Originally published on RubinSpann.com
Healthcare product marketers have all faced, at one time or another, the age-old problem of not having new, innovative products for their sales force to sell to customers and to defend market share from competitors. I am sure you have heard the complaints from sales management and sales representatives about the lack of new products in their sales bag.
The sales representatives grumble that their customers want new products at a lower cost. Or, their largest competitor just launched a 3rd line extension in two years, causing them to fall behind the competition. There is a solution to manage this age-old problem and reignite your sales team. Try to repackage your existing products until your next innovation or line extension is ready.
The lack of new products can be frustrating for you and your sales team. R&D delays, regulatory approval issues, or lack of your company’s focus on your product area can all be frustrating. Don’t be discouraged! An effective healthcare product marketer can transform their existing product portfolio into the hottest new item the sales force and customers are excited about by deploying a few tactics.
First, you can update some of your older products by kitting them together with new packaging and a new pricing strategy. No, this is not a new product line, but, repacking and kitting existing products can give the sales team something new to speak about to their customers until new products are available.
Second, you can provide new clinical data to support the use of your existing product portfolio, including new clinical guidelines from a hospital network, publishing the results of a consensus panel, or developing a Whitepaper to support your products. New clinical data which is packaged and published effectively across multiple communications channels can provide industry buzz for your current products while simultaneously reenergizing your sales team to reengage their customers.
Finally, you can offer your sales team marketing-sponsored incentives or bonuses to promote the product for a specific period until a new product is available.
In summary, there is always a fine balance between the sales force selling what is in their bag today vs. the next product innovation or line extension being available. Sometimes, the gap between the two is large. However, healthcare product marketers have a duty to be creative in keeping their sales force engaged. Kitting and repackaging products, providing new clinical data, and providing the sales forces with additional marketing sponsored incentives can go a long way in keeping the sales team engaged and energized until the next product innovation or line extension is available for launch. Try it, it works!