Heaven help the sales rep that shows up at a doctor’s office with a paper presentation! Even a rep that shows up with a presentation on a laptop gets laughed at these days. If you’re not on an iPad…forget it!

Companies in the medical sector are passing out thousands of iPad tablet computers to salespeople to spruce up their pitch to doctors and increase levels of engagement. It is estimated that time-pressed physicians typically give salespeople only 30 seconds per interaction.  The pharmaceutical industry is finding that presenting on iPads give salespeople a quicker, lighter and more attractive way of displaying drug-related product information, surgical implant techniques, video animations, images and more. The quick start up time means sales reps can jump into their presentations before doctors lose interest.

While some companies are still in the testing phase, giants like Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic Inc and Boston Scientific Corp are among the major drug and medical-device firms that have made the move to mobile. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

  • 65% of the Fortune 100 companies are either deploying or testing the use of iPads
  • Medtronic Inc recently bought 4,500 iPads for its sales and marketing teams, and could buy as many as 1,500 more
  • Heart-device maker Boston Scientific recently bought 2,000 for its sales team’s usage
  • Orthopedics company Zimmer Holdings Inc is rolling out more than 1,000 iPads
  • Drug and medical device maker, Abbott Labs, ran a pilot earlier this year and rolled out 1,000 iPads in the last few months

While it makes sense that mobile is the wave of the future for the medical industry (many physicians already use iPads to show patients clinical results at their hospital bedside) we still wonder if these medical companies are putting the cart before the horse. Many of them reportedly don’t even have applications to run on these “miracle” iPads yet! Plus, with notoriously bad network availability in most medical offices and hospitals, having purpose-built apps is a must for presenting on site without technical issues.

Medical device maker, Philips, realized this. Even with a comprehensive reference management program built on the latest platform, their reps needed a better way to showcase customer reference videos and other marketing collateral to prospects in environments that lacked internet connectivity. They approached RO Innovation to make it happen. After a collaborative development effort with RO Innovation, Philips now uses a purpose-built app that makes their reference assets readily available and puts sales tools at their reps’ fingertips, regardless of the availability of network connectivity. They report the benefits of this app to be outstanding – helping reinforce trust and reach new levels of engagement with prospects during opportunities of greatest influence – in person.

With the success Philips has had with the new mobile app, we expect to see others in the medical and pharmaceutical markets follow suit.

See a free demo of the RO|ReferenceView mobile app – the first and only of its kind on the market – and read more about Philips’ mobile app story here. Talk with our team of experts about getting your own customer reference or sales enablement mobile app today!

Jim Mooney
Jim Mooney is the Founder & CEO of RO Innovation. His passion for helping salespeople excel in all aspects of B2B selling, especially where customer references are involved, was the reason he started the company. His desire for helping others succeed flows through in the expert thought leadership he provides the industry, his customers and his employees.