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The State of Medical Technology Sales in 2021— Takeaways from Medforce Connect 2021

This year at Medforce Connect 2021 commercial excellence and marketing leaders from Europe’s top Medtech companies dug into the State of Medical Technology Sales.  The companies, including BD, Baxter, and Zimmer Biomet met to exchange ideas and get input for commercial and marketing priorities for the rest of 2021 and beyond. 

Of the topics discussed, how to thrive post-COVID-19, how to transform your commercial function to best respond to rapidly changing B2B ‘consumer’ behavior, and how to make the customer experience of the future a reality right now stood out as the main concerns for medical technology sales moving into 2022. 

The following is a selection of firsthand insights into these concerns from industry leaders who attended the virtual forum.

Note: Because Medforce is a private event, quotes cannot be attributed to specific speakers.

How to thrive Post-COVID-19

There’s no question that Covid-19 changed the way we live, think, and work— especially for healthcare professionals on the front lines of the crisis. Medical technology sales reps have had to adjust their own approach in response to these changes in order to better help healthcare professionals who are overwhelmed, busy, and still adapting to the new normal.  Here are some ways top MedTech companies are grappling with change and learning to thrive post-COVID-19:

“Digital was really helpful for patient engagement.” On how digital helped patients consult doctors during COVID while being afraid to go to the hospital.

“Hybrid will be a scale.” On the need for an adaptable approach to how reps mix remote and face-to-face engagement.

“A remote-only model has proven not to give the needed prescriptions.” On arguing for a model that embraces both face-to-face and digital engagement.

“It’s how we get there together.” On the big potential in millennials encouraging everyone to help them thrive to get the most value from their work.

“They need to be as valuable as physical reps— without the car.” On virtual and hybrid rep skills requirements.

How to transform your commercial function to best respond to rapidly changing B2B ‘consumer’ behavior

It is also clear that the shift to virtual buying and selling has affected consumer behaviors and habits, which presents yet another learning curve for sales reps trying to keep up with the times. Analysts indicate the average number of interactions in a digital B2B sales cycle has increased to 27, with more than half of those actions taking place before the buyer ever contacts a sales rep. The following statements from Medforce Connect 2021 show that medical technology sales organizations are meeting these new challenges using data-driven selling, regular sales training and coaching, and agile sales techniques.

“You need to have Sales and Marketing believe in it.” On cross-functional collaboration on key accounts.

“You have to place different bets.” On the need to pilot different things and build a fail-fast culture.

“If you get crap in the beginning, you get crap in the end.” On enabling data-driven customer engagement.

“We co-create it with the customer.” On how inside sales teams can help generate sales.

“Put Marketing in pole position.” On how to succeed with a customer-centric, data-driven approach.

“Reps spend too much time not selling.” On how technology and automation can reduce time spent on manual data entries and search for content.

How to make the customer experience of the future a reality right now

Covid-19 has changed how buyers want to buy and how sellers must sell going forward in order to deliver the customer experience of the future— that is, an experience that is thoughtful, personalized, data-driven, and dynamic. One of the ways companies can deliver a top-notch buying experience to their customers is by leveraging digital technology and data. Here’s how some top medical technology sales organizations are thinking about doing just that:

“We need to educate them that digital goes beyond webinars and Zoom calls.” On education sales teams on digitalization and how it enables a more connected customer experience.

“You can’t go from Amazon and Netflix experiences at home to a 20th-century experience at work.” On the need to meet new customer expectations in interactions with healthcare stakeholders.

“We don’t own a client.” On looking at customer-centricity through the right lens.

“I need those pioneers.” On the opportunity to use early adopters to build best practices when rolling out new training and sales enablement programs.

“You are special but not unique.” On the need for standardization AND customization to meet customer demands while being able to deliver.

“There’s nothing worse than amateurish gamification.” On the importance of doing training and learning programs in a clever, user-centric way.

“We’ve invested more than ever in AR.” On the need to embrace new technologies to improve customer support.


Enabling commercial success in Medtech 

If you’re interested in how we’re helping other Medtech companies ensure commercial success, you can read more about sales enablement for the life sciences here.

Sales enablement in Medtech

If you’re wondering how your sellers will meet the increasing demands of more sophisticated and informed buyers in digital sales cycles, Bigtincan may be the right fit for your organization. Request a demo today to talk through your current prospecting needs, tour the Bigtincan product, and see exactly how it can be custom-tailored for your organization.

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