Help hospitals and medical care facilities focus on outcomes instead of products
Medtech manufacturers are facing a bottleneck. The industry is expecting strong growth despite disruptions in the supply chain. However, this growth can only be achieved if they give in to healthcare providers’ demands for the best prices while addressing ongoing challenges that all manufacturers face: A lack of sales talent, customers’ rising expectations, and a need for 24/7 self-service buying.
One powerful approach that medical technology providers can adopt, is to take customers beyond the product, and into the solution by turning a sales catalog into an interactive experience. Medical manufacturers can invite customers or prospects to self-register for an online portal where they can explore the entire portfolio of medical solutions themselves. Self-service buying is no longer a scenario of the future, even for the most complex products.
Another way to effectively bind customers long-term is by providing exemplary aftersales service. This approach empowers customers with the ability to easily augment, improve, and maintain their previously purchased equipment —so that they remain focused on driving outcomes instead of the product.
A seamless aftersales experience lets your customers focus on outcomes instead of products
A seamless aftersales experience is crucial for this approach. Your customers should be able to buy what they need when they need it. An online portal for a medical manufacturer must be intelligent enough to automatically suggest the most relevant upgrades and add-ons to their install base. The entire configuration and buying process should not take more than 10 minutes.
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Setting up the foundation for simple selling for medical manufacturers
While the selling or buying should be simple, the system is anything but. That’s because your sales process is incredibly complex. Making sure everything works together requires integrations that a generic eCommerce platform can’t provide. There are numerous critical connections to be made. First, it needs to have two-way integration with your SAP ERP to ensure product data used externally is always up-to-date and accurate.
At the same time, it needs to feed order data back into the system to inform production. Next, it needs an embedded CPQ to ensure pricing accuracy and fast configuration of products or solutions. Lastly, it needs an embedded CRM so that sales teams can track and prioritize high-potential leads while identifying opportunities based on the customers’ install base.
In short, it needs to be integrated with a manufacturer’s backend systems and digital sales tools.
With the advent of cloud computing, digitizing your entire aftersales go-to-market takes just weeks instead of months. However, some manufacturers may have some reservations regarding the intangible aspects of digital sales. Some questions that decision-makers in your organization could ask before digitizing aftersales:
1. Would the business-customer relationship be affected?
Your answer: Digital sales can impact the customer relationship but in a wholly positive way. Digital sales helps your business meet customers where they are--a competitive advantage for manufacturers in your industry. It’s ready to sell when your customers are ready to buy. It has all the possible configurations your customer could want. And when your customers are not sure what they need, the system keeps your business fully aware of what upgrades, spare parts, or consumables are needed before the customer even realizes themselves. In essence, it enhances your relationships by removing bottlenecks from traditional sales methods, while keeping the things what your customers love intact.
2. Is digital sales a fix for something that’s not broken yet?
- Your answer: It’s true that for some manufacturers, digital sales is not priority simply because the traditional way of selling still works for them. However, from a business perspective, digital sales is inevitable. That’s because your customer demographics are changing—along with their buying habits and preferences. They are digital natives with a penchant for buying through an Amazon-like experience. Requiring a seamless way to do business is irreversible for them. Not being able to buy online (and thus do their jobs), will become a deal-breaker for most of them in the near future.
3. Can my digital sales system replace an experienced salesperson?
- Your answer: An experienced salesperson is irreplaceable. That said, they are now in short supply. Any of your star sales reps would be better off adding value to, or strengthening customer relationships. Digital sales offloads the burden of minor but tedious administrative tasks through sales automation and enhances the overall performance of your sales team. It can also enable self-serve buying so that customers can buy what they need, whenever they need it with minimal involvement from sales.
4. Is the system intelligent enough to sell complex products?
- Your answer: Simplifying the sale of complex products and solutions is one of the biggest advantages of a digital sales solution. An eCommerce portal with embedded CPQ stores engineering knowledge and turns them into a series of dropdown menus. A digital repository of knowledge that's readily accessible helps inexperienced sales staff sell even the most complex of products and solutions, while experienced sales staff can configure and generate quotes much faster than before.
Digital sales features Medtech manufacturers need for a resilient future
Today, disruptions of any kind have proven to be a constant. Medtech technology manufacturers now need to focus on building resilience to weather future threats to “business as usual.” That means your Digital Sales Platform needs to have advanced features baked into it. Here’s a list of differentiating features that your business needs.
Key features of a resilient Digital Sales Platform for Medtech manufacturers
- Real-time bi-directional ERP integration with embedded digital sales tools
- Knowledge about existing medical equipment of the customer (install base)
- Visual product selection through an easy-to-browse catalog, even for tens of thousands of products or product variations
- A natively integrated CPQ with a powerful configuration engine that enables simple configuration of complex solutions with 100% pricing accuracy
- Powerful visualization options to display medical solutions and configurations in 2D or 3D so customers can see them before they buy
- Smart upselling recommendations for the customers’ installed base. System-generated suggestions for matching products, consumables, spare parts, and services
- Guided selling for complicated products or solutions to be configured by the customer himself with the option to get live help from a sales representative
- Access to global pricing with account, customer, and region-specific discounts and promotions
- The ability to re-use existing sales models and enrich them with marketing data
- Easy and flexible B2B user rights administration to match the buyer roles
- Shopping cart management with inquiry, quote, or direct checkout with several payment options
- Workflow integration with the CRM to make sure every online-store opportunity is prioritized and properly dealt with
The list of features needed for effective aftersales digitization can seem exhaustive. However, these features come by default on a Digital Sales Platform built for MedTech manufacturers. Not only do the manufacturers get the features they need out-of-the-box, but they can also be implemented far faster than generic solutions. In this way, manufacturers can save on consultation and integration fees, as well as on human resources—while your business can start to leverage the platform in 6 months or less.
Business outcomes of taking aftersales online for Medtech manufacturers
For the majority of manufacturers, including those in the Medtech manufacturing industry, aftersales is a massive revenue generator. Taking it online can result in transformative outcomes. With digital aftersales, your business benefits greatly.
- Spare parts and consumables can sell by themselves as much as by sales reps
- Bind customers (and partners) into long-term, mutually beneficial relationships
- Increase sales of medical technology spare parts, consumables, and services
- Business meets customer demand for 24/7 self-service buying or inquiries
- Free up sales engineers to focus more on complex or value-adding work
- Complicated products are simplified or more transparent with 2D/3D visualization
Taking your aftersales online gives customers an easier way to buy your complex products and solutions
Leading manufacturers that invested in digital sales have proven that these goals are achievable. Your business simply needs a helping hand from a solution provider that knows your industry inside and out. Book a no-obligation consultation with our manufacturing sales experts to understand what In Mind Cloud and our advanced Digital Sales Platform can do for you.