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Intelligent Sales Solutions for Medical Devices and Diagnostics

Cody holding a flask and Astro holding a computer tablet, both standing next to a table of lab equipment.

The evolution of the life sciences industry can be mapped to a few key trends that are dramatically impacting the future of medical device and diagnostics companies — including the need for increased innovation, rising customer expectations, growing pricing pressure, and continued consolidation.

In this webpage, we’ll explore these trends, the challenges that come with them, and the ways in which traditional business systems are ill-suited to meet those challenges. We’ll also introduce proven solutions that can help your business thrive in this new digital age.

CHAPTER 1: Industry Transformation

To understand how medical device and diagnostics companies need to adapt, we’ll cover four key trends and associated challenges, and how to evolve your business to stay ahead of them.

The digital revolution has given way to tremendous innovation — from mobile medical devices and healthcare apps to sensor-enabled pills and next-gen imaging. But this rapid innovation presents a variety of challenges. Medical device and diagnostics companies are under pressure to release new products more frequently against a changing regulatory environment, while also having to support a larger backlog of existing product lines. It’s likely regulatory compliance and scrutiny will increase, adding more time and complexity when bringing new products to market.

The digital age has given rise to far greater customer expectations, even beyond traditional consumer transactions — 59% of consumers expect their healthcare customer service to be as good as Amazon.1 As the consumer-centric mindset continues to spread to the life sciences industry, the success of your business will rely on more thoughtful, more personalized engagement with your customers.


OF AMERICAN CONSUMERS Expect their healthcare customer service to be as good as Amazon.

With medical device and diagnostics companies facing ongoing pricing pressure from legislators, payers and customers, growth is more dependent on maximizing efficiencies than ever — from unifying systems to optimizing processes.

As the tidal wave of mergers and acquisitions continues to roll through the industry, competition grows fiercer and fiercer. This creates additional demand for new efficiencies in terms of supply chain management.

Appy holding a clipboard and wearing blue scrubs.

CHAPTER 2: Technology Gaps and Data

The business systems upon which life sciences organizations have historically relied on are not designed for the challenges ahead. There are four areas in which improvement is crucial: sales productivity, customer engagement, mobile accessibility, and data utilization.

Over the last 15 years, the number of sales reps in the industry has decreased by more than 20%.2 As such, sales teams today are under great pressure to maximize efficiencies. They must find better ways to reach their customers and spend more time on high-value activities. Toggling between disparate databases or losing precious hours to redundant, manual data entry are major obstacles to success. Unfortunately, for most industry systems, these obstacles are the norm.


Decrease in the number of sales reps in the Healthcare and Life Sciences industry

While 50%–60% of a sales budget is likely spent on field reps,3 the opportunity for those reps to connect with physicians in person is diminishing, as hospitals and physician networks continue to limit access and influence. In fact, the number of physicians considered accessible is down to just 44%, from a high of 80% in 2008.4

In an age where customer relationships are more important than ever, this shift can be devastating. But a lack of in-person access does not necessarily indicate a lack of physician interest. There are other channels in play. On average, doctors spend 84 hours a year reading digital marketing material,5 and one in four in-person sales interactions has been replaced by a digital sales interaction.6 Nearly 70% of doctors prefer to receive communications via email.7 That’s why many drug websites feature a page exclusively for physician education.

Outside of work, physicians are consumers — and that shapes their expectations of how you’ll engage with them. From live videos to interactive detailing to in-case ordering, if your systems aren’t equipped to deliver a strong digital sales effort, you’ll fall behind.


Of Physicians are considered accessible, Down from a high of 80% in 2008.

Your reps need to be equipped to compete in the modern era. This can range from video chat capabilities that facilitate “almost in-person” meetings after typical office hours, to 24/7 access to the research needed to answer physicians’ questions. A mobile-first organization is positioned to engage doctors on their own terms. But it goes without saying, traditional business systems simply aren’t built with a mobile mindset.

Engaging physicians more effectively requires meaningful dialogue in which you’re sharing the right information at the right time on the right channel. That takes data-driven insights and automated processes. But the growing tangle of legacy systems being driven by mergers and acquisitions is hampered by siloed data, as well as a lack of analytics and automation — which means fewer insights and less ability to put insights to work.

