Case Studies

Clinical Excellence Shifts Sales Process from Product Features to Improved Clinical Outcomes

Business Opportunity: The medical device manufacturer and distributor known for successful and well respected hospital programs launched an ambitious cross functional product program, but this time, the results were considered lacking. There was a desire to discover why the program failed and if it would be possible to launch a replacement program in the future. Any new program needed fast results if the sales team was to be reengaged with the product portfolio and if leadership would feel compelled to financially support the program.

Solution: Kurtz Consulting recognized the device maker needed to understand why the first program failed and what would need to change to make a new replacement program successful. Kurtz Consulting extensively surveyed leadership, sales, product management, marketing, and customers to gather data. Kurtz discovered a key missing feature of the failed program was the lack of clinical support to demonstrate the strength of the positive clinical outcomes. The new Clinical Excellence Program:

  • Drove alignment through the organization to focus on clinical differentiation for their products, changing the sales process to focus on clinical outcomes
  • Established a clinical consulting process focused around closing customer clinical gaps and providing CE education in a learning management system

Results: The Clinical Excellence Program differentiated the device maker from the competition through breadth of product line and depth of education. A pilot program demonstrated access to new accounts formerly serviced by competitors and deeper penetration in existing accounts. This resulted in leadership cooperation across product portfolios to fund and support the entire program.

“Working with Kurtz Consulting changed our focus to clinical excellence and drove a solutions selling process instead of product features and price. I’m proud of the new customer CE program and learning management system, and excited about the new pathway for success. I would recommend Kurtz Consulting to organizations seeking differentiation and creating value for their customers.”

Lesly Marban

Build and Scale an Advanced Wound Care Division

Business Opportunity: Invacare, a leading home care and long term care manufacturer, identified wound care as an attractive investment area to further growth, and sought expertise to craft a strategy, portfolio and commercial plan.

Solution: Kurtz Consulting was retained by the Division Vice President to assist in the creation and implementation of a commercial vision focused on clinical and financial outcomes. Recognizing the need to competitively differentiate while scaling quickly, Kurtz focused on the portfolio, clinical support, and commercial strategies:

  • Product Portfolio: Project managed the due diligence and acquisition of a Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) device as the cornerstone of the advanced wound care product line.
  • Product Management: Assisted with product requirements and risk analysis for new product development activities for a Class II Device. Provided product management support to additional wound prevention and treatment products.
  • Clinical: Created clinical programs to support the portfolio including a case study compendium and white papers, and implemented Continuing Education programs.
  • Commercial: Executed a lead generation program, national account sales tools, and National Sales Meeting training programs.

Results: The Invacare Outcomes Management division grew rapidly, scaling from $3 million to over $40 million in revenues in four years. The division successfully achieved clinical differentiation in a highly competitive marketplace and secured the leading national accounts.

“Working with Kurtz Consulting sharpened our commercial and clinical focus and helped us to execute our vision. Debra Kurtz was a tremendous asset in developing our strategic plan, creating the product portfolio, and driving clinical differentiation. I would highly recommend Kurtz Consulting to organizations seeking rapid growth result-driven execution.”

Sara Ann MacKinlay
Former Vice President Clinical Therapies
Invacare Corporation

Strategic Planning for Innovative Surgical Product Launch

Business Opportunity: Exsurco, the leader in allograft tissue recovery, identified an opportunity to develop and launch a surgical product for wound debridement and skin grafting. With a newly formed management team, the organization sought to build a surgical device culture and craft a strategic plan to launch a disruptive innovation, as well as pursuing their mission of promoting “the healing power of skin”.

Solution: The seasoned Exsurco commercial leaders recognized that external expertise through Kurtz Consulting was needed to jumpstart a new culture and implement the company’s first long range strategic plan. Kurtz Consulting recommended a strategic planning methodology designed to engage the company leadership as well as the parent company executives. The resulting plan included:

  • Identifying the company’s key business drivers with action plans to resolve critical issues.
  • Refining the new product roadmap, with findings from a Blue Ocean exercise, to leverage growth in the legacy marketplace plus fuel new entry into the surgical products space. Tools included SWOT, competitive analysis, and key industry driver analysis.
  • Creating the long term strategic plan, mission/objective statements, and actionable tactical plans useful for all the company stakeholders and accelerate entry into the surgical market.

Results: Exsurco exceeded its annual growth plan over the next three years, successfully launching into the surgical marketplace, and building a culture of high performing functional teams. The resulting successes made the organization attractive to private equity acquirers. The Kurtz Consulting process for strategic planning was heralded by company executives, and identified by the buyer as the go-forward process.

“Working with Kurtz Consulting catalyzed our surgical vision, engaged the rest of the team, and created a shared pathway for the future. Having Debra Kurtz to organize, facilitate the working meetings, and write the resulting plans allowed our functional team leaders to focus on what they do best: contribute to the success of Exsurco. I would highly recommend Kurtz Consulting to organizations focused on innovation, driving change in the marketplace, and building sustainable results.”

