Navigating the Biopharma Maze: Adapt or Perish

In a recent conversation with a client, a CEO lamented the stark contrast between the present and a year ago. Twelve months prior, their facilities were booked solid for half a year, and they were contemplating a move to new premises to accommodate burgeoning demand. Fast forward to today, and they’re still in their old location, with room to spare for new projects. The CEO’s question was simple yet piercing: “Why aren’t we booking as many sales meetings as we used to?”

This isn’t an isolated incident; it’s symptomatic of broader shifts in the biopharma landscape. So, let’s dissect the problem and explore what we’re doing to adapt.

The State of the Biopharma Sector: A Snapshot

First, let’s consider the macro trends. On the one hand, you have companies like 2seventy bio and iSpecimen slashing their workforce by 40% and 20%, respectively. Inflation and drug pricing are emerging as formidable barriers to growth. On the other hand, there’s a silver lining: ROME Therapeutics recently closed a $72M Series B, and the Massachusetts biopharma workforce grew by nearly 7% in 2022. The sector is not monolithic; it’s a patchwork of triumphs and tribulations.

The Ground Reality: What We’re Hearing

Our outreach efforts offer us a unique vantage point. We’ve heard biopharma employees say, “This is my last day here; collaboration talks are moot.” Others mention a strategic shift to focus solely on clinical programs, sidelining preclinical efforts. And then there’s the ubiquitous “no longer with the company” response.

The Digital Deluge: A New Challenge

Post-pandemic, the business world has migrated online, leading to a deluge of digital communication. Hugh Geiger’s observation on LinkedIn encapsulates this well: “Hyper-scalable spambots are coming. Abandon your email and turn off your phone.” The sheer volume of emails and calls has made it increasingly difficult to capture attention, let alone engage in meaningful dialogue.

The Confluence of Trends and Challenges

When you overlay industry-specific trends with universal challenges like digital overload, the picture becomes clear. We’re navigating a complex maze, but it’s not a dead-end. There’s a way out, and it involves adaptation, resilience, and innovation.

Our Adaptive Strategies

  • Per-Meeting Model: We’ve stuck to our per-meeting pricing structure, ensuring you only pay for meetings that actually materialize.
  • Email Refinement: We’re in a constant cycle of improving our email content to make it not just relevant but also easy to read and act upon.
  • Alternative Engagement Channels: We’re not putting all our eggs in the email basket. LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important in our outreach strategy.
  • Smarter Contact Identification: We’re honing our algorithms to identify the most promising contacts, focusing on those who are most likely to benefit from our clients’ offerings.
  • Prioritized Outreach: We’re strategically reaching out to biopharma companies that are making significant progress in their programs, as they’re more likely to require vendor services.

So, what are you doing to not just survive but thrive in this intricate landscape? The challenges are formidable, but they’re not insurmountable. It’s a test of our collective ingenuity and resilience, and I’m optimistic that we’ll emerge stronger on the other side.

5 Unbeatable Strategies for a Successful Discovery Call

In the fast-paced sales environment, mastering the art of the discovery call is your golden ticket to advancing the sales process and closing deals successfully. While can help you land the Intro Call, it’s up to you to make it to the next round.

We organized a webinar with industry experts and dove deep into Discovery Calls.

Here are the top 5 strategies you should implement to skyrocket your success rate in your discovery calls:

1. Every Call is a Valuable Call

With a resounding agreement from 85% of webinar attendees, it stands clear that every call holds potential value. Approach each call with diligence and readiness to add value to your prospect’s life, laying the foundation for a fruitful relationship.

2. Listen to Understand, Not Just to Reply

The best salespeople are those who listen more than they speak. Immerse yourself in understanding the daily workflows of your prospects and address their concerns with solutions that your services offer, showcasing how precisely they can mitigate their pains. You would not believe how many people will complain and speak about their troubles when given the chance.

3. Foster Continuous Internal Learning

50% of attendees acknowledged the indispensable role of continuous training in achieving sales success. Encourage role-playing discovery calls within your team to foster learning and growth. Furthermore, if you are targeting a niche like scientists, regularly interact with your internal scientists to keep the knowledge flowing and vibrant.

4. Understand the Field

Venturing into fields like life sciences demands in-depth knowledge. A candid 25% emphasized the importance of having strong internal support to facilitate this. Avoid improvisations that can potentially harm your reputation. When in doubt, agree upon a tactical call with a technical expert from your team to maintain the integrity and professionalism of the call. But be sure to agree on the day & time when you have them on the call.

5. Cement the Next Steps Clearly

An overwhelming 81% identified the failure to establish the next steps as a pitfall leading to unsuccessful discovery calls. Whether arranging a demo or scheduling the next call, always seal the deal by agreeing on the subsequent steps to keep the prospect engaged and the sales process agile. Having the prospect to reach back out by themselves is not the right next step!

What Else We Learned:

  • 50% associate a successful discovery call with a closed sale, while a significant 66% perceive it as a step to advance the sales process.
  • 91% concurred that the quality of discovery calls triumphs over quantity, underlying the need for well-structured and thoughtful calls over mere numbers.

To watch the full webinar, check out our YouTube channel:

I’d like to thank Mr. Jim Wiley of PhenoVista Biosciences and Mr. Byron Martina from Artemis Bioservices for making this Webinar possible. Your insights are highly appreciated!

Best Practices for Biopharma Prospecting

If you are a Life Sciences vendor trying to penetrate the biotech and pharma market, below are some of the selection criteria you could, or better say should, use while doing the outbound outreach.


There are 6,000 drug development companies located in North America and Europe, and more worldwide.

Around 3,500 in the United States and Canada, and 2,500 in Europe. The vast majority of these are small biotechs (up to 100 employees), ~10% of mid-cap companies with 100 to 1,000 employees, and around 150 large pharma companies with more than 1,000 employees. The market is diverse, with companies focusing on specific areas, especially the smaller ones. I listed company-level criteria I believe should cover most of the vendors’ needs for prospecting.

Location (company HQ)

Sometimes you want to focus your efforts on a specific region, or just go after North America and Europe. Examples where we see geographic focus makes sense is when you have local representatives, or going to a conference (for example Boston area). Sometimes your services are better supported kind of locally. We work with several CROs who need to get customers’ samples shipped to their locations. And this is typically easier within the same continent.

Company size (no. of employees)

Based on your offering you might want to focus on specific sizes of companies. We see smaller CDMOs prefer to work with smaller biopharma companies as they can provide a better service as well as the procurement process with big pharma can be too complicated for their capabilities. On the other side, we have several services that are better fit for big pharma companies, because they can better support bigger teams and organizations that can actually invest the resources.

Company funding and IPO status (typically relevant for smaller companies)

Funding somewhat indicates biopharma’s ability to purchase something as well as their need to be quick. For example, if they have their programs in the preclinical or IND stage and just raised $30M, you can be fairly certain that they are entering clinics soon. When a small company raises $15M Series A and they are early in development, they might be building a virtual biopharma, which is more likely to outsource most of its operations and not build capabilities in-house.

Drug development stage

For a clinical research organization, you should approach companies with active clinical trials, or at least the ones entering clinical development soon, otherwise, they will have no interest in your services.

If your platform is supporting drug discovery process, target validation, or a better understanding of mechanism of action, you should narrow your outreach to companies with active discovery and preclinical programs.

Disease area

Sometimes your offering is focused on a specific disease area, for various reasons. I see CROs supporting clinical trials in specific disease areas. If we are talking about clinical research organizations, biopharma typically prefers to work with a partner that has experience in the space as well as a good network of doctors to actually recruit the desired patient population.

Another example of disease-specific focus is a CRO developing bioassays for specific space or specific disease models, like epilepsy.

Drug class

Drug modality as prospecting criteria comes into play with smaller CDMOs that focus on specific modalities, like recombinant proteins produced in E. coli, or AAV as a vector.

If your services are focused on protein conjugation, you want to focus on companies actively developing proteins as their drugs and avoid C&GT or small molecule companies.

Drug target

Do you support specific target validation? You better focus on companies already working in the space, or at least somewhat familiar space. Let’s take KRAS as an example, you should focus your efforts on Oncology companies and not Cardiology. Especially smaller companies focus on specific disease areas where they have a strong foundation in biology understanding and ideas about their drugs.
Is your service supporting companies with small molecule design and optimization? If yes, you better avoid companies where their MoA is via enzymatic function.

Drug names

Sometimes you have a strong use case with a biopharma company developing combination therapy with pembrolizumab. You might want to search for similar companies with which your use case would resonate the most.


Once you identify relevant companies you would like to approach, you should find the right employees to talk to about their pains and challenges and figure out how you can help them. When defining prospect-level criteria, keep in mind that they can be different for different versions of your offering and for different sizes of companies you plan to approach.

Below are mentioned some of the prospecting criteria you can take into account when defining your customer profiles.

Seniority level

We have some clients who want to approach only C-level and VP-level executives because they enter the company as a partner and need to build a relationship with top management on the biopharma side.

Sometimes the deal value defines what seniority you should approach. Is your machine worth $500.000? Then you should not go below Head level, or even Director level, as it will be hard for you to push the deal through their procurement process. The person you approach might like your solution, but they might lack the decision power and budget to approve it.

On the other hand, if you offer some bioreagents, you could approach scientists, the users of your products. They are hands-on in the labs on a daily basis and know about their project’s needs.

Job title

Are you a CDMO helping with protein production? Then you should focus your energy on CMC, Manufacturing, and process development employees within biopharma.

If you help with patient recruitment, you should focus your energy on clinical development and operations people, as they are the ones who make decisions about partners for clinical trials.

For each line of your product/service think about who are your end users, and who are the buyers/decision-makers so you can approach the most relevant positions and get them engaged.


Similar to the company location, you should consider the prospect’s location. The best source for this is LinkedIn, where you can check for their location.

Prospect’s location can be useful within bigger organizations, where they have multiple sites and you want to focus or expand within a specific location.

Another good example can be when you are going to a conference and would like to pre-schedule some meetings while you are in the neighborhood. If you’re flying to San Diego for an event, try to find prospects living in the area and invite them for a coffee.

Prospects job description and experience

Seniority and job title are sometimes not enough to do good prospecting. Where you want to focus on something specific, you should consider searching for specific keywords and finding prospects related to them.

For example, if you are offering NGS service, you might want to double down on people that are involved in genomics and transcriptomics in their current role or at least mention that as an experience from the past.

Similarly, if you want to focus on a specific disease area, it might be hard to identify relevant people within Big Pharma. Let’s imagine you want to find people involved in cardiovascular diseases. Search for pharma prospects presenting at specific conferences, go through their current job descriptions, their past experience, and their Ph.D. If they focused on the Oncology or Neuroscience space throughout their entire career, it is less likely to be working in the Cardiovascular space now.

Final thoughts

There are various prospecting criteria you can use to prepare a good list of prospects you believe you can help. Some might be easier to leverage than others, so you should always try to estimate the importance of each criteria you want to use.

What is your ideal customer profile? Let us know and we’ll be happy to provide you a good estimation of your market size.

Should you Listen to Sales Influencers on LinkedIn if you Work in Life-Sciences?

I follow a lot of sales gurus on LinkedIn. Maybe too many. One particular post from Christian Krause recently piqued my interest. His post was advocating for brevity and directness in cold email outreach, but I couldn’t help to think – does this always work for life-sciences?

His suggestion was simple:

/…/ Follow these tips👇

  1. Grab attention with a relevant research trigger
  2. Raise awareness about a business challenge
  3. Educate about the business impact (COI)
  4. Ask for validation and feedback

If you can do this in 50 words or less,
grade 6 language and
no filler words
then you are

While this advice rings true in many circumstances, its applicability becomes questionable when dealing with complex industries like life-sciences and the pharmaceutical sector. The brevity and simplicity suggested can be a slippery slope.

Consider this: you’re selling a new cancer research bioassay. It’s impossible to capture its essence and value in a 50-word email. Oversimplifying such a complex technology may erode your credibility with your educated audience and could even be seen as naive. Detailed explanation isn’t just appropriate—it’s crucial. I’m not advocating for a 2-page email, but a 3-sentence explanation of what your technology/service provides, is necessary.

3 main factors I consider when creating email campaigns:

  1. “Less I and more you”: the original advice from Christian’s post is one I wholeheartedly agree with. Shifting the focus from your offering to the prospect’s needs is a universally applicable sales strategy, regardless of the industry you’re in.
  2. Factoring in the Development Cycle: Life science industry is known for its lengthy development cycles, no one more so than drug-developing companies. Once committed to a vendor for drug manufacturing or clinical trial management, pharma companies are usually reluctant to consider alternatives, as it leads to potential complications and delays — luxuries these companies can seldom afford. You might not get them this month, but perhaps in a year when they start entertaining new projects.
  3. Relevancy —The New Personalization: In today’s hyper-personalized world, tailoring communication to a prospect’s LinkedIn profile is standard. However, in life-sciences and pharma, relevancy is key. It’s less about their job tenure or changes and more about understanding their work and challenges. Do they research biomarkers? Ask about their challenges with identifying the right marker panels. In clinical trials? Discuss patient enrollment needs, not just trial speed – a universal desire. Klemen, our CCO wrote about this topic at length – Be Relevant with your Outbound Emails.

Cracking the code of creating a great cold email is a topic I am highly passionate about and continue to research everyday, so if you have any thoughts & comments, even suggestions on what to read, listen or who to follow, do ping me on LinkedIn, please :).

Be Relevant with your Outbound Emails

Outbound emails are a powerful tool for reaching out to potential customers, but they need to be crafted carefully to be effective. There has been a lot of talk about personalization in recent years, but personalization for the sake of personalization does not work. In this blog post, I will discuss the difference between personalization and relevance in outbound emails and how this can be applied to the life sciences space.

Personalization vs Relevance

Personalization means including personal information in an email such as the recipient’s name, company, industry, and even the recipient’s previous work experience. While personalization can be effective, it is not a guarantee for success, it is only the first step. If you do the personalization without some grain of salt it can be wrong and even crush your results.

Personalization needs to be focused on being relevant for the recipient to be truly effective.

Relevance in outbound emails means that the message is tailored to the recipient’s specific needs and interests. It starts with better prospecting and research to identify the right prospects and the right messaging. Relevance is one of the prerequisites to success with outbound emails because it shows the potential customer that you understand their needs and have a solution that can help them.

The Importance of Relevance

Being relevant helps your outbound emails stand out from the hundreds of other emails that prospects receive every day. A relevant message shows that you have taken the time to understand the prospect’s work and their pain points. It also shows that you have a solution that can help them solve their problems. A relevant message is more likely to get a response from a potential customer than a generic message that is not tailored to their needs.

Moreover, relevance is crucial for building relationships with potential customers. Relevance shows that you care about the prospect’s business and want to help them succeed. It also builds trust and credibility, which are essential for closing deals and building long-term relationships.

Relevance in Life Sciences

A few examples of relevance for Life Sciences vendors.


Imagine you are a CDMO company supporting biotech and pharma companies with recombinant protein production. You could put together a list of biopharma companies and start reaching out to them. But companies that are not developing recombinant proteins would have no need or interest in your services, even if you have a super personalized email sent to them. You should first invest time in building a list of potential clients, biopharma companies developing recombinant proteins. I would even suggest filtering for companies with active programs at relevant drug development stages (preclinical, early clinical development).

With such a good prospect list, your email could sound much better.

An example where you have a broad list of potential clients:

Hey John,

We at CDMO X help biopharma companies with recombinant protein production. I’m curious to see how we could help you as well. Do you develop recombinant proteins? If yes, then let’s talk.

An example, if you have a good list of prospects that you know are working on recombinant proteins:

Hey John,

I noticed you are developing recombinant protein, do you face any challenges with process development or manufacturing? We at CDMO X already help several similar companies and I’d be glad to see how we can help you as well.

Which one looks better? Where do you expect to get better results?

Clinical Research Organization

Imagine you are a CRO company supporting pharma’s clinical trials in Ophthalmology. Again, you could put together a list of biopharma companies with active clinical trials and start reaching out to them. But you can’t really help companies outside Ophthalmology space, so why reach out to them in the first place? I suggest filtering for companies with active clinical trials in Ophthalmology.

With such a prospect list, your email could sound much better.

An example where you have a broad list of potential clients:

Hey John,

I saw you are the CEO at X Therapeutics and wanted to connect. We at CRO X help support biopharma companies with clinical trials. Do you have any drugs for Ophthalmology diseases? If yes, then let’s talk.

An example, if you have a list of companies with active trials in Ophthalmology:

Hey John,

I noticed you have an active clinical trial in Ophthalmology. Do you already have a partner to manage the trials? Could you benefit from working with an Ophthalmology-focused CRO?

What do you think? One would say the first one is more personalized, but the second one is more relevant.


You should focus your energy on good prospecting to first identify the right companies and employees and craft messages that are tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Relevance is important with outbound emails because it shows that you try to relate to prospect’s business and have a solution that can potentially help them. That’s how you can pick their interest and start building long-term relationships with potential customers.

Investing your resources into good prospecting pays out also with your conversions, better response rate, not being marked as spam, and focus your limited time on prospects that you can actually help.

If you don’t know how to use all that for your own outreach, let me know and I’d be glad to discuss how we can work together.

Converting Silence into Sales: An Insider’s Guide to Relentless Follow-ups

You just got off a great call with a prospective client. You did your due diligence in sending a follow-up email with the summary of the call and the materials requested almost immediately after. A day goes by, and another, and another until it’s already been a week since the meeting and the prospect hasn’t replied. At this point, it might feel awkward to follow up, thinking they surely would be replying if they are interested, right? Well, no. It’s your job to follow up and to do so relentlessly.

Following up over email can be a soul-sucking experience. After 2-3 follow-up emails you feel like you are speaking to a wall, you begin to question and examine every word said at the meeting, every word written in previous emails, you try to remember their facial expressions and think if they only feigned interest. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way, after all, we are social animals and the feeling of abandonment is a pain we, as human beings, try to avoid at all costs. As a salesperson, you need to get past this feeling and continue to follow up after a week, a month, three months, or even a year.

Sales cycles in life sciences take up several months anyways, so at no point should you drop a line unless the prospect explicitly asks you to or informs you that they are no longer interested in your product or service.

At we keep calm & follow up with each prospect for over 2 months, around 85 days to be exact before dropping the ball and sending a “break-up email” Our data has shown that 94% of prospects who are willing to meet, schedule a call within 2.5 weeks of their initial reply. 98% of them do so within 85 days of their initial response. The last 2%? While we might stop regular follow-ups we will engage the prospect again; they will either receive a fresh set of campaign emails or we will pause the follow-up for a couple of months before trying again.

To illustrate a real-life situation that has happened to our Account Management team: we had a prospect that was eager to meet, we agreed on a date and scheduled the call. A few days later, the prospect told us that the call will need to be rescheduled and that they will come back with some slots for next month. 3 weeks go by, we follow up but no response. We continue to follow up weekly for another month and still, no response. We give it again a few weeks before following up again and no response. We were about to forego this prospect when an email came in: “Sorry, I was on jury duty and I’m finally back now. Let’s meet.”

While this scenario is definitely an edge case, it nicely illustrates that people are busy not just with work but also with their personal lives, and most of the time, they are not ignoring you out of spite, they are just simply preoccupied with something else. Sales cycles in life sciences take up several months anyways, so at no point should you drop a line unless the prospect explicitly asks you to or informs you that they are no longer interested in your product or service.

I’ll leave you with a few tricks on how to efficiently follow up & how to avoid having to do it in the first place:

Agree on the date of the next meeting at the initial call: this is the easiest way to avoid the dreaded follow-up process, so if you can, find a new date to meet as soon as possible. Even if it’s months away, try to get some sort of a placeholder on the calendars.

  1. Involve their colleague: while speaking to a prospect, in case they are the only one present, try to get the name and contact details of their colleague(s) who might also be interested. In this case, you will have two or multiple lines of contact and increase your chances of somebody replying.
  2. Connect on LinkedIn: Email inboxes are busy and while email communication can be considered more professional, after a time of unresponsiveness, dropping a quick line on LinkedIn can prompt them to reply then & there.
  3. Send follow-up emails at different times of day: Research has shown that most people reply to an email within an hour of receiving it, after that the chances of replying go slim. You need to figure out when your prospect is usually looking at their inbox, so vary the time you are sending it. Is the prospect on a different timezone? No problem, schedule the email to be sent later, most email clients have this option, nowadays.
  4. Keep the follow-ups interesting: Effective follow-up emails are short & sweet but after a while one-liners can get pretty boring and they no longer signify your interest in the prospect or solving their problem. Try to remind them of the pain you are solving, present them with relevant data if it makes sense, or let them know that the feature they wanted your product to have is now available.
  5. Call: Last, but certainly not least – if they are not replying for a week or more, pick up the goddamn phone! 🙂

The Life Science Startup’s Blueprint for Successful Commercialization

As a pioneer in the world of life science startups, your sanctuary might be the laboratory, where you ensure each micro detail of your far-reaching invention is tweaked to perfection.

However, the realization may be tough but true – no matter how game-changer your product might be, its real prowess can be unfettered only when you conquer the commercialization arena with equal intensity.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur in the biotech landscape demands more than scientific expertise and novel innovation. It calls for a brave dive into the convoluted world of life science commercialization.

No matter how game-changer your product might be, its real prowess can be unfettered only when you also conquer the commercialization arena.

This thorough guide is designed to serve as the navigation tool for steering your biotech startup through the stormy seas of the competitive life science industry towards the safe and prosperous harbor of business success.

A robust grasp over the commercialization process and its elements can help you transform a promising idea into a viable, thriving business.

So, buckle up and gear yourself for an exhilarating journey that will toss open the vault of endless opportunities for your biotech brainchild!

Understanding the Irreplaceable Role of Founders in Product Commercialization

Arguably, one of the first and the most pivotal tasks entrusted to a founder is steering the course of a startup’s commercialization voyage. Therefore, your focus and competency need to shift from the research bench to the marketplace, where your groundbreaking innovation expresses its true potential.

Let’s take a more focused look into the founders’ cardinal tasks that first come into play on the road to commercialization.

Validating Product-Market Fit

This stage calls for a rigorous assessment of your product’s alignment with the needs and demands of your chosen marketplace. It’s here where your product must sway from theoretical potential and start answering real-world problems.

Refine the mechanics of your innovation based on substantial inputs from market surveys, customer feedback, and continuous iterations:

Validating Unit Economics and Business Models

The market success of your biotech startup is defined by more than just an innovative product; it’s about a sustainable, scalable economic model.

These economic parameters, including cost of goods sold, gross margin, customer acquisition and lifetime value, become the lifeline for your startup, extending beyond just profit generation to strategic decision making:

Validating Customer Acquisition Models

As a founder, you need to architect comprehensive marketing and sales strategies that effectively translate into profitable customer acquisition:

Crafting an Artfully Persuasive Product Messaging

An original, compelling, and captivating product message is crucial as it serves as your startup’s voice and first impression to your intended audience. This is an essential step in commercialization that functions to not only inform but also convince your potential consumers about your product’s value proposition.

Do this right, and your product will be well on its way to the aphelion of customer interest.

The product messaging canvas, in its entirety, should be painted with answers to these fundamental questions:

What problem does it solve?

Presenting the primary issue that your product addresses is where your narrative starts. This is best done in straightforward language that is easily comprehended by a wide spectrum of your prospective customers, regardless of their technical knowledge.

How does it provide value?

The next stage of your narrative focuses on clearly delineating the benefits your life science product offers. Highlight the unique selling propositions (USPs) that make your product the gem in the rough.

What sets it apart from competing offerings?

It’s a crowded market, and standing out is quite challenging. However, by highlighting the features that distinguish your offering from the rest—the differentiators—you help potential customers make informed choices.

How does it compare to the state of the art?

Illustrate how your offering improves upon the current state-of-the-art in your sector. This fosters the idea of innovation, making your prospective customers see your product as the harbinger of a new, future standard.

Social proof

Offer bits of testaments from satisfied customers who have had their lives improved or businesses boosted by your product. This helps show your product’s proven capacity to effectively solve problems.

