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B2B Lessons for Life Science Sales Organizations

Anytime there is a radical change, we seek benchmarks and precedents to guide our actions. We want to know who has been through a similar experience and how they successfully adapted.

In the current healthcare environment, life sciences sales organizations are no different. In fact, for years, Life Sciences organizations have sought benchmarks to help navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment. Fortunately, there are some industries that have faced similar changes and have lessons to share. These lessons focus on two key characteristics of a customer-centric organization: customer intimacy and customer engagement.

Traditionally the life sciences industry has been product-centric, focused on share of voice and marketing messages. Changes to the healthcare business model are forcing organizations to adopt a customer-centric model in order to align with the way the “buyer” buys. The good news is that industries like retail, consumer goods, and telecommunications have blazed a trail for Life Sciences companies to follow when making this transition.

First, it must be acknowledged that the shift requires an organizational change in mindset and process.  A key question is, “How the change will translate to the sales representative level?”  Since the customers (physicians, patients, healthcare organizations, etc.) already have a wealth of information at their fingertips, customer-centric representatives must shift to a consultative role to provide value. In this role, the representative seeks to educate and solve real practice or patient issues. In order to do this, the representative must have a level of customer intimacy. They have to understand the critical business and patient issues faced by the customer. Once understood, the representative must seek resources from across the organization to help enable a solution. The use of various company resources creates multiple touch points and the type of customer engagement that leads to customer loyalty.

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