Linda Sopko
Exsurco Medical
Medical Device Manager

ROI from Digital Marketing & Social Media

Business Opportunity: The capital equipment manufacturer developed an innovation solution, and wanted to quickly break into the marketplace with its differentiated products.

Solution: Working within the limited marketing budget, Kurtz Consulting developed a marketing plan with the goal to drive sales leads and enhance awareness. We also executed the plan which consisted of: digital advertising, organic and paid SEO, social media, and public relations.

Results: Within two years, the company became the market leader, enjoying a CAGR exceeding 33%. The digital efforts generated a return of investment exceeding 412%, all trackable via the lead generation and the company’s CRM system.

Clinical Excellence Program Drives Revenues & C-Suite Engagement

Business Opportunity: The medical device manufacturer enjoyed healthy market share, but was seeking additional penetration of hospital accounts. The sales team was adept at working with clinical users, but needed buy-in of senior hospital management to sell additional products.

Solution: Kurtz Consulting recognized the device maker needed a compelling message for the hospital C-suite and developed a Clinical Excellence Program that addressed key quality measures that are impacted by the company’s products and are of top concern to hospital administrators. The Clinical Excellence Program is a:

  • Value-added service to the hospital administered through the device maker consisting of:
    • o Assessment of the hospital current protocols relative to validated clinical guidelines
    • o Gap analysis and recommendations for improvement
    • o Training to hospital provided by device maker’s clinical specialists
  • Quality improvement initiative for the hospital, leading to improved clinical and financial outcomes

Results: The Clinical Excellence Program differentiated the device maker from the competition, leading to increased sales. Additionally, the program led to strengthened relationships among the company’s sales and clinical teams with hospital clinical users, and increased exposure of the company to senior hospital management.

Jumpstart Legacy Products While Launching New Products

Business Opportunity: The market leader in x-ray equipment realized that its market segment was maturing. In order to continually grow, they would need to expand beyond their core segments. They also recognized that their existing product lines would need to expand to support the needs of new markets.

Solution: Through interviews with key stakeholders, customers and industry experts, we identified the need to expand beyond the current x-ray systems into digital imaging. We developed the business case to pursue new digital technology, and helped the company craft the new product development strategy.

Although the primary goal project was to develop new digital technology, our research also revealed that there was still potential for the existing product line. We identified a new and growing market niche for the existing x-ray equipment, and helped the company to establish a sales channel to tap into this market.

Results: Sales of the existing product line grew over 20% and helped finance the new initiative. As a result, the company was able to launch several new digital products within 12 months.

“Debra Kurtz helped our company set a new strategic direction. At the same time, she helped our company finance this initiative through additional sales of our existing products. She is a strategic thinker who knows how to produce results.”

Joe Flies
Summit Industries


Landing new clients with word-of-mouth marketing

Business Opportunity: Leading oncology hospital found that its current method of attracting new patients was costly and providing diminishing returns.

Solution: Leverage past patients to bring in new patients by developing a referral program. We created mentoring programs for new patients and developed referral literature for past patients to distribute to prospective patients.

Results: New patients grew by 20% within the year.

Optimizing Sales Force Performance

Business Opportunity: Once-growing micro biology company with now stagnant sales.

Solutions: Established a lead generation program involving insides sales and trade shows in targeted market segments. Focused the field sales force on penetrating current accounts and closing leads. Created key accounts position for national customers.

Results: Company sales grew over 15% in year 1, and company made acquisition in one of the targeted market segments.

Early Stage Company Succeeds Against Entrenched Competition

Business Opportunity: Launch a new medical product despite competition from a large dominant player.

Solution: Kurtz Consulting developed and implemented the clinical, marketing and PR strategy, leading to over a dozen articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentation at conferences.

Results: Grew sales by ten-fold and achieved traction in the marketplace, leading to acquisition of firm by Smith & Nephew for $111 million.

“Debra is extremely knowledgeable and very diligent in her work assignments. She executes with precision, on time and on task. We have been extremely happy with her deliverables. Her work is an extremely good value and would strongly recommend her.”
Blue Sky Medical

Richard Weston
BlueSky Medical Group Inc.

New Product Conceptualization & Launch for a Consumer Durables Company

Business Opportunity: The client was the dominant player in the industry. In order to continue its growth strategy, the client wanted to branch out into another market.

Solution: Kurtz Consulting researched customer needs and identified product specifications to modify the client’s technology for the new marketplace. We then worked with internal staff to develop, launch and market the product.

Results: The resulting product launched the client into industry leadership in the new market. The client experienced double-digit sales growth, and its brand emerged as the premier name in the industry across multiple markets.