Conducting In-Depth Market Analysis: The Quintessential Compass for Commercialization

At the heart of any successful commercialization effort in the life science landscape lies a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the market. Just as the structure and properties of molecules are comprehensively known before enigmatic biochemical reactions are mapped, so too should one meticulously demystify the market before embarking on commercialization.

The market is the genome of an industry, and understanding it is akin to decoding its DNA. It involves decoding what exists, why it exists, how it is changing, and what it might look like in the future.

This requires a comprehensive unpacking of factors such as market segmentation, identification of the ideal customer profile, studying market trends, understanding market dynamics such as barriers, understanding, and play of competition, the role of policy, and the market’s tolerance for innovation, among others.

A salient starting point in this quest is Market Segmentation. Break down your total potential market into distinct segments, each outlining a unique blend of characteristics, needs, and behaviors.

During segmentation, think beyond conventional splits such as demographics and geography, and reach towards more insightful segregations. These might be based on shared pain points, the differential velocity of tech adoption, distinct regulatory realities, or even cultural nuances.

The commercialization process is about developing a product that solves a problem just as much as it is about finding a problem that your product can solve.

Once segments are defined, imagine an Ideal Customer Profile in each of these divisions. The practice of generating a fictitious, but representative profile, detailing the wants, needs, pain points, and motivations of your core customer is illuminating.

Demographics or firmographics, while creating these profiles, should be valued, but importantly, biotech commercializers should employ a wide lens and include a deep understanding of their pressures, motivations, resistance points, and so on.

Pivoting towards a two-dimensional breakdown focusing just on company descriptors and contact roles could lead to a narrative more inclined to selling rather than solving.

Your target company profiles should not only include observable traits such as size, location, and industry but should intuitively understand their working culture, their level of innovative spirit, and the decision-making process.

Simultaneously, paint a vivid picture of your target contact role within these companies. Is it the vivacious marketing lead always hunting for the new, the cautious procurement head seeking an innovative solution, or the aspirational CEO in tune with the winds of change and expansion? Understand those individuals, their roles, their pressures, their knowledge, and their motivations. Are they thinkers or doers, followers, or trailblazers, mavericks, or skeptics?

Remember, the commercialization process is double helical, not linear. It is about developing a product that solves a problem just as much as it is about finding a problem that your product can solve. This reason alone amplifies the importance of knowing your market by dissecting it into segments or the decoding of the ideal customer profile.

By conducting thorough market segmentation and defining your ideal customer profile, you can design your product offering as a key to unlock specific market needs, making your marketing and sales efforts more potent.

Building a Winning Marketing and Sales Strategy

As a life science startup, the progress and success of your commercialization journey significantly hinge on the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategy.

In this discussion, we’re going to examine in-depth, not only these incredibly consequential components underpinning your business development, but also, to propose how the interconnectedness between every stage of the process and each team member involved is paramount for achieving an efficacious commercialization of your life science product.

Prospecting: The Lifeblood of Commercialization

Let’s begin with prospecting, the lifeblood of your business development process. This venture involves generating qualified leads that manifest an interest in your innovative product by making effective use of varied marketing, sales and communication channels:

  1. Buyers complete nearly 70% of their purchasing journey before engaging with a sales representative. This underscores the importance of Inbound Prospecting, a strategy where you provide value through informational content and engage customers via organic search, social media, referrals, and newsletters, banking on the dynamic that potential customers find you.
  2. Next, consider Outbound Prospecting. With the rise of digital marketing, you must proactively approach potential clients through tailored email marketing, LinkedIn InMails, Facebook messages, and even traditional methods like boat shoe leather-knocking, cold calling.

Inbound and Outbound Prospecting should essentially be seen as co-actors in the complex dance of commercialisation, not opponents.

These two strategies should essentially be seen as co-actors in the complex dance of commercialisation, not opponents. They function in a highly complementary fashion to ensure a comprehensive canvas of your potential customer base.

Building Trust Through Engagement

The initial engagement, broadly the process of cultivating a dialogue with potential customers, is instrumental in establishing trust and rapport between your startup and your audience.

It is crucial in this stage that you demonstrate deep industry knowledge, an understanding of customer challenges and the unique solutions your product offers:

  1. Engage your potential customers with a compelling narrative, painting a clear picture of the problem your product resolves, and anticipate potential questions or concerns.
  2. This stage also involves wading through legal prerequisites including non-disclosure agreements, arranging discovery calls and pitches to present your value proposition, and further sealing the trust pact.

Remember, for a connection to transform into a conversion, no residue of doubt should be left in your prospect’s head. Clear every cloud for a sunny spectrum of collaborative effort to peek through.

From Leads to Partners: The Power of Follow-up

Active customer engagement doesn’t end after the initial contact, so a successful sales and marketing process involves persistent follow-up. Here, temper tenacity with soft skills to effect fervent and efficacious communication:

  1. In the face of missed calls or non-responsive emails, persistency is key. Understanding the difference between pestering and politely persistent follow-ups is indeed an art that monitors the fine line between annoyance and earnestness.
  2. To maintain interest, you may need to be creative. Offer value-added content through blog posts and infographics, or share industry insights. A consistent stream of valuable ideas cements your credibility in the customer’s mind and keeps your biotech startup at the forefront of their considerations.

