The business of healthcare is changing significantly. There is a growing sophistication in how hospitals purchase goods. This will transform our industry over the coming 10 years.

It is no longer sufficient to sell devices, we need to sell ‘complete healthcare solutions’ based on patient outcomes. As an industry, the medical technology sector needs to adapt accordingly. Medical devices need clear and succinct value proposition to compete in today’s market. Health economic assessments of products and value-based procurement are now the key drivers of sales.

Companies need to know their customers now more than ever in a value-based healthcare market. Medical device marketing is now a multi-faceted discipline in our highly regulated industry.

In 2017, a commercial survey carried out by the Irish Medtech Skillnet identified a huge opportunity for companies, with the right support, to attract, build or grow their commercial activity in Ireland. The survey identifies that “over 8 in 10 members believe the Irish Medtech industry needs to increase proficiency in commercial skills and activity”. The survey also revealed that the business to business and business to customer sales process is considered to be the most valuable aspect of sales and marketing for medical technologies, just ahead of business development.

Traditionally, competency and skills in this discipline is weak in Ireland and as the commercial presence is ramping up, we need to provide the tools to be successful and proficient. The medtech commercial experts analysed the survey results and identified areas of learning required that would develop the skills and competencies of their commercial teams . Key to the development of these competencies is the self assessment of all member organisations so that they can find out what resource areas they lack and how they can grow them.

Within the Irish Medtech Association, we have many difference organisations of different sizes, stages of development, and resources that require different skills and knowledge to transition from one stage of business development to another.

This presents a challenge as one business model cannot fit all circumstances. The Commercial Working Group are leveraging various models and developing a new best practice sales model in accordance to which stage of the commercialisation cycle a company is in, this will then be aligned with recommended support activities/tools to support with transition to the next developmental stage.

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