Because of this, early-stage device manufacturers & distributors often have person, location, and asset data stored in different silos within the organization. These silos range from email client contacts to documents to spreadsheets.
There comes a point on every medical device company’s growth curve at which the inefficiencies of scattered data becomes too costly an operational burden.
This is the point at which a medical device company typically begins to evaluate CRM as a shared data repository as well as a collaboration and process automation platform for sales, marketing, customer support, and field service.
Here are ten ways CRM can help a medical device company streamline operations and take their business to the next level.
1. Lead Routing and Disposition
Most medical device manufacturers collect website visitor inquiries via a Contact Us form. Often, the input from a form submission is sent to one or more people as email—but not stored in a centralized database. Sales inquiries are manually forwarded to the right salesperson.
When a form submission is a sales inquiry, routing a request to a salesperson via CRM allows salespeople to manage all of their leads in one place. Salespeople can also select the disposition (disqualified, working, converted) of each lead from a list. This is important feedback for marketing. The fact that leads have a disposition also signals to sales management that leads are getting the right level of attention.
2. Medical Device Quoting and Approvals
The format of a medical device company’s sales quotes can range from a simple one-pager to a multi-page document with paragraphs of descriptive text. The quote may include images.
For some companies, there may be certain quote line items that should only display based on which other line items have been selected. In other words, sales quotes are rules-based.
Once quoting requirements are fully defined, CRM can be configured to address those requirements.
If quotes need to be approved before they are sent out, workflows can be created that will automate the approval process.
Quotes can be converted to Orders before being sent to the company’s ERP system. This streamlines the entire quote → order → invoice process.
3. Presentation of ERP Data to Salespeople
When a CRM system is integrated with an ERP system such as SAP or Epicor, sales reps have access to customer sales order history within the application they log into every day.
Reports about their customers’ buying activity no longer need to be distributed to salespeople as email attachments.
Customer assets that are stored in an ERP can also be made visible in CRM. Having a snapshot of a customer’s assets can help guide salepeoples’ conversations with their contacts at an organization.
Assets within CRM can be linked to support tickets. By linking assets to tickets, a device’s complete support history can be viewed by any CRM user with appropriate permissions. Problematic field assets can be more easily identified.
4. More Effective & More Easily Measurable Digital Marketing
Traditional email marketing software is good at getting the word out en masse. But this is often at the expense of targeted, relevant messages to people in specific roles or at a certain stage in the buyer’s journey.
A CRM vendor’s marketing automation system offers a richer customer and patient experience than is available from email marketing systems.
Standalone email marketing systems leave salespeople out of the loop in terms of what communications their contacts are receiving and how contacts respond to those messages.
Just as ERP information within CRM benefits salespeople, marketing engagement data gives sales a clearer picture of each customer. Customer and patient engagement with marketing emails can be made visible inside of CRM.
Measuring Marketing Campaign Effectiveness
The effectiveness of a marketing campaign is difficult to track when there’s no sharing of activity information between marketing and sales platforms.
When a quote is accepted by a customer, the associated sales opportunity can be marked as “Closed Won”. The marketing campaign that’s associated with the opportunity can then be credited for the revenue.
With the use of reporting and dashboards, the effectiveness of each marketing campaign can be reported within CRM.
Connecting marketing campaigns to revenue allows for determining how to allocate future marketing spend.
5. Medical Device Customer Support
For medical device companies, customer support issues come in many different forms. Support ticket scenarios and resolutions can include:
- Addressing a shipping-related problem
- Training a user who has a knowledge gap in device operation
- Resolving a medical equipment issue via remote diagnostics
- Resolving a device issue via customer hands-on assistance
- Solving an equipment problem with an on-site part replacement
- Fully replacing a device when no other options are working
No matter what the customer support interaction, CRM can ensure that issues are resolved in a timely fashion. More complex issues can be escalated to engineering or to production.
6. Medical Device Field Service
When an issue with a medical device cannot be solved remotely via human or device interaction, the device may require field service. CRM Field Service functionality facilitates the dispatch of a field technician.
A work order can be created from a support case. A dispatcher can view and manage all appointments in a console. Field service representatives can each manage their day from a mobile phone.
If a field serviceable device is located in a treatment room in a hospital or clinic, it’s important for field service techs to know the exact location. This information can be stored in CRM. Each device can have its own physical address.
When devices are wheeled from treatment room to treatment room, RTLS can be used to pinpoint the current device location for field service purposes.
Within the Internet of Things realm, medical device data can be fed directly into CRM over a secure connection. This allows for proactive case management and field service. From a revenue perspective, a device IoT connection results in greater patient engagement, which leads to higher retention and cross-selling opportunities.
7. Additional Customer Feedback
Medical device companies are always seeking feedback from physicians, clinicians, and/or patients. Traditional ways of collecting feedback are via a questionnaire or a survey. However, surveys may not provide enough feedback. For one, they are not interactive.
CRM can make surveys more timely and relevant. For example, a link to a short survey can be sent out immediately after a support ticket is closed. The responses to this type of survey can be attached to their related tickets so that customer support rep performance can be measured.
8. Physician, Clinician, and Patient Interaction
A clinical team at a medical device company can benefit from a more free-form and interactive dialog with device users and with patients.
This dialog can be facilitated by the customer-facing functionality. In the medical device industry, CRM-based portals can be configured to serve and interact with anyone outside of the organization who is granted access.
9. Case Tracking and Practitioner Training
CRM can be used to create and track more surgical cases. Practitioner training events can be scheduled and marked completed for reference.
10. Management of CAPA Procedures
In this post, we covered the ways in which CRM can help with CAPA procedures.
With its customer service and support functionality, CRM is a natural platform for managing complaints, service issues, and repairs.
Extended CRM Functionality
Because some CRM systems are full development platforms, they can be extended to address needs that are specific to a medical device company.
By analyzing and prioritizing a manufacturer’s or a distributor’s key business requirements, the level of required extended functionality can be determined.