The Evolution of the MedTech Sales Role


Men shaking hands


Those of us who have been around the Medtech industry long enough have seen dramatic changes in the sales process over the years. Sales teams around the World have been impacted by multiple societal and economic forces, which continue to reshape the relationships among the stakeholders within the healthcare value chain.

Ensuring that sales teams successfully navigate into the stormy seas of change have always been a priority to ValueConnected. We believe that with every recommendation comes an obligation to connect sales teams with stakeholders to guarantee implementation. Within our industry, most would agree that market access has added to the complexity of today’s sales function.

Starting in this blog, and continuing in the next two months, we analyze the dramatic changes brought by the increasing role of the economic stakeholders in the buying process. In this first article, we would revisit the old days: the Medtech sales rep as a partner to the clinical teams. The following article will focus on their expanded role as advisor to hospitals and clinics. In the last article, we will add payers to the equation.

Enjoy the ride!


Man thinking of sales solutions


The Old Days: It Is All About The OR!

The medical field has always been fertile for innovation. The development of surgical devices and diagnostic equipment have walked hand in hand with the advances in medicine. Although that proved to be a profitable business for companies, it meant also that new products must be launched in sync with the fast advances in treatments. The winning business model was to introduce new products at the speed of light, putting pressure on the healthcare systems throughout the World, but especially in the healthcare professionals.

To keep up with a myriad of new devices and equipment flooding the market, there was a need to capacitate physicians, nurses, and technicians in the application of these new products. Take the example of laparoscopy: in a very short time, surgeons had to learn how to operate through small holes in the abdomen, which redefined the dexterity needed by the surgical teams and OR technicians.


Sales team shaking hands


To facilitate – and speed up! – that process, companies put together sophisticated training programs for sales representatives, comprising human anatomy, disease states, and surgical procedures on the clinical side. On the commercial side, emphasis has been put on surgeons needs and personal relationships. Safety, patient benefits, and instrument ergonomics were the primary theme.

Although that approach proved to be successful for many companies for a long period of time, it also proved to be unsustainable for payment systems around the World. While the systems based on public funding were able to control the escalation of costs to a great extent, that did not hold true for countries with hybrid private and public expenditures. As a result of that, buyers and payers became an active voice in product usage.

But that’s when our next chapter will begin…

If you have any questions please do make sure to get in touch.