How to launch a medical device?

We recently finished the latest version of the ASPEN™ Product Launch Process package. Based on 2 decades of experience, the package brings together a macro view on how to launch a medical device successfully. At the heart of the process is the awareness that Market Access is mission critical. But other functions are not forgotten. In a true cross-functional spirit an entire roadmap is developed to ensure full synchronisation between all departments. Validated in a blue chip MedTech company, the process is now applied to other portfolios.

Leaders need to take one-on-one’s with their reports very serious

Very often we hear from our coachees that they do not get enough time with their managers. A fundament of managing people is to create moments of undivided attention on a regular basis. We call them 1-2-1’s.
These meetings – live or online – are not just nice-to-have’s that are easy to plug into the calendar. And then as easily moved around or cancelled.
Direct reports are not only needing time from their manager to know what is going on at the higher management level. They sometimes need to ventilate, they need mentorship, they need coaching. Direct reports are human beings with needs, and human beings are mission critical to companies (Thank you Tom Peters).
So, our advice to everyone having people management responsibilities: Make your standing meetings with your direct reports sacred. Fix the rhythm (weekly, bi-weekly), fix the right time of the day. Get into the right mindset: Empathy, willing to make your direct report successful. All other business matters will have to go on pause during that meeting. You will be respected as a leader, you will really know what is going on, and your department will have success. It is not rocket science.

Coaching via webcam

We are in April 2020, in the midst of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Social life is heavily disrupted. Businesses are as well.
We were in the middle of some coaching projects with newly promoted marketing leads and medical affairs leads. Since non-essential travel was not allowed and physical distancing was in place, we pivoted to Zoom sessions with our coachees.
It felt a bit awkward at first, and it came with some technical challenges, but quickly it became an effective method to continue the coaching interactions.
It would not have worked we think, in the absence of an existing rapport between the coach and coachee created in real live thanks to some earlier face-to-face meetings.
So, the future of coaching is definitely not 100% online. But it could play an important role to gain some efficiency halfway the coaching session (less travel, no office rental). Start and end, in our opinion, will require physical presence in the same room in order to be really effective.

Another successful Leadership Workshop

For the 9th year, CRESCOMED, with the help of its associate Vom Stein Consulting, delivered an effective Commercial Leadership workshop for 11 High Potentials of a large Swiss pharmaceutical company focused on a rare disease. The participants from all over the world spend 3 intense days to expand their toolbox and to sharpen the tools they already used. Apart from good fun, there was a lot of positive energy flowing through the group. They all committed to practice at least one learning over the coming months. Round 2 of the workshop is in October. Looking forward to seeing all the progress these Commercial Leaders have made in the meantime.

From Super Rep to Sales Manager

We all know how it goes: A Super Rep gets promoted to the position of first line Sales Manager. Of course, "if you know how to sell, you know how to lead a Sales team", no? (Sarcasm). This is the biggest mistake many medical companies make: promoting the high potential Key Account Manager to Sales Manager without offering support. What people tend to forget is that this is a ENTIRELY DIFFERENT JOB! The skills of a successful Sales Manager may not be present at the start of this new role. This creates frustration in the newly promoted Sales Expert. On top of that, she now has her peers reporting into her! She can't make the difference anymore by selling, she needs to do it THROUGH other people. Quite challenging. It should be standard practice for companies promoting former reps to offer them a coach for 6 months. This will serve as a shock absorber. We enjoyed greatly to accompany a newly appointed Sales Manager on her new trajectory. We started by making sure the person understood her default leadership style, became very mindful about this, before she could start working on her rapport with peers, the team and her manager.

Hemodialysis: To invest or not to invest (Part II)

About 4 years ago we were involved in a commercial due diligence effort related to a hemodialysis company. This time again we had the chance to validate an investment thesis, but this time it was for a company active in the home dialysis space. For years, people have been saying that Home Dialysis (HHD & PD) is the future. But it seems that there are various barriers to adoption. Some are related to the product, some to the patient population, but very often there is a market access component as well. A new therapy often does not fit established reimbursement schemes. Unfortunately for innovators, it is not enough to have a safe and efficacious therapy that is approved by the regulatory bodies and liked by the patients. If the funding is not there, everything may collapse.

Commercial leadership for pharma

It looks like we are on a roll. We have again been invited by a Swiss pharma Client to conduct workshops based on our highly customised Commercial Leadership course. This course differs from others because: 1) we do not offer off-the-shelf training, 2) we do not offer high brow academic sessions, 3) we use a humanist, coaching philosophy, 4) we use 2 coaches who are still very close to the real life, 5) we make every single learning moment as relevant as possible by linking it to the Client's reality. A truly global programme now, we are expecting to see a lot of positive feedback in the coming months and years.

Hemodialysis: To invest or not to invest?

The dialysis space offers a number of investment opportunities, now that consolidation is increasing. Some niche players may be interesting targets. We did a reality check of an investment thesis using primary and secondary research. It is fascinating to hear how customers have a very good view on suppliers despite the fact that they are not familiar with the business aspects "behind the scenes". Never underestimate a customer! They watch you, they judge you. They are your ideal coach. Detached and critical, but with a vested interest (the want good therapies for their patients).

How to sell a therapy portfolio

For our Client, Abbott Vascular, we developed a "Train-the-Trainer" Workshop to drive the adoption of a Therapy Portfolio Selling mindset among the sales people. Moving away from a product focus based on features & benefits, we created a framework for true value-based selling of an entire therapy offering. This consultative method not only motivates the sales team more, but will also engage prospects in a new way.