Background and Challenge

A global leader in cardiac-related medical devices was under growing competitive pressure in a key product category, and senior executives felt that the company needed to enhance its product capabilities and change its sales strategy to recapture share. As the company prepared to launch several new products, senior executives wanted to ensure they optimized their sales and marketing activities to maximize the product introduction.

Company executives asked for L.E.K. Consulting’s assistance in developing a launch plan. Central to the approach was creating a product launch “war room” – a dedicated space where company executives could manage all product launch activities proactively on a near real-time basis.

Approach and Recommendations

L.E.K. undertook a highly collaborative approach with the client organization, which included leading a designated team of sales and marketing managers. Working side-by-side with the launch team, L.E.K. facilitated a series of workshops to refine and finalize the account targets and launch key performance indicators (KPIs).

For each workshop, L.E.K. developed sales frameworks and straw man drafts to guide the team as they addressed:

  • Account segmentation
  • Prioritization and sequencing of account targets
  • Sales and marketing communication and feedback processes
  • Performance indicator monitoring 

At the onset of the initiative, some launch team members were sceptical of the launch planning and war room program. However, they quickly became advocates of the process as they saw how the team gained clarity, consensus and ownership of the program priorities. These team-developed priorities served as the core of the new product launch plan.

Implementation of the plan was highlighted by activating the war room to serve as command central for communications during the 90-day launch period. Ten key performance KPIs were tracked daily or weekly, and activities and account targets were adjusted rapidly in response to the evolving field dynamics.

Results

The product launch was considered highly successful, winning praise from the president and other Japan-based executives for recapturing share within the first 90 days and establishing greater coordination between the marketing and sales teams. Since then, the company has replicated the product launch planning and war room concepts across other divisions, illustrating the value and success of the approach.