ZS Case Study: Building Value-Based Selling Into Medical Products Sales and Marketing

Video Transcript – Marshall Solem, Principal

While the environment is negative, value-based selling can be a real opportunity to grow through it and continue to drive value.

We’ve actually seen these issues of value-based selling, or the lack of value-based selling, hit home with many clients. I’d like to talk about three [clients]—in the device industry, surgical devices, orthopedics and the diagnostics field. All of them were starting to feel the strains of revenue growth slowdowns, market share stagnation, and pricing pressures.

They were not able to articulate the true value of their products and differentiate their products from the competitors. But each of the companies actually knew that their products did have long-term value, they just weren’t able to articulate what that value was.

In each case, it started with deep research to understand where their products played and where they added value in the entire continuum of care. What were the logistical and operational considerations and implications and impacts of their products throughout that entire continuum?

They then also had to study how the decision-making process was changed. They understood where their value was, but now, how was the decision-making process changing in terms of the players and the process by which decisions are being made for these products and services?

And with all the research in hand, the companies developed a value-based message, whether that was attracting new patients or impacting downstream operational and logistical aspects and understanding what the costs where; they articulated what those value elements were; they built tools to help individual sales reps as they’re interacting with customers to articulate that value specifically for each individual customer.

They needed to think of their sales force strategies, and how they needed to adapt to the new decision-making processes. So at ZS, we helped them think about how does the sales process need to adapt to the decision-making process? And then, of course, we helped with all of the downstream things that would be associated with implementing such a new strategy—sizing the sales force, assessing individual reps’ skills against the competencies and all of those downstream things.

So you can see that depending upon where you’re starting from, the changes required for your sales force might be nothing short of transformational. But this needn’t be ominous and scary. What we’ve seen in terms of results make the transformation well worthwhile. We’ve seen sales growth rate increases of 5%, deal sizes increasing 6% and customer retention rates increasing 8%.

These are not trivial numbers, and in today’s medical product marketplace, they deliver significant value to your shareholders.