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CRM Buyer’s Guide for Med Tech

For companies in the medical technology space, finding the right CRM can be a serious challenge. The CRM Buyer’s Guide for Med Tech can help you cut through the noise and find the right CRM for your team.

Few business tools are as integral, valuable, and impactful as those provided by a modern-day CRM. Yet, sifting through the wide array of options available and finding the right CRM for your business can seem like a daunting challenge.

For companies operating in the medical technology space, this challenge is exasperated by a number of factors, such as:

  • Data security and compliance- Any tool that will store, access, and/or transfer patient data in the US must be compliant with all HIPAA requirements and standards. 

Patient information is not the only form of sensitive data either. Patents, proprietary innovations, project/test results, and the like all require access protocols that balance security with accessibility and flexibility.  

  • Unique sales/business processes- The sales/business processes that work so well in other industries don’t often translate well to Med Tech. Patients are not customers, test phases are not sales cycles, and success is not always measured in repeat business. 
  • Integration with specialized technology and software tools- The tools employed in Med Tech are unique and specialized. Integration with these tools can be costly, if not impossible, for many CRMs on the market.

Our CRM Buyer’s Guide for Med Tech is here to help. This guide will help you better understand what you need to consider when looking for a CRM for your Med Tech business.

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. At its core, CRM is a set of tools that assist with the day-to-day management of people, processes, projects, and products. CRM software helps you improve communication, work more efficiently, and track performance.

Key CRM Differentiators for Med Tech

CRM tools are so robust and comprehensive that identifying what features will make the greatest impact on your business can be difficult. 

Our extensive experience working with companies in the medical technology industry has taught us that 3 things matter for Med Tech companies more than any other:

  • Security
  • Customization
  • Ease-of-use

The more aligned these aspects are with the needs of your business, the better results you will see, such as higher adoption, faster time to ROI, and improved business efficiency.

CRM Buyer's Guide for Med Tech

Security

Perhaps no single consideration is more significant to companies in Med Tech than security. For a CRM vendor to even be at the table, it must be able to ensure the secure handling and storage of sensitive information.

There are several ways in which a CRM system can differentiate itself in terms of security, including:

  • Data encryption- The ability to encrypt data, both in transit and at rest, helps to protect against data breaches and unauthorized access.

Asking a sales rep on the first phone call about the data encryption capabilities of their platform can help you eliminate a number of candidates immediately. 

  • Role-based access controls- A secure CRM platform should offer robust user authentication and access control measures that ensure only authorized personnel are able to view and interact with sensitive data.

These access controls should be flexible and customizable to meet the unique needs of your teams. If they are not, move on to the next vendor.

  • HIPAA compliance- One of the most important factors for medtech is selecting a HIPAA-Compliant CRM. Software compliant with all HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations provides medical technology companies confidence that they are meeting their legal and ethical obligations. 

Few CRMs are natively HIPAA-compliant, so the ones that are become easy front-runners for companies in Med Tech.

Security is of top importance for medical technology companies looking for a CRM system. CRM vendors that don’t offer appropriate security features or can’t comply with all HIPAA regulations can be quickly ruled out.

Customization

Every Med Tech business is unique, and an important differentiator is whether a CRM can adapt to your specific work processes.

If a CRM tool requires your team to work in a new way, it is likely adoption will be slow and inconsistent. On the other hand, if a CRM tool makes the lives of your team easier while requiring little change to their day-to-day, adoption will go up.

So, how can you know whether a CRM will work for you and not against you? Let’s look at some key components that go into customizing a CRM.

  • User-interface- Medical technology companies need to be able to customize the user-interface of their CRM system to better meet their specific needs. 

When first looking at a CRM platform, ask if you can add custom fields to track unique data points or change the layout of your dashboards based on role.

If the sales rep seems confused by the customization process or requires a tech advisor to be on the call to discuss these capabilities, that is a good indicator of the struggle you can expect when trying to customize the CRM platform in the future. 

  • User-configurable- Agility is key to business success, and few factors limit agility more than relying on outside support to change internal processes. 

Firstly, outside firms are rarely as concerned about your business as you are, and even if they prioritize you, they may be limited by their own bandwidth. 

Secondly, contracting third-party IT services can become expensive, and ongoing maintenance for custom configurations will be required.

A toolset you can configure yourself ensures you can make adjustments when you want them and allows you the freedom to experiment. 

  • Integration- Medical technology companies use a variety of unique systems and tools in their operations, and a CRM platform that is able to seamlessly integrate with other software you already use can help to improve efficiency and streamline processes.

Spend some time on the CRM Integrations section of each vendors website. Do they have common integrations used in your industry?

CRM Buyer's Guide for Med Tech
CRM for Med Tech: Security Considerations

Ease-of-use

Almost every CRM on the market claims to make the day-to-day operations of your business easier. Yet, sit in on a few demos and you will find this to be far from true.

Clunky, outdated user interfaces and unintuitive navigation can make it hard to incorporate your existing operational processes into the new tool.

So, what are some indicators that a CRM will be as easy-to-use as promised? Look for a modern, intuitive design and well-documented knowledgebase with helpful guides and videos.

  • Modern Design- Companies have invested heavily in understanding how we interact with technology. Those investments have led to significant improvements in user experience and app design. 

In the world of B2B SaaS, however, change occurs at a much slower rate than in the consumer technology market. 

Most software tools released in the early 2000s still use outdated design elements popular from that era. Many legacy players in the space are trying desperately to dress up their outdated functionality with new skins, but these attempts are largely superficial, layered on top of outdated architecture, and this causes the user experience to suffer.

  • In-house support- The resources available to help you navigate obstacles are often overlooked in the early stages of your CRM search. This is a mistake.

If you need help understanding a feature or implementing a new tool, the kind of support you have at your disposal can make this simple or nearly impossible. 

A CRM with an in-house support team will know better than anybody how to help you. They are focused only on their software and customers, so the quality of service is higher and better than you will get from a third party.

Choosing a CRM: Asking the right questions

A CRM can improve nearly every aspect of your business, providing an ROI that goes beyond just dollars and cents (though a CRM provides plenty of monetary return as well). This makes finding the right CRM one of the most important decisions you can make. 

As with any important decision, the more you know, the better. Knowing what questions to ask and what features will have the most impact on your daily operations can help you navigate through your options. 

These questions can help you get started in identifying if a CRM vendor is right for you:

    1. Is data managed within the CRM platform encrypted in-transit and at-rest?
    2. Does the CRM system support advanced security features such as field-level security and role-based access controls?
    3. Is the CRM HIPAA compliant
    4. Are customizations such as form field changes user-configurable? Can you create custom Apps / Objects? Can you customize stages for your unique workflows?
    5. Is the CRM platform integration-friendly? Does it have an open API?

While these questions are not entirely comprehensive, they are enough to eliminate many CRM vendors in the first conversation, saving you time and allowing you to focus on the most promising candidates.

FreeAgent CRM powers med tech

FreeAgent is trusted by hundreds of med tech companies to help achieve their goals, expand operations, work their way, and stay secure and HIPAA compliant.

If you’re interested in learning more, we recommend these powerful success stories:

Try FreeAgent today, for free, and start having workdays full of impact.

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