The Pacemaker: Making Medtech Tick


Brian Chapman
ZS Associates
Tobi Laczkowski
ZS Associates
Will Randall
ZS Associates
Matt Scheitlin
Associate Principal,
ZS Associates
Andy Kach
Associate Principal,
ZS Associates
Bhargav Mantha
Associate Principal,
ZS Associates

About the Blog

ZS experts offer real-world insights on today's sales and marketing issues, trends, and strategies in medtech.

How to Navigate KAM Incentives: The Square Peg of Sales Compensation

Posted by Russell Schubert on June 28, 2017

You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. The popular saying has been around for millennia. Chinese literature from 221 B.C. speaks of “square tenon and round mortise”: square peg, round hole. 

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Topics: sales, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, commercial operations, sales comp, KAM, medtech, Transition Plan, sales plan design, Russell Schubert, sales comp administration, medtech tipping point, KAM compensation

Musings From the ADA: Medtech Needs to Balance Health and Happiness in Diabetes

Posted by Andy Kach on June 15, 2017

I just came back from my first American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions event, held June 9-13 in San Diego, and there were a number of surprising revelations about the medical device industry’s role in diabetes treatment. 

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Health, medical devices, diabetes, medtech, Andy Kach, artificial intelligence, machine learning, ADA, American Diabetes Association, happiness, product development, diabetes management

Roll Up Your Sleeves: How to Achieve Better Outcomes Through Behavior Change

Posted by Will Randall on June 12, 2017

I often pause in restaurant bathrooms, amused by the familiar signage above the sink: “Employees must wash hands before returning to work.” Surely everyone washes their hands. While these well-meaning but rather amusing signs are found all over the U.S., do they actually have any impact on improving hygiene practices? Probably not. But what does that have to do with medtech, anyway?

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, medtech, value, outcomes, Will Randall, value proposition, behavior change, beyond the product

The End of the ‘Features War’: The Changing Definition of Value in Medtech

Posted by Brian Chapman on June 8, 2017

This blog post also appears on The Advanced Medical Technology Association's Medtech Conference blog.

Flipping through the duty-free catalog on a recent flight, I was amazed that the luxury watches section spanned 38 pages and touted features like triple-polished sapphire crystals, 300-meter water resistance, rotating bezels and dual faces with multiple time zones. I nervously glanced at my own Garmin GPS running watch and its blocky digital time display.

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Topics: sales, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, hospital, medtech, Implantable medical devices, Brian Chapman, value, value proposition, features war, luxury goods

Medtech Industry Experts Weigh in on the Future of Commercial Operations

Posted by Bhargav Mantha on May 16, 2017

I recently helped organize and presented at ZS’s Medtech Connect event, an annual one-day gathering of medical technology experts, commercial operations leaders and ZS medtech leaders. Many of the conversations among industry peers centered on sales planning, sales compensation and analytics—common commercial operations concerns for the dozens of medtech companies that I’ve encountered in my work. Of all of the tips and trends discussed in California that day, these three stood out:

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Topics: Bhargav Mantha, sales, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, commercial operations, customer centricity, sales comp, Sales Planning, Analytics, medtech, comm ops, IDNs

Three Barriers to Optimizing Your Pricing and Contracting Practices

Posted by Carlos Garmendia on May 4, 2017

The power of optimized pricing and contracting practices can be distilled down into a simple formula: Selling more at a higher net price while reducing the cost of operations will result in sustainable profit growth. Yet many medtech companies struggle to find effective ways to aggregate, assess and analyze pricing and contracting data, and to generate relevant insights to maximize sales for existing contracts, optimize price offers for new contracts, and streamline all supporting processes. Put simply, they’re leaving money on the table.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Analytics, medtech, Carlos Garmendia, manufacturers, insights, pricing, operations, metrics, pricing and contracting

Transitioning Away From 100% Commission Is Easier Said Than Done

Posted by Russell Schubert on April 27, 2017

Like making a soda commercial that doesn’t offend, or bumping a passenger off of an overbooked flight, transitioning sales reps from a 100% commission plan to a quota-based plan seems simple enough on paper, but as recent history demonstrates, their successful execution is easier said than done.

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Topics: sales, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, sales comp, Transition Plan, Russell Schubert, commercial strategy, 100% commission plan, quota-based plan, medtech tipping point

The Game Has Changed

Posted by Brian Chapman on April 21, 2017

Pete Masloski co-wrote this blog post with Brian Chapman.

This post originally appeared on Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry’s blog, DeviceTalk.

The 1980s were a time of great innovation for the medical technology industry. In vitro diagnostics were exploding with amazingly relevant diagnostic tests coming out every month. Self-monitored blood glucose meters came out and changed how diabetics managed their diseases. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators dramatically reduced the risk of death from ventricular fibrillation. Angioplasty, pulse oximetry, mainstream use of laparoscopic procedures—the list of product innovation is staggering.

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Topics: sales, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, medtech, Brian Chapman, 80s selling model, Pete Masloski, commercial strategy, value proposition, features, benefits

Here Come the Patients: The Increasing Role of Patient Preferences in FDA Decision-Making

Posted by Tobi Laczkowski on April 12, 2017

Patient empowerment is manifesting itself in many forms across the healthcare landscape, and its influence on medtech approvals is growing.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Patient, medtech, Tobi Laczkowski, FDA

Value-Based Purchasing: Are You Ready?

Posted by Will Randall on March 23, 2017

Several forces are driving significant changes in the healthcare market, prompting a shift towards value-based healthcare: The reimbursement landscape is changing.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, medtech, abbott, Will Randall, value-based care, value-based purchasing, J&J Medical Devices, Stryker

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