Medical Products for Independent Reps and Distributors: What makes a great product to promote?
A Philosophical View from an Independent Medical Sales Rep’s position – Is the Product Hot or Not?
What product line(s) does an independent sales representative or medical product distributor choose to promote? Identifying key success elements when launching a new medical product or healthcare related service is critical and sometimes is extremely challenging. (Just take a look at the history of “Shark Tank” starting from their first episode in 2009 – some “Shark Tank” failures went on to make millions of dollars, while others the panel of experts invested in were flops.) Strategic planning and identifying viable opportunities can be challenging, even for the best of the best. Pioneering a new medical product, healthcare related service or pharmaceutical product can often be a very exciting and extremely rewarding opportunity for the independent medical sales rep and medical product distributors.
There is one great elixir that is the panacea for many products – and that is, avoidance.
We all seek that “HOT” opportunity – from investors to members of the sