Our managing director, Ernesto M. Nogueira, was invited to be the chairperson of the Medical Device Sales and Marketing Conference in Amsterdam, an event organized by Connexus, held between the 29th and 30th of September with senior executives from the medical technology industry.
This was a great opportunity to share insights and experience from expert to expert in a very pragmatic forum. During the two intensive days of discussions, most of the focus was on how to prepare commercial teams to engage with multiple stakeholders with different perspectives.As indicated by the report from MedTech Europe, every 50 minutes there is one new patent for medical technology filed in Europe; which makes the medical device and diagnostics industry by far the most innovative in the region. However, the implication is clear: with so many products coming into the market, there are not sufficient funds or reimbursement for all of them.
So, what can commercial teams do to ensure their products have a place in the mind of decision-makers?
Value, not features, please
Most of the presentations mentioned the need to demonstrate value and explored mechanisms to achieve that through a commercial organization: from internal alignment and training to rebranding and deploying new approaches to healthcare providers and payers.
While the sessions provided different perspectives and take-away points, mostly based on the real-world experience of the attendees, one aspect was unanimous: the current medtech sales rep cannot handle the need to demonstrate value alone. Different teams must engage and connect to ensure the message is understood internally and communicated externally.
One of the presenters described how his company creates a strong interaction among product management, research & development (R&D) and clients. Instead of R&D pushing engineering improvements down the pipeline, and creating a burden for product management to position solutions that are not in line with what clients are looking for, the company decided to identify what could bring value to different customers before taking any decision.
Value is above all a perception. This means customers will definitely have different ideas of what is a true benefit or not. As presented during the event in Amsterdam, the company invested the time to understand the different customer groups they were serving and to identify which of their medical products could best serve such needs. This value-based approach would be very difficult to be achieve if you only involved the sales teams.
In summary, the two days of discussions clarified the need for companies to take the responsibility internally to demonstrate value, and not only to push materials, tools and clinical studies to sales reps in hope they will find the best message for any customer they face.
After all it is teams, and not tools, who can demonstrate value.
Value-based approaches represent one of the most effective methods for Medical Companies to position their products and justify why the market should pay for them. Everyday there are new examples of successful cases, as well as learning points. Follow us on LinkedIn to receive the latest news about the AAR implementation in the UK and its implications for the healthcare industry Also, subscribe to our newsletter and join the ongoing discussion.