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Study: Medtech Companies Fail to Realize Full Benefits of Commercial Operations Investments

Overhaul of medtech commercial operations capabilities can improve return on investment, drive company growth, global sales and marketing firm ZS finds

EVANSTON, Ill. – May 12, 2016 – As margins tighten and the commercial environment becomes increasingly complex, optimizing commercial operations can help medtech companies gain a competitive advantage. But while investing in technology and advanced analytics can drive medtech company growth, only a handful of companies are doing it effectively.

More than 60 percent of medtech companies said they want to improve their commercial operations capabilities. However, 81 percent struggle to realize a return on their investment, according to the Medical Products and Services Commercial Operations Study from global sales and marketing firm ZS. For the study, ZS surveyed 60 executives from a majority of the top 25 medtech companies in the industry.

“Commercial operations can be a revenue driver instead of a cost center for medtech companies – if they do it right,” said Andrea Traverso, principal at ZS. “Medtech has a major opportunity to improve performance with a more holistic approach that better integrates technology and various commercial operations functions into the overall business, but this can be easier said than done.”

Opportunity to Turn Commercial Operations Investment Into Bottom-Line Growth

The ZS study indicates that the 33 percent of medtech companies that are able to achieve at least a 10 percent return from their investments in commercial operations prioritize analytics, take an integrated approach to investments and leverage external partners.

The study finds that 62 percent of this group invests more in advanced analytics such as pricing analytics, big data analytics and social analytics, compared to the 22 percent of companies that reported no return on their commercial operations investments. High-ROI companies invest not only in technology but also in establishing the right teams and processes. According to the study, 63 percent of the companies that achieved a high return on investment had well-established sales planning and execution processes, unlike the 28 percent of companies that realized no return on investment.

Further, while medtech companies have a tendency to manage many commercial operations functions internally, the study shows that high-ROI companies are 2.6 times more likely to leverage partners to help manage their commercial operations than the companies that achieved no or low return on investment.

“Our study shows that while major hurdles do exist to achieving meaningful return on commercial operations investments, some forward-looking companies are already doing it well and offer valuable lessons,” said Bhargav Mantha, a manager at ZS. “The commercial operations organization at these companies is closely aligned with the business and has become an important profit driver by providing actionable business insights and enabling better productivity among the commercial teams.”

For more information about the Medical Products and Services Commercial Operations Study, download an infographic and a copy of the findings.

About ZS

ZS is the world’s largest firm focused exclusively on helping companies improve overall performance and grow revenue and market share, through end-to-end sales and marketing solutions – from customer insights and strategy to analytics, operations and technology. More than 4,500 ZS professionals in 22 offices worldwide draw on deep industry and domain expertise to deliver impact for clients across multiple industries. To learn more, visit www.zs.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Greg Austin
Director, Marketing & Communication, ZS

Anahita Wadia Khan / Kyle Adams
Sikich Marketing & Public Relations