In life sciences, “the speed of change has increased four times.” According to Stone, “Agile customers visit the internet about 95 percent of the time before engaging a seller in the dialog.” Thus, sellers have no chance to shape opportunities when their wisdom could provide real value. This means companies must leverage digital media to start an early dialog with customers then seamlessly transition to personal sales (and access to deep expertise) at precisely the right time. Point: marketing, sales and digital technology must fuse together and act as one.
In such a world there are two revenue leadership mandates:
1. Build a customer-driven ecosystem.
In 2015, MilliporeSigma moved from a product-centric sales model to a customer-centric service model. This produced positive impact in two areas:
With this model in place, the company was ready to create a more integrated marketing and sales team. This alignment was achieved in 2017 and delivered improvement in three key areas:
2. Invest in digital technology to enable the customer-driven ecosystem.
MilliporeSigma is driven to be a life sciences and technology company. This is an investment priority of their chairman who believes, “if we want to survive and deliver life science breakthroughs, we need to work on this, with urgency.” Such urgency is manifested in three important ways:
a) In 2017 MilliporeSigma started a Digital Incubator. They took 18 people out of sales and empowered them to explore which digital tools (and there were a lot) might help them improve the selling process. They gave this team several important mandates:
Thus, when IT got involved, they focused on tailoring a tight list of tools which had been given the field sales “seal of approval.”
b) In 2018 MilliporeSigma rolled out new digital tools to a team of 38 in North America, after which the tools went global. These tools enabled:
c) On the horizon: AI tools to identify customer ordering patterns, better mobile apps for field sellers and improved leverage of digital to create an omni-channel experience for customers.