A commercial-stage molecular diagnostic company was a late entrant to a particular segment of the market dominated by a major competitor who had a long and well-established relationship with the industries top KOL’s. Complicating the situation, this company spent very little time engaging with their competitors KOL’s to understand their unmet needs and instead focused on selling to a sub-set of KOL’s that they felt they had better access to. This plan of “appeasement” resulted in missed forecasts, no appreciable market share gain, and a completely demoralized sales team.
An insight-driven strategy was developed by first conducting voice-of-customer (VOC) qualitative research with the industries top KOL’s. During those face-to-face interviews, the KOL’s unmet needs and specific behaviors began to surface. Thereafter, the attributes mentioned by the KOL’s that they needed in a mutually beneficial relationship, were validated quantitatively (those attributes, behaviors, and insights were then used to develop new value propositions, messaging, and sales tools that included a new and standardized customer presentation deck). At that point, the KOL development plan was starting to come into focus. Next, a KOL influencer mapping exercise was conducted to identify and stack rank the industries top KOL’s. Finally, the sales team was trained and given their individual KOL targeting packages, as part of the KOL development program, which was supported by a new brand advertising and social media campaign.
The sales team’s efforts were tracked using the Company’s new CRM and within 6-months they saw a 55% increase in sales. In addition, customer satisfaction tracking was also introduced and increased by 51% during that same time period. The Company was subsequently recognized industrywide by the DxMA and awarded best “Reference Labs-Campaign” of the year.