Einstein standing next to a series of generic charts.

CHAPTER 3: The Salesforce Solution

How do you evolve your systems to keep pace with the disruptive transformation surrounding your business? How do you sell more with less face time? You need a complete platform of new tools — tools that enable you to meet rising expectations by selling more intelligently and more productively from anywhere at any time, while seamlessly integrating with your existing systems. In short, you need a CRM built for life sciences. Health Cloud is just that.

Health Cloud connects your patients, providers, and partners, allowing you to unlock the power of your data and leverage AI and automation to deliver commercial excellence.

An iPad displaying Salesforce's GUI.

Intelligent Sales

Salesforce gives you the perspective you need to understand where your sales are succeeding, but, more importantly, where they can improve and what next steps to take.

Field Force Management

  • Enable greater field collaboration and communication
  • Forecast your pipeline more accurately
  • Improve territory management by combining forecast and industry data for real-time insights
  • Deliver more efficient field training by providing standardized sales and enablement in a single, central location

Intelligent Account Management

  • View a detailed account history to inform forecasts
  • Get next-best actions and recommended email responses

Order Management

  • Receive data-driven intelligence recommendations

Sales Reporting

  • Drive actionable insights through flexible dashboards leveraging CRM data analytics
  • Increase the reach and frequency of your sales efforts
  • Improve the performance of key accounts and territories
  • Assess effectiveness and optimize your Salesforce tools
  • Easily identify top performers and coach your team

Sales Productivity and Customer Visibility

With Salesforce, all your data is in one place, and you have the tools to cultivate your leads and serve your customers’ needs.

Customer Engagement

  • Create and view a better pipeline of quality leads
  • Spot buying patterns across groups and facilities, then use built-in lead scoring, contact management tools, and intelligent next actions to close bigger deals, faster than ever
  • Guide reps through sales stages and teach best practices with a single engagement tool
  • Automatically capture sales activities and customer data
  • Accelerate sales cycles by engaging prospects with the right message, at the right time, on their preferred channels
  • Maximize rep productivity with efficiency-driven work spaces that cut time from every task

Seamless Sales and Marketing Alignment

  • Empower sales with the ability to run its​ ​​own targeted campaigns leveraging in-compliant and ​preapproved​ ​email templates and nurture programs​ that are​ ​developed by marketing
  • Know when prospects are ready to buy with​ AI-based behavior scoring ​that ​predict​s buyer intent
  • Understand when your prospects are on your website or opening emails in real time
  • Personalize your outreach by understanding specifically what content your prospects have interacted with through advanced engagement tracking

Order and Contract Management

  • Automate the customer lifecycle by streamlining the configure, price, and quote process
  • Compute discounts more quickly and more accurately
  • Manage trunk stock and overall inventory more effectively
  • Meet the increasing demand for health systems or physicians/surgeons to purchase devices online

Channel Management

  • Connect every communication channel for a 360-degree view of your customers
  • Connect and manage your payer relationships; compare product utilization data with claims and outcome data to bolster value claims
  • Foster stronger relationships with distributors, and uncover new needs to drive incremental sales
  • Gain visibility into revenue for each channel
  • Deliver vital purchasing information in real time, to align sales and service and create a cohesive customer experience

Mobilize, the way you want

As a mobile-first platform, Salesforce is perfectly suited to help you evolve into a mobile-first solution provider — helping your sales team meet rising customer expectations by giving them access to what they need when they need it and empowering them to collaborate more effectively than ever.

Mobilization and Collaboration

  • Enable your team to close deals anywhere at any time, with total mobile access to all customer information
  • Give your team the means to communicate instantly with peers, clinical specialists, product experts, or internal functions like sales, marketing, and so on
  • Foster and facilitate contextual collaboration on proposals, campaigns, opportunities, and dashboards
  • Create private deal rooms with customers, distributors, and partners
  • Improve sales productivity and effectiveness

Clinical Case Advisory

  • Engage physicians to build networks and connections with one another to reduce costs, while providing consistent, reliable care and a better patient experience

The challenges presented by the trends we’ve discussed here are imposing — but with the right tools, they won’t stand in the way of building a bigger, better business. Learn more about how Salesforce can help.

Learn More
Astro holding a computer tablet next to a table of lab equipment.