Entrenching a Connection: Journey from Close to Kickoff

Finally, after nurturing the relationship, capitalizing on the trust and rapport established, it’s time to close the deals and formalize agreements.

  1. At this stage, your primary focus should be on responding to any lingering concerns and reservations the customer may have, cementing the trust pact, and ensuring a firm resolution of the customer’s pain points.
  2. When working on the contractual terms and legalities, always aim for a win-win agreement, reflecting value for both parties. Successful negotiation is about finding a mutually beneficial solution where both sides feel they have gained something of value.

Laying the Financial Cornerstone: Understand Unit Economics and Construct a Viable Business Model

To transform a nascent concept into a thriving enterprise, a strong understanding of unit economics and the establishment of a sustainable business model are of paramount importance.

As a life science entrepreneur, it’s crucial to treat finance as a core function, integral to your operations, much like R&D, and not merely as a secondary function.

Financial Projections

One of the pivotal aspects to consider while building your business model are financial projections. These don’t just give a preview of your future financial health, but also serve as a valuable tool for decision-making and strategy planning.

Key Financial Metrics

If your startup were a ship, financial metrics would be the reliable compass guiding you in the vast ocean of entrepreneurship. It’s vital to go beyond just understanding these metrics and embrace constant tracking of these indicators.

Discovering Your North Star Metric

Amid a barrage of metrics, it’s important to identify the North Star Metric – the single metric that best captures the core value your product delivers to customers. It’s the key to steering your startup towards genuine, sustainable growth.

Expanding the Commercialization Capacity Through Strategic Partnerships

The nature of the life science industry is intertwined with various disciplines and stakeholders: academia, research organizations, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory bodies, investors, and more, each offering unique advantages and potential synergies.

Therefore, forging strategic alliances with other entities within this ecosystem can offer substantial benefits, helping to extend your market reach, gain access to new resources, and turbocharge your startup’s growth trajectory.

This effort starts with understanding the different types of partnerships that can bolster commercialization efforts.

Done right, strategic partnerships are more than just tactical moves; they can create a sustainable competitive advantage, amplifying your commercialization efforts, and creating various paths to market your innovations. Simultaneously, these alliances bring in new perspectives, fostering an environment of mutual learning, and steering your startup toward a growth curve that might not be achievable in isolation.

Cultivating a Culture of Collaboration

Laying down clear partnership strategies and a readiness for collaboration within your startup’s culture can be a game-changer. From sharing learnings and valuable networks to pooling hard-to-accumulate market knowledge and collaborating on regulatory fronts, the benefits can be quite significant. However, consider these alliances not as pure transactional links, but as relationships to be nurtured in the spirit of mutual growth.

Scalability through Partnerships

These strategic alliances can become particularly influential as you scale your startup. Entering new markets, for example, is challenging and resource-intensive; therefore, having allies that understand local turf rules and culture can be invaluable to scale efficiently.

As you go along the path from the lab to the commercial world, remember, fostering partnerships that align with your commercialization strategy can significantly multiply your access to finances, markets, technologies, and expertise. Just as symbiotic relationships prevail in life science, so can they thrive in business, building a richer ecosystem wherein diverse entities grow together via constructive collaborations and shared successes.

A Deeper Exploration of Commercialization Strategies Tailored to Company Type

Understanding the scope and nature of your biotech startup is pivotal for the efficient orchestration of an effective commercialization strategy. Notably, your startup’s distinctive niche and set objectives will significantly influence the commercialization strategy that best matches your unique business needs.

Therefore, it’s essential to carefully consider whether a “product-first” or “hustle-first” mindset goes hand in hand with your company’s ultimate goals, cultural setting, and the resources at your disposal.

Embracing the Product-First Mindset: Prioritizing Value Delivery Before Marketing and Sales

The idea behind the product-first mindset is to prioritizing on delivering a tangible, valuable, and essentially indispensable product before shifting focus to elaborate sales and marketing.

A crucial point to stress here is that such an approach may pave the way for smoother sales owing to a higher level of confidence in your product offering, but it may also involve a higher magnitude of risk, which must be prudently managed.

Operating under the Hustle-First Mindset: Prioritizing Effective Marketing and Sales Before Perfecting the Product

Contrasting starkly with the product-first mindset, a hustle-first approach places the spotlight on masterfully selling your vision of the product even before the actual product development reaches its pinnacle.

The aim is largely centered around leveraging persuasive marketing and sales tactics to usher in interest and revenue, before channeling these funds towards finalizing a product that fits neatly within the boundaries of customer expectations.

