Those who work in medical device and pharmaceutical sales recognize how quickly the field changes—especially since the start of the pandemic. A study from GlobalData found that while 2020 dealt a blow to the global medical devices market, nearly all impacted segments of the market recovered to pre-pandemic levels by early 2021. Now, the medical device market is expected to exceed a market size of $700 billion in 2030. Even with this quick recovery, sales reps need a medical device sales strategy that withstands current trends.
Outside of the pandemic, changing technology, patient expectations, hospital business models, and other factors have greatly changed the industry. In this blog, we’ll explore current trends in medical and pharmaceutical sales and how reps can adjust their medical device sales strategy accordingly.
The rise of telehealth and virtual meetings
While medical and pharmaceutical sales may have bounced back from the start of the pandemic, virtual meetings are still quite popular. The Department of Health and Human Services reported that telehealth visits increased from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to almost 52.7 million in 2020. Patients continue to pursue virtual care, and physicians and other decision makers can meet them from anywhere. This may impact medical device sales strategy. Sales reps may now have a more difficult time walking right into a hospital or private practice and immediately having an audience. They may want to incorporate other strategies beyond in-person meetings, like phone calls, emails, and of course, personalized video on a platform like Covideo.
Shift in medical and hospital decision-making
Medical device sales strategy used to be highly dependent on a sales rep’s ability to meet with a physician at various private practices. The American Medical Association Physician Practice Benchmark Survey found less than half of physicians worked in a private practice in 2020. Furthermore, hospital systems are consolidating into bigger, more powerful entities. The accelerating shift away from private practices to bigger hospital systems means sales reps may need to prepare for different audiences. Rather than taking a physician to dinner, you may find yourself presenting to corporate panels and committees of non-physicians. Reps need to tailor their medical device sales strategy to satisfy non-medical audiences and communicate stakeholder value, rather than just clinical value to patients.
Supply chain troubles and rebound of elective surgeries
Many elective surgeries, like orthopedic and dental procedures, were halted during the early years of the pandemic. Now, there is a rise in demand for surgical and diagnostic procedures to catch up, which means a stronger demand for medical devices. At the same time, there is a global semiconductor shortage brought on by the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising fuel prices, and other supply chain instabilities, according to Deloitte. About 50% of all medical devices have a semiconductor, which has left medical device manufacturers in a tough spot. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for a proper medical device sales strategy to solve the chip shortage, but it is important sales reps understand the global market, know where their manufacturer stands, and communicate honestly with hospitals and buyers.
Demographic impacts on medical device sales strategy
The aging population will make a large impact on medical device sales. Life expectancy is increasing, and fertility rates are decreasing. The U.S. Census Bureau found that people aged 65 and older made up 15% of the population in 2016—and that number is expected to rise to 23% by 2060. What does this mean for medical device sales strategy? The elderly population represents a huge portion of national healthcare consumption, and thus, the demand for pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturing will rise. It’s important for sales reps to understand the future of the industry and communicate to buyers how to prepare for these demographic changes.
Sales reps should tailor their medical device sales strategy to the demands of a changing industry. That means understanding the industry’s current outlook, looking to the future, and making a sales plan that better connects with the right decision makers at the right time. At Covideo, we help sales reps incorporate personalized video into their medical device sales strategy to make more authentic connections with decision makers—even when in-person time is not possible. Curious to learn more? Try a demo.