Training medical sales reps is not an option; it is essential for both individual and organizational success. When implemented effectively, it can significantly reduce turnover and improve loyalty and morale; all of which is good for the bottom-line, sales.
Companies are more carefully scrutinizing their sales efforts and results
For many, there has been nothing short of an entire reassessment of their existing sales organization, management personnel, sales strategies, compensation packages, and rep training. As a result, we are seeing not only major changes taking place to adjust sales strategies, but also more and more investment to enhance sales efforts. Among these strategies and investments, new and expanded sales training is typically being given one of the highest priorities.
Expect to invest a lot of time training and communicating with your sales reps. Your sales reps require training to perfect their skills with knowledge specific to your company and product(s). Prepare them to be familiar with data, statistics, and specific issues in the health community specifically related to your products so they are fully able to communicate successfully with executive level professionals, doctors and other clinicians. Training cannot be accomplished in a two-day course and certainly cannot be accomplished by handing the reps training information and expecting them to read it, understand and finally translate it into closed sales. Once you have begun the training process, it is important not to expect all information provided to be absorbed, continuous reinforcement may be critical to successful sales results, which can be done during your weekly sales meetings or as simple as providing short and sweet weekly email updates. Training should be considered as a process that never ends.
As you coach your sales organization to success, remember your representatives are an extension of you, your company and your business philosophy. They are your living advertisements. Select and hire the "best" you can find and communicate with members of your sales team on a regular basis.
Often times, when working with Independent Reps, some management personnel may have the attitude that Independent Reps are... well... Independent. The truth is, that is poor management and sales management education is in order immediately before it trickles down to your sales force. When Independent Sales reps are not meeting your sales expectations, be sure to take a good look at the marketing and educational material provided, the product as a whole, pricing, competitive advantages and potential sales barriers. Communicate with your sales team members about results in the field and evaluate their reports immediately. Often times, it is helpful to consider how many times the product was introduced and the actual sales results. If the product was introduced to 10 - 20 potential end-users and not sold or not resulting in interest for future sales potential, why not? Be sure not to blame the rep! Analyze the situation and address it immediately. Remember, Independent reps want to sell, they NEED to sell to make any money! If they don't see sales results after multiple attempts, they may simply move on to another product that will produce sales commissions for them and your management may say, "Independent Reps don't work." They will work and they do close sales! Companies of all shapes and sizes are utilizing Independent Sales Reps, from start-ups to multi-national Fortune 500 corporations. Be creative about addressing your sales team's needs and their customers' needs. Discussion of a Sales Force Philosophies & Economics: Independent Reps
Medical Sales Reps, a fast paced, high turnover occupation:
Sell, Sell, Sell, Learn, Learn, Learn, Sell, Sell, Sell
Medical related sales is a fast-paced, high-turnover and very competitive business that rewards assertiveness, persistence, and knowledge. Medical sales representatives spend most of their business time on the road increasing the visibility of their company's products and the volume of their sales. The medical sales business can be a hard life, particularly for those trying to maintain a family life as well. The need to sell extends to social functions and free time, and the already precious family moments can erode further to the point where many reps are forced to reevaluate their commitment to their profession. This difficult balancing act is complicated by the additional pressure of being an independent sales rep, a commission-based occupation, as all of their income is riding on their ability to get the product into the hands of the end-user. Help them to close sales - provide them the necessary tools needed to keep them focused on your products and to succeed with same.
Motivational: It is wise to remember that most of us love to be fussed over. We like to be recognized and appreciated. Special awards, plaques, club memberships, and special privileges, are ways of acknowledging accomplishment and saying thank you. For example, are you familiar with sales person of the month award programs? They work.
When you find a way of telling a representative thanks for a job well done, it boosts the morale of all. Everyone wants to feel important. You will find that if you reward and recognize your sales team's accomplishments, they will respond with loyalty and dedication. Such efforts will help you grow your business to prosperity.
Average Annual Cost Per Direct (Salary) Rep: $150,000.00 Recruiting, hiring training expense, salary, variable incentive compensation, payroll taxes & 401K contribution, paid vacation, insurance & workers' comp, auto, travel, computer & communications equipment, inside sales support... Estimated total annual cost of direct sales employee with base salary of $50,000 is estimated at $150,000.00 per rep! Invest some of that savings in educating, motivating and rewarding your Independent commission only sales team members.
Thoughts for the day:
- "Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, its progress stops."
- The business that considers itself immune to the necessity for advertising sooner or later finds itself immune to business.
- The very best sales presentation is one that's well thought out and anticipates any questions... answering them in advance.
- If you don't drive your business you will be driven out of business.