As you tread onto the path of developing and refining your commercialization strategy, one thing is clear. Drafting an effective game plan is more than just designing marketing campaigns or aligning sales targets – it’s understanding, embracing, and synergistically aligning both marketing and core product development.


The intricate task of triumphantly commercializing a life science product is a meticulous challenge that demands unwavering commitment, but with this comprehensive and robust guide at your disposal, you now hold a thorough and rigorous blueprint to skillfully navigate through the sophisticated labyrinth known as the world of biotech commercialization.

The transformation of ideas into innovative products within the realm of life sciences is no doubt a remarkable achievement in itself; the power of such creations holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare and even redefine the paradigms of modern medicine.

To truly shine and prosper in the dynamic world of life sciences, one needs to transcend past the stage of simply birthing captivating inventions and delve into the art of seamlessly navigating the nuances and complexities of successfully selling and commercializing these unique innovations. The limelight inevitably falls on the ones who understand that the science of life is as much about business and marketing as it is about research and development.

The transformation of ideas into innovative products within the realm of life sciences is no doubt a remarkable achievement in itself; the power of such creations holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare and even redefine the paradigms of modern medicine.

Remember, the biopharma market landscape is bound to shift and evolve. As such, it is paramount to continuously revisit and reevaluate your commercialization strategies in response to new developments. Keep listening to customers, be receptive to their evolving needs, and keep a constant watch for advancing trends and technologies. An adaptive approach is just as vital as a strategic one.

To sum up, developing a rich understanding of the intricacies of the world of life science commercialization is the first step towards achieving commercial success. The next step is to awaken the potential within your startup and guide it towards success via a combination of strategic commercialization efforts, tactful business partnerships, agile management of financial aspects, and continuous adaptation to evolving circumstances.

So, now that you are equipped with this empowering knowledge and the right mindset, the biopharma market awaits you. With an unwavering resolve, go forth, and let your startup soar towards unmatched heights. Your journey may be full of trials and tribulations, but with each step you take, the zenith of success draws closer. A prosperous future awaits you. Carpe Diem!

How to Turn Every Discovery Call Into a Slam Dunk

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this scenario: you’ve played your cards right, and you finally secure a sales call with a high-profile prospect who’s just itching to whip out their corporate credit card. But then, like a match struck only to be blown out by a cruel wind, you flounder on the initial call and watch the prospect slip through your fingers.

You’ve sweated bullets to set up this call, brimming with anticipation to strut your stuff and exhibit your exceptional offerings. Now, it’s crunch time. Will you effectively capture the prospect’s attention, unearth the critical data, and pave a glittering path to a deal closure?

Sales calls are like baking: with the right ingredients, precise timing, and a little bit of intuition, you can whip up a winner every time.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a snazzy checklist that’s a cocktail of pre-call prep, active listening and follow-up tactics. These nifty tips will make sure your discovery calls aren’t just victorious, but drive your sales process forward with the momentum of a freight train. So fasten your seatbelts and let’s dive headfirst into the exhilarating world of discovery sales calls!

Pre-call prep

On the Call

After the Call

Sales calls are like baking: with the right ingredients, precise timing, and a little bit of intuition, you can whip up a winner every time. Just remember, even the most seasoned chefs sometimes need a recipe – consider this yours for success in every discovery call. Now, get out there and start cooking up some deals!

Customer testimonials

Karim Mohammed
CEO @ Tranquil Clinical Research, Clinical Research Organization & Clinical Site has mastered the ability to open doors that were previously closed. The impressive team of folks that works to continuously build business for me, learns my business and then sets out to build my business. If you need a team to get you out in front of the right clients, has consistently performed for my organization.
Rafael Rosengarten
CEO @ Genialis, Data science and drug discovery company gets you in front of your customers with insane efficiency. They figure out the right people to talk with, and deliver that meeting directly to your calendar. Doing business in the life sciences and biotech industries requires a deep understanding of these markets. The team gets it, and this enables a personalized approach to outreach that resonates with its audience.
Kyle Giffin
Chief Operating Officer, LatchBio simply delivers. A totally professional team, they have increased our meeting count and helped us close real customers. I’m grateful to be working with Klemen and Urska, and would recommend their service to others in biotech.
Switzerland-based service provider are true domain experts and have consistently delivered highly qualified leads for us. Their approach to lead-generation is highly targeted and focused allowing me to spend my time and efforts on pursuing high-ticket business opportunities. I highly recommend to anyone looking to optimize their marketing budgets, whilst still making meaningful connections in the life-science industry.
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San Diego-based platform biotechnology company
Running a lean start up requires effective lead generation for commercial activities. The team at took the time to learn our technology and our solution services with our company. They worked effectively to bring our organization high quality prospects for our early access program and sales. I would highly recommend their organization for any company looking to outsource their lead generation.
Head of Business Development
European CRO helped us to generate a multitude of introductory meetings with potential clients and some of these meetings were the starting point of new exciting business relationships. The collaboration is smooth and efficient and when comparing costs per high quality lead the approach is superior compared to other lead generating methods such as congresses or webinars.

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