails. This is for a straightforward reason. They can check their email in passing rather than having to dedicate time attached to a desk.
The elements of a successful email include the following:
- An engaging subject line
- A personalized, informative body section
- A call to action — either a link to your website or a direct number for them to call
Phone Calls and Voicemails
Even if physicians and surgeons are more likely to see your email, this doesn’t mean they will engage with it or take further action to schedule a meeting. Instead, calling will likely provide the best ROI.
Calls convert to revenue 10 to 15 times more than web leads. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Online marketability has increased, but nothing sells better than personal connection.
SMS marketing has emerged as an effective strategy for promoting medical device sales, leveraging the ubiquity and accessibility of text messaging to engage potential customers.
For example, a medical device manufacturer could send targeted, time-sensitive information regarding product launches or special offers directly to the mobile devices of healthcare professionals.
Studies indicate that SMS marketing boasts a remarkable open rate of 98% and a response rate of 45%, showcasing its potential to drive sales in the medical device industry.
2. Consider More Video Content in Your Strategy
Video content may seem expensive regarding the upfront investment, but this is one of the best ways to engage your target audience.
68% of buyers use videos to compare products, and 85% of doctors who watch professional videos online have taken action due to watching a video.
These videos should be made available not on a personal case-by-case basis but should be present where your target audience gathers: on your website, social media, and search engines.
3. Marketing and Sales Should Work Together
To ensure a successful and seamless target customer journey, you should be sure that your inbound marketing and outbound sales teams are always in communication.
Your inbound sales team is constantly collecting data, helping to identify what is working within your sales strategy and what still needs adjusting. But online data is not the only data that you should take into consideration.
Your outbound sales team is working one-on-one with prospects. They should share with marketing common pain points and help the department avoid using wording and concepts that resonate more internally than with customers.
Efficient Sales Tips
4. Be Willing To Meet Outside the Office
In 2019, only 46% of physicians were surveyed to take on location and in-person appointments with sales representatives. After the pandemic, it is now reported that 87% of healthcare professionals prefer all virtual or hybrid meetings with medical sales reps.
You must be creative and consistently follow up with practitioners to secure time within their busy schedules to speak in person about your product or solution.
5. Recognize Changes Among Decision Makers
With many physicians moving toward smaller satellite offices, it is more important than ever to tailor your pitches to physicians and non-medical administrative stakeholders.
Although your pitch may use a hybrid approach, consider creating multiple buyer personas to better prepare for questions based on these individuals’ expectations and goals.
Remember that no matter the role within the healthcare facility, most providers and administrative staff are looking to improve patient outcomes at lower costs, creating a more sustainable healthcare system.
6. Actively Seek To Expand Your Network
Regardless of where you work within sales, your job is to be an expert on your product, but your ultimate success is heavily influenced by who you know.
The more introductions you make, the more likely you will be introduced to others. Establish yourself as a personable authority figure who values relationships.
Expand your company’s brand recognition and mission by attending conferences, lectures, and other continuing education opportunities.
Ultimately, you want to work your way into attending and being invited to speak about your product in front of large audiences.
7. Be Everywhere With Your Product
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, remote might be the way to go if you are attempting to sell highly complex or more advanced products. It has been proven that the most effective way to sell your device is by allowing providers to try the technology firsthand.
If they can use it, they can see exactly how it works and how it will benefit them and their patients in real time.
However, this isn’t always possible with this equipment as it can be large, difficult to move, and costly.
You should consider the following options when trying to provide hands-on demonstrations of your product:
These videos are designed to provide a ‘tour’ of your device. This includes examples of how it works down to a molecular level and the inner workings of such technology.
Augmented reality is when items are superimposed over the top of what someone can already see, integrating it into a pre-existing environment.
This can be used as a program on phones, IPads, or with Virtual Reality headsets. These devices are often much easier to take to a demonstration than the equipment.
Virtual reality is similar to augmented reality, except all images are digitally generated.
8. Know Your Product Inside and Out
When you are working with large networks of highly-intelligent individuals, the questions you are fielding will likely be vastly different based on the varying needs and concerns of those involved.
Before you enter a pitch with providers, you want to feel confident in your product knowledge. Be prepared to give concise answers to complicated questions.
Examples of questions that may be broached are:
- Technical Specifications
- How it works
9. Don’t Forget To Follow-Up
Identifying and contacting prospective customers starts a customer’s buying journey. If you can land a meeting with a decision maker, you should be prepared that their immediate response will be lukewarm.
They likely will require you to follow up to finalize a deal. 80% of deals need at least five follow-up calls before committing. Unfortunately, 44% of sales reps quit after one single follow-up.
Show tenacity and passion for your product, but also respect your prospects' pain points and do your best to address them as they arise, making them feel comfortable and confident in your abilities and products.
10. Position Yourself as a Trusted Authority
Your inbound marketing team should be positioning your company online as a trusted authority in the industry, but that will only take you so far. You will need to support that brand recognition when you interact with prospects.
An excellent way to do this is to ask those you are working with what their expectations are of you and your product after your pitch. This puts you in a position of service rather than selling. The answer to these questions will help you with future meetings.
To help you meet common expectations of prospects and keep up to date on medical journals, trends within the industry, and emerging technological advances.
11. Don’t Forget Customer Care
To better your long-term profitability, you should pursue new customers and continue fostering customer loyalty amongst your open accounts.
No, that doesn’t mean you have to pitch them new products or upsell them continually, but instead, be available to answer questions that may arise.
As the field of medical device sales continues to evolve, so do the roles and requirements you will be asked to do — including moving from simply sales to more of a consultant.
Referrals are one of the most underused tools within a sales team's toolbox. While 91% of current customers have expressed that they would give referrals if asked, only 11% of sales reps actually do so.
You have worked hard to establish the relationship between you and your customers. Let your reputation and product speak for themselves — but allow current customers to help spread the word.
From marketing to outbound sales, these tips can help you enhance your current strategies and improve your closing percentages and customer satisfaction.