ZS Case Study: Coming Into Focus

Business Issue

A huge and extraordinarily complex opportunity

With a population of more than a billion and a rising middle class, India is emerging as one of the most enticing markets—and for medical products companies, potentially one of the most complex.

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While the country’s rise as an economic powerhouse is well-known in the business world, medical products companies know that India’s sheer diversity simply makes commercial assessment an enormous challenge. India’s health-care customers range
from patients treated at leading-edge research hospitals to people with far less access to basic treatments.

Simply figuring out basic market segmentation is difficult. In many areas of India, accurate third-party medical data is scarce or simply nonexistent, and market potential is often reflected in estimates, not as analytical models. 

As great as the potential is in India, can companies overcome these challenges to implement state-of-the-art sales and marketing effectiveness for their customers?

The Problem

Finding a model that served multiple markets

An Indian subsidiary of a global pharmaceutical and medical products manufacturer, this company is a leader in technology and products for treatment of many ophthalmological conditions, including myopia, astigmatism and cataracts, as well as general corneal health.

The company wanted to improve customer support in India through an optimally designed footprint of its sales force. India’s intrinsic market conditions made it extremely difficult for the company to estimate the overall potential per city and align the sales force size accordingly.

“We needed to prepare an aggressive investment plan for India,” says the subsidiary’s Asia Region Director. “The market, as we know, is highly complex, specifically to the industry, as well as to India’s large geographic diversity.”

Any plan had to reflect market potential for each district in India. Sales force size and allocation across cities were essential to ensure customers received appropriate support—especially as the company was preparing a new product launch.

The Solution

A plan that reflected potential

ZS helped the company leverage its India district segmentation and indexing analysis to create a solution.

Statistically robust techniques identified clusters of cities based on common characteristics relevant to the health care market. The solution comprised several steps in a holistic process:

  • Intensive research in each district cluster to determine market potential and distribution of value
  • Detailed understanding of the sales process and associated sales activities
  • ZS benchmarks on optimal workload and sales process
  • Sophisticated models to project unit workload for each segment, and predictive scenarios to review them

The Results

The ability to optimize sales resources

The company’s restructured sales force allowed it to implement business objectives such as the product launch, and reach and support an optimal number of customers.

The results included:

  • Better knowledge of and responsiveness to customer needs
  • Clarity of ROI scenarios, based on the available opportunity size
  • A deployment strategy showing the cities needing to increase sales personnel
  • Improved distribution of workload across reps and territories

“ZS was able to triangulate market size and segmentation in a relatively opaque specialty medical device market,” says a company director. “We planned our sales force investment on the basis of ZS’s important market knowledge and insights.”