Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed John Montague.
About the interviewee
John Montague founder and President of NovusRx, the makers of Rx-Writer, the top rated e-prescribing App in the Apple App store. Mr. Montague is a tech industry veteran with more than 20 years in the software industry with leading companies such as Ashton-Tate, Microsoft, and Epicor Software.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
NovusRx develops mobile and cloud based healthcare solutions. The company is headquartered in Tampa Florida, with research and development offices located in Irvine California. The company has 9 full time employees and a few contractors. We work primarily with physician and non-physician clinicians who can prescribe medications for patients.
Tell us about what you see as the challenge in client development today.
In some markets client development has gotten easier due to the ease of selling on line and websites like eBay, Google, and Face Book. However in our market we found out the hard way why Pharmaceutical companies had literally thousands of sales reps in the US alone. It is the most effective way to reach a physician, see them once a week, offer to buy the office lunch, and you get to pitch your wares to the physicians and staff. That is traditionally how medical sales teams have operated for years. At our price point, that is just not an option. Add to that, in our testing docs don’t do social media. Even Google AdWords has been a challenge. Since the Justice Department went after Google for the Canadian on line pharmacy sales part of the settlement includes stricter compliance. The unintended consequence of this is any ad with prescribe or e-prescribe is auto rejected. We have tried for years to get an exception and have been unsuccessful.
What mistake do businesses make when it comes to client development?
The biggest mistake I see most firms make is an assumption of what is valuable to the client. In software this is especially dangerous. It is very important to get valuable insights as to the value you are creating early on. Involve customers in the development process to get validation as well as ideas for features that are important to their business. In our business early market validation and product validation are important leading indicators to tell us if we are on the right track.
Tell me how your approach is different.
Most software is designed on a functional basis by a marketing requirement and/or a functional requirement. In fact most of our competitors take this approach. We design our applications based on clinical workflow. We studied hundreds of clinicians and the workflows of physicians in their environment. The benefit this gave us is that the software just works the way the physician does, and the way they expect it to. It is absolutely obvious to them the first time they pick it up. This has been the driver behind all the positive reviews on the Apple App store in iTunes. However we still have not cracked the code to broad market reach. We think this will be our year.