Artificial Sales Intelligence in Orthopedics |

Artificial Sales Intelligence in Orthopedics

AI powered approach for reliable predictive data driven decision making

Compared to other healthcare domains the orthopaedic implant industry has always been a slow adopter of any new technology, and Artificial Intelligent (AI) is no exception.   The intent of this article is to highlight what to expect from AI technologies, and why orthopaedic business leaders should consider AI as a Problem Solver in data driven strategic decision and timely initiatives for sustainable revenue growth and ROI.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is en vogue, no doubt about it!  It seems everything will or can be solved by AI, however, we throw caution to the wind when we state that C-Suite executives  (65%) know they then need to invest in AI and have budgeted the money to do so.  Some industry analysts are predicting that up to 15% of IT budgets will be dedicated to AI by 2025.  The big question is where do these executives invest these ear marked dollars to generate the most bang for their buck or ROI!!  Down to brass tacks its either top or bottom line growth.  In terms of orthopedic implant sales how does AI increase the number of deals won, whilst at the same time making the sales machinery more efficient and cost efficient.

How orthopedic device sales could be driven efficiently by AI enablement for predictive Revenue increase

As orthopaedic sales team members your company has undoubtedly invested (tens of millions of dollars not just millions of dollars) annually on SaaS models to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system such as SalesForce (SFDC), SAP, PEGA, Microsoft Dynamics or the vast number of smaller CRM companies that have been funded and represented in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.  Further, you probably have been strongly encouraged (forced) to adopt the use of these platforms: setting up client profiles; linking emails and appointments; and inputting notes from your meetings into these data bases.  But what has this generated?  Has it helped you sell more?  Increase your commission or bonus?  Probably not!  

What has happened is that sales management can track progress with pretty graphs. You might also argue that your customer facing team is better off spending time in front of the customer or point of care focus rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time filling in CRM notes etc. Agreed, what we see is what our brain knows already, everything else is viewed with suspicious intent or pessimism. Everyone wants to do things in their known ways and any radical change means increasing risks and resulting in failure. Of course it is human nature and the way we are trained to do things. At the end of the day what we all care about is hitting our sales goals and annual budget achieved with a planned ROI right?  What if your methods are no longer relevant in the new norms of the digital era, especially this pandemic impacted health care economies?. Selling implants is now changing to selling Solutions. If you have already invested in digital platforms like AI or even Augmented/Virtual reality like tools, then your investment might indicate that adopting AI in CRM and Sales will pay BIG dividends, promotions and bonuses!

What if you could predict which deals would have a good shot at winning?  What if you could predict a closer to fact accuracy resulting in a very HIGH chance of a deal or sale winning? This would allow you to FOCUS your time more efficiently, rather invest more time in other conventional unpredictable sales activities that have a  lower chance? – Moving the bell curve to the RIGHT: more deals that have a higher chance of success?? 

A SIMPLE TIP:  Instead of spending time typing up all of your notes from meetings etc., try voice to text application on your smart phone, tablet or laptop.  After your client meeting quickly speak the summary and then copy and paste the text into an email and send to yourself with the client named marked.  If you have set up an email link for the CRM platform this will bring all of the information needed into the CRM for AI purposes.

Artificial Intelligence now makes CRM more meaningful than ever in predictive data analysis for decision makers

CRM platform companies such as Sales Force.com (SFDC) are trying to develop artificial intelligence products and technologies that will help the salesperson increase sales and revenue.  SFDC is the most advanced in this instance, and that is not saying much. SFDC announced Einstein in 2016 at DreamForce as an AI that would be able to increase sales for their client companies, well it has been five years and Einstein cannot predict if a deal or sale will progress from one stage to the next, Why?  AI is tough and is dependent upon the data that is available in the CRM platform.  Further, some companies are purchasing SFDC marketing cloud and are not able to use the majority of the functions but still pay the fees??


As we have established if an orthopaedic device company spends significant dollars implementing SFDC and purchasing the Marketing Cloud they want an ROI.  When they do not see that increase in sales after the implementation the first opportunity for blame is that the sales force is not entering all the necessary data – sometimes true, but the other side of this is that these CRM Platforms have been designed to capture lots of data such as emails, calendar appointments, documents sent, and notes from the sales person, however platforms such as SFDC cannot process that information. What is to be done with this data, well unfortunately most CRM platform companies have not figured out how to gain access to this gold mine.  Why?  This data is called unstructured data and the value is in the text or documents.  It takes a special skill set and technologies to harvest the value out of unstructured data.  The true value and gold in understanding and predicting if a sale will win and if not what to do next is buried in the unstructured data.

Grow sales revenue, Sales Force effectiveness while achieving cost and time efficiency 

So we have covered that companies want their sales teams to utilize the CRM platforms that they have purchased.  We have given you hints to make this less painful for a busy sales person whilst at the same time meeting the needs of management and the CRM platform.  So now what?

What you are looking for are predictions with a probability.  Will DR. X start using and buying ABC device?  Dr. Z is on the fence, what do I do next to get a meeting or give the ABC device a chance?  Well the answers to all of these questions are hidden in the unstructured data that resides in the data bases called CRM Platforms.  

DeLorean AI’s CRM AI predicts if a sale will win/close and if not where will it die in the sales cycle ,and what can be done to move the sale to the next stage or win with  probabilistic accuracy.

The CRM market is estimated to reach a market cap of $113.46 Billion by 2027 and medical device at $672B

The CRM market is estimated to reach a market cap of $113.46 Billion by 2027 – wow! Well, that obviously explains why there are so many players in the CRM industry as outlined by the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant: SFDC, Pega Systems, Oracle, SAP, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Freshworks, Pipedrive, Verint Systems, Appian, Hubspot, Creatio, CRMNEXT, Kustomer, SugarCRM, eGain, and Zoho. Obviously, the need for companies to leverage their sales data has resulted in an appetite to spend capital that supports this market and broadens competition. Concomitantly, there appears to be a line of investors willing to stake new CRM companies that fundamentally perform the same function as their competition with no true differentiation in terms of technology or client results. I imagine the logic behind this is that the market is so large that any improvement, even a small one, results in a good ROI. But hold up, or as my millennial and Gen Z friends would say “slow your roll”.

Currently, the global medical device industry is valued at $450B and expected to aggressively grow to $672B by 2027.  No doubt this growth will be fuelled by an aging population requiring biomechanical interventions and access to second and third world markets.  This growth will need to be supported through sales teams, but the question is it pure math resulting in more sales team members, which will result in a similar profit margin.  Interestingly, another path to support this swell in sales potential is to help the sales teams become more efficient – employing Artificial Intelligence combined with the power of the CRM platforms – driving more sales per sales person with higher margins.

Have these orthopaedic companies hit a wall in terms of the value that they generate?

Predictions prior to the COVID-19 pandemic estimated the orthopaedic market size anywhere between $55 to 57 billion in 2020. However the pandemic’s impact lowered this estimate far previous estimations as the revenue fell by at least 25% globally and actual market value likely be anywhere between $42 to 45 billion, however, there is an opportunity in this delta.  All of the elective surgeries that were cancelled will need to be performed in the coming year.

Both acute areas trauma/sports medicine and elective procedure volume fell in 2020 with a slight improvement in 2021 still not near where it should have been. This sudden drop in orthopaedic surgical volume resulted in a major backlog of procedures and is sure to trigger an exponential growth starting from Q4 of 2021 when the majority of the world’s population gets vaccinated. A double-digit global volume/value for orthopaedic surgeries is predicted in 2022 as the backlog of elective procedures comes back to point of care in year 2022 and beyond.

The good news is AI can predict with accuracy (more than ever achieved before) to plan ahead to capture the growth potential, having both good news and the bad news for all the players in this industry. 

The good news first….. only those companies adapted to new digital powers including AI could make the strategic investments with high data accuracy for putting resources behind near win future opportunities. 

The bad news…. the rest might wonder what happened as their conventional data (without AI) combined assumptions based strategic decisions would lead these companies either with resource inadequacy or over burden them with inventory or more than required resources.

In 2022 revenue growth will more likely be in double digit and may elevate revenue beyond $ 62 billion. Revenue forecasts in 2027 are estimated to be at USD 69 billion.  With the help of AI integrated CRM data companies can make a close to reality strategic decision and initiatives for capturing the market opportunities and can put themselves ahead of the curve as well achieve a higher topline growth with predictable ROI by accurate resource and inventory planning/ deployment ahead of time.

What progressive value do these CRM platforms generate YOY for orthopedic device sales? 

If a medical device company has spent millions of dollars to implement a CRM platform such as SFDC, PEGA, SAP or Microsoft Dynamics, they should expect a return on their investment, right?  You, the sales person, should expect that if your company is requiring you to spend time using this tool that you should also receive an ROI for your time, right?  Increased or easier sales?

Has using any CRM function actually helped you make a sale?

Client companies have spent tens of millions of dollars to implement CRM platforms and transition to their cloud variation. Yet there are still pervasive issues amplifying inefficiencies and dampening the ability to realize top ROI. First, these technology investments are not fully realized as some clients are not utilizing the entire suite of services that have been purchased. Second, the platforms do not possess the ability to help upsell or cross-sell. Third, there is no ability to evaluate opportunities and deals to increase the likelihood of wins, estimate the probability of the deal will moving to the next stage, or even determine how much time a salesperson should even spend on a deal.

We would argue that CRM platforms have become fancy customer information data bases with cool visualizations. 

Analytics on the platforms analyze the data and deliver results of the past. By the time the data is collected, crunched, and analyzed, the company has move forward and is using outdated data to inform decisions – no insights. The analysis is looking backwards and not to the future, which it ultimately what sales is about. So the pressing question is; how can the sales function use the massive amount of data, both structured and unstructured, that is contained within these platforms to inform decisions of the future through true predictive insights?

What problem could the CRM AI solve which is otherwise not possible? 

DeLorean Artificial Intelligence (DAI) has developed a proven proprietary patent-pending technology, Customer Relations Management AI (CRM AI). CRM AI predicts if a deal will sell or not, if it will not sell where in the sales cycle will it die, and what is the next best action to move the deal to the next stage of the funnel and to win. Further, CRM AI allows sales to predict their revenue by quarter objectively. CRM AI knows which deals to pursue and those not to waste time. Our clients have seen ~15% increase in their sales with adoption of CRM AI.

We do what SFDC Einstein cannot!!!

DeLorean Artificial Intelligence offers an exclusive AI tool could just use emails or any CRM platforms including SFDC

We know sales people are busy, they need to be in front of the client selling that is their core function.  Any time take away from the sale core function directly decreases revenue and their variable compensation.  Using CRMs and spending time inputting information to some sales people is the bane for their existence for others it’s the majority of what they do and this distracts from their main function. 

At DeLorean AI we believe we can make your life easier.  Whilst you will still need to spend some time with the CRM to get the ROI – and we will generate you an ROI – we can make it easier.  We can use calendar appointments, emails and any communication that you have with the client as well as your notes generated through voice to text memos to use as a data source to increase your sales, revenue and your variable compensation.


About the Co-Author: Ravi Ramasamy a marketing professional with specialized experience in orthopedics and Arthroplasty. Ravi’s orthopedic career has spanned across sales, upstream and downstream marketing roles in the US and Asia Pac regions at J&J, DePuy-Synthes, S+N and Zimmer Biomet. You can contact Ravi at rravibr@gmail.com or on Linkedin here.

About the Co-Author: Severence M. MacLaughlin, Ph.D has a demonstrated track record in building AI tools and products.  Severence currently leads DeLorean Artificial Intelligence.  Prior to DeLorean, Severence was Chief of Intelligence for Capgemini for the Western Hemisphere.  Before Capgemini, Dr. MacLaughlin lead Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare (Payer, Provider, Pharmacy, Government) and Life Sciences (Pharma, Biotech, Medical Device).  Severence’s AI technologies have produced an estimated $8B in ROI for client implementations. You can contact Severence for a demo at fluxcapacitor@deloreanai.com or linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/severence-maclaughlin-ph-d-a759475/

For product information please see:https://www.linkedin.com/products/delorean-artificial-intelligence-customer-relations-management-ai-crm-ai/