ZS recently commissioned a study to assess the current trends and practices in the commercial operations space for medtech companies. The objective of the study was to get a pulse on how our clients are approaching their commercial operations, understand their investment priorities, and identify if any specific tools or approaches were gaining momentum in the marketplace.
Some of the findings were just a validation of what we all expected. CRM, for example, has seen significant investment, and many companies continue to struggle with advanced analytics. However, the study points to a larger, more significant challenge—and subsequent opportunity—that many medtech companies are facing.
The vast majority (81%) of participants indicated that they struggle to justify significant investment in commercial operations because they fail to demonstrate ROI. This is a major challenge for medtech, and if it’s not overcome, it can end up negatively impacting the performance of a company. Despite these struggles, the key benefits of efficient and effective commercial operations are apparent. Companies that have successfully invested in commercial operations achieve positive results in many ways: sales forces can focus on their core activity—selling—versus dealing with non-selling tasks that can be automated or handled much more efficiently by the commercial operations team.
However, it was a relief to see that for those who do invest in commercial operations, a good portion of companies are actually leveraging the full potential of their investments and achieving significant ROI and increased sales force productivity as a result. These companies have a structured, systematic approach to commercial operations, and they follow three key steps that enable them to find success with their commercial operations efforts.
My colleague, Bhargav Mantha, and I discuss these steps—along with the significance of the study’s key findings—in our recent article, “From Cost Center to Profit Center.” I welcome your thoughts and comments, and would really like to hear any related stories from your own experience.
Andrea Traverso is a principal at ZS and has helped clients improve their sales, operations and marketing efforts for close to 20 years. Her consulting experience in the medtech industry spans across multiple areas, including go-to-market strategy, opportunity assessment, segmentation and targeting, sales effectiveness, incentive compensation and overall commercial operations.