Over the past 30 years, life sciences and biotech organizations have developed a basic but predictable revenue model, which looks something like this:
more sales executives + more products + more messages = more revenue
While this model may have worked in the past, it is not the optimal path to profitable growth in the future. The ever-increasing need for efficiency and profitability is squeezing physicians and healthcare staff’s time, leaving them less time to spend with your sales team. These and other factors are leading to a dramatic decrease in sales rep productivity.
Today’s life science marketer needs more precision in their marketing strategy to achieve profitable commercial expansion. It’s time to change the formula. The key to increased sales and commercial productivity is smarter segmentation and targeting.
Start by developing buyer personas of your target customer(s) and their unique needs and behaviors. Buyer personas are a research-based model of your customer, which include demographic and psychographic profiles. This view of your customer helps to answer critical questions including: what goals drive their behavior, how they buy and what drives their buying decision.
By involving customers in the process and creating buyer personas, organizations have tangible profiles of their most valuable segments. With buyer persona profiles, the sales and marketing team can gain alignment on the critical insights needed to reach their customer in the most impactful ways.
Once you’ve embarked on a persona development effort there are three important considerations during the process. Before conducting your research to inform your buyer personas, make sure you pick a pool of customers and prospects who are representative of the type of customer you want to have more of in order to scale your business. Ask critical questions like:
1. Pick the right pool of customers and prospects
Once you have identified the target segment(s), you need to validate and refine your communications strategy by conducting primary research. For this reason it is critically important to include in your research those who reflect successful buyers or those who you perceive to be potential buyers. Insights gained from this research will serve as a valuable decision making tool when crafting your sales and marketing strategy. Who you talk to in your research really matters. Once your buyer persona research is complete, influence levels will begin to emerge. Based on the needs, behaviors and decision-making process of your buyer personas, you can begin to align your sales and marketing strategy to most cost effectively access these customers with the right reach and frequency to have an impact.
- Who truly needs my product – what makes them the perfect target?
- Are there enough customers who fit this profile to build a market?
- Can they buy my product? Be sure to address both access, and cost.
2. Conducting primary research
3. Create a target strategy
The result may be that your high-volume, ideal target audience is not the 30,000 doctors you originally thought, but only 6,000. These 6,000 doctors, however, are the profiles that will drive 80% of your demand, thereby dramatically increasing the efficiency of your sales outcomes with increased revenue and profitability.
In this scenario, less is more.
From Medipost.com, by Patrick McGloin, April 15, 2014