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 Salesforce as a shared data repository as well as a collaboration and process automation platform for sales, marketing, customer support and field service.
Here are nine ways Salesforce can help a medical device company take the 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 an 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 Salesforce 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 lead have a disposition also lets sales management know 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.
Depending upon the fully fleshed out quoting requirements, Salesforce can be configured appropriately to address the identified requirements.
If quotes need to be approved before they are sent out, workflows can be created that will automate the approval process.
3. Measurement of Marketing Campaign Effectiveness
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 will be credited for the revenue.
With reporting and dashboards, the effectiveness of each marketing campaign can be reported on within Salesforce.
There’s nothing quite like tying marketing campaigns to revenue to determine where to shift marketing spend.
4. A Centralized Database of Field Assets
The field assets of early stage medical device companies are often stored in spreadsheets or in standalone databases.
Once these assets are imported into Salesforce, they can be centrally viewed and managed. Assets can be linked to support cases. By linking assets to cases, a device’s complete support history can be viewed by any Salesforce user. Particularly problematic field assets can be identified.
If applicable, a field maintenance schedule can be tied to each asset.
5. Medical Device Customer Support
For medical device companies, customer support issues come in many different forms. Support case scenarios and resolutions can include:
- Addressing a shipping-related problem
- Training a user who has a knowledge gap in device operation
- Resolving a device issue via remote diagnostics
- Resolving a device issue via customer hands-on assistance
- Solving a device problem with an on-site part replacement
- Fully replacing a device when no other options are working
No matter what the customer support interaction, Salesforce can ensure that issues are resolved in a timely fashion. More complex issues can be escalated to engineering or production.
6. Medical Device Field Service
As alluded to above, when an issue with a medical device cannot be solved remotely via human or device interaction, the device may require field service. Salesforce Field Service Lightning facilitates the dispatching 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 be stored in Salesforce. Each device can have its own address.
When devices are wheeled from treatment room to treatment room, RFID technologies 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 Salesforce 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 to cross-selling opportunities.
7. Additional Customer Feedback
Medical device companies are always seeking additional customer feedback. Traditional ways of collecting feedback are via a questionnaire or a survey.
Salesforce can make surveys more timely and relevant. For example, a link to a short survey can be sent out immediately after a support case is closed. The responses to this type of survey can be attached to their related cases so that customer support rep performance can be measured.
Surveys may not provide enough feedback. For one, they are not interactive.
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 Salesforce Community Cloud. In the medical device industry, Community Cloud is configured to serve and interact with anyone outside of the organization who is granted access.
9. Extended CRM Functionality
Because Salesforce is a full development platform, it can be extended to address needs that are specific to each medical device company.
By analyzing and prioritizing a manufacturer’s or distributor’s key business requirements, the level of required extended functionality can be determined.