For years, pharmaceutical and med tech companies have successfully leveraged the share of voice sales model to drive market share. More product messages delivered meant higher market share trajectory. In fact, most of the sales training and marketing collateral focused on product attributes and characteristics. Old habits die hard. While training and marketing try to be more customer-centric, much of the product support material produced today is still developed from the product or company’s perspective, not the customer’s. In turn, representatives struggle to communicate the value of solutions that their product could deliver to stakeholders. They continue to emphasize efficacy or mechanism of action, rather than how the product will provide value by solving specific clinical problems or helping the organization hit key healthcare metrics. This is a subtle, but vitally important distinction. Especially now, product-focused messaging frustrates stakeholders because it gives them only part of the information that they need to change their current practice. While knowing the features of a product is important, it is not enough. In order to feel comfortable with their decision to adopt a new therapy, stakeholders also demand that representatives articulate how a solution will impact their patients, practice, or organization, and to what degree. Specifically, they want to know what kind of unique advantage the solution may provide and how much it will be worth to them, before they can make a confident decision. Anything less will have a tangible adverse impact on market share.
Today’s successful sales organizations focus on integrating a consultative dialogue framework that encourages a collaborative discussion between the sales representative and the healthcare provider. Using this framework, sales representatives explore key critical practice/patient issues and the quantifiable impact those issues have on the organization. They can then begin to paint a vision of how their product can fit into a solution for the practice and the value that it can provide.
We have over a quarter-century of experience helping organizations differentiate themselves, not only by what they sell, but how they sell. By integrating a framework for consultative selling, we’ve helped companies shift from selling products to selling value to drive market share.