Your 'go to market' success
Learnings from medtech
Regardless of industry, sector or product when selling b2b decision and interest ultimately lay firmly on the value proposition.
At a recent startup and scale up tech event for the medtech market a panel discussed the best en
try to market and achieving sales. The panel was a mix of buyers, suppliers, consultants within and across the healthcare sector including from regional NHS trust. What first seemed somewhat irrelevant to other sectors soon transpired to be paramount. A first lesson in product market placement that I could very easily translate to challenges I have found working with young businesses
Out to market
The key lessons were as follows:
You need to know the current state of play and processes of your prospects: do you know where you fit in? Are they ready for your product? What are their business priorities and current business challenges?
It's important to understand your value proposition: what are you offering them in terms of problem solving? Do you ease their pain points? What rewards will they gain to meet their business priorities?
Understand the economics of your prospects: Do they have the budget and finances to invest? Do they have the resources to make it work?
Build the product within the standards you expect to interface: know what platforms and systems your customers use or the processes they have in place that your product needs to be part of. This is particularly relevant for new digital applications and system platforms that do not integrate with existing technologies where data exchange is limited and therefore causes more problems for the customer.
Knowledge of research required to meet delivery and regulations or operations of the industry: do you have the right facts on the market to hand? What evidence do you have to backup your points? What trends are you responding to? Are you aware of the political challenges through regulation and legislation and how you will respond to these?
What is the value you are offering the customer: what are the benefits you're offering to you buyer, the influencer and the user? What gains will the individual make by choosing to work with you and adopt your product? It's as much about the problem as it is the person.
Duty of care to customers to ensure it is effective and has the quality to deliver a brilliant experience, for end users: do you understand your customers customer? How do you help them improve performance and experience?
Working with industry
Beyond your product and market proposition the panel discussed at length the importance of working with the industry and being aware of the trends in the market and how to adapt and respond accordingly for the benefit of customers. Some of the key points they made included:
Opportunities of collaboration: find the right partners to work together with: the panel encouraged businesses to be more open about discussing new ideas in a wider circle since solutions get stronger with the more dialogue. therefore forming industry alliances or community groups to explore new ideas will help develop the industry and improve the delivery of existing products
A well rounded researched proposition with evidence will provide the grounding needed to gain trust from the market and move the product forward to adapt and respond to changing conditions
Get out as widely as possible, as entrepreneurs you're 'on' the whole time, there's always a chance to explain. Using events and conferences and chance meets to engage people in your narrative, you never know when a new opportunity will open its door
Identify champions who can do that work for you: how are you using your internal and external stakeholders, what role can they play and how can you give them the resources, skills and confidence to do it for you?
Consistent delivery of the story, especially when having multiple conversations allows you to reinforce your proposition. Therefore it's important to know your mission, your vision, the key values and your value proposition supported by a short set of key messages. When shared with your champions you're all sharing the same narrative and have a reference point when you feel you're going off script.
Know what are people looking for. Even if you know the problem or pain point your customer might not, so how do you tap into what they are looking for to make it relevant. By understanding the role your product plays within the wider scheme of business the easier it will be to connect with alternative opportunities to market
Partner to be flexible and adaptable: there are more opportunities when working with others in the marketplace that may have gone unnoticed or may seem irrelevant. Explore all avenues
Adapt to iterate proposition: Today you need to disrupt, so find the most authentic way of doing this
Branding and sales
The discussion turned to marketing the product and where to most rightly invest your money. There were a number of perspectives to really consider when taking a product to market and where business could potentially waste their finances and efforts:
You need to know what you're trying to achieve first, what is your mission? It may not be relevant in building a brand. Branding is a money and time consuming activity, therefore what avenues to market can build trust and customers without needing to be a big brand too?
Stories bring propositions to life, but first you need a viable core proposition.
First develop what you're offering before doing the sales. You need to know your product and have a product before trying to go out to market
Know who your connectors are. Tap into lead managers who can give insight to decision-making processes within your target client organisations inorder to speak to the right buyer, at the right time, with the most relevant and effective approach
Sales success tied up the discussion and how best to structure the commercial model for your customers best interest:
Activity and licensed based pricing: regardless the panel acknowledged that there has been a conscious decision to move towards models on the outcome of using the product and that decisions and success lay firmly in results
Alignment of incentives was also a key point made, businesses must ensure its incentives connect with the expectations of customers
Relationship building and communication is another major factor in both pre- and post-sales and how you continually add value and trust
Most importantly being clear about what you will deliver and how you deliver it - and this was not about the product but the outcomes relevant to their business goals
They advised the following steps in funding application to develop the product, build the market proposition, and go out to market:
1. Grant funding
2. Angel investment.
3. Early stage funding
4. Investment (seed)
If you would like to explore your market proposition, we at Haynes MarComs can help.Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org