Retrospectively, it is clear that in every economic/market downturn, some companies took aggressive actions that enabled them to outperform competitors during the ensuing rebound.
In January 2020, every healthcare CEO anticipated a good year ahead. Healthcare products and services were in high demand, the economic outlook was positive, and capital markets were strong.
By mid-March, every company was forced to deal with COVID-19. First, employees had to be protected and supported so they could continue to work safely and productively. Second, companies had to rethink how to support healthcare professionals in their fight against Coronavirus. Third, executives had to create new models to insure liquidity through cash conservation.
When COVID-19 restrictions lift, the original 2020 plan will be insufficient for company leaders who want to optimize performance for the balance of the year. Physicians and hospitals also want to bounce back; how and when they can do this will vary considerably.
Companies will find different needs among traditional customers, as well as among prospective customers. By preparing now, executives can lead their companies to respond more quickly and effectively than their competitors.
Strategic Challenges: Q3/Q4, 2020
Traditional Go-To-Market strategies may not capture the full revenue potential of the second half of 2020.
Customers will be receptive, but their needs and demands will likely have evolved. Companies must learn how to best serve healthcare professionals as they recover and resume their pre-Coronavirus medical practices.
Elective procedures will ramp at different rates across procedure types, physician groups, hospitals and geographic regions. The short-term potential of accounts will vary significantly.
Sales representatives have had less customer contact than normal, and may not have a complete perspective on the opportunities and challenges within their territory. Sales representatives can benefit from support with account prioritization, administrative load remodeling, and with new marketing initiatives, including messaging, positioning and pricing.
Strategic Alternatives for Q3/Q4 Growth Maximization
FSI is assisting clients who are creating post-Coronavirus growth plans. Our efforts vary by client, but include:
- Identifying how customers want to be served to meet their Q3/Q4 needs and enabling a service-level advantage over competitors.
- Creating an Account Prioritization Strategy (eg, which customers will bounce back first/most), to enable a higher rate of growth in Q3/Q4.
- Determining whether previous pricing levels will be acceptable, and whether new pricing strategies can be used to gain competitive advantage.
- Leveraging the sales force while its traditional efforts are constrained by current restrictions.
- Using the current pause to consider alternatives to the traditional Sales Strategy, which could provide the required customer support more cost-effectively.
- Making clinical and economic Value Proposition/Competitive Positioning more effective, more differentiating, and more relevant, in the context of 2020.
- Assessing changes in strategies and capabilities of key competitors as they work to adjust to the new dynamics of Coronavirus disruption.
- Revising Business Development objectives, given the opportunity to acquire, partner, or provide capital on a more favorable basis.
- Creating a 2nd Half Action Plan that builds on alternative recovery scenarios (by region and product line) and that considers all of the requirements of an aggressive “Revenue Push.”
- Conducting interactive Workshop Planning that identifies competitive initiatives, determines alternative competitive strategies, and creates appropriate preemptive moves for our client.
Strategic Mindset for 2020
Companies that perform best during the balance of this year will be those which:
- Consider opportunities as well as challenges and act aggressively.
- Prepare well ahead of the upturn, building on current customer and competitive knowledge
- Modify and differentiate their Go-To-Market strategy to gain competitive advantage and develop specific action plans to maximize Q3 and Q4.
- Use speed and agility as a competitive advantage.
Strategy changes made now can enable companies to maximize the balance of 2020 and provide a better foundation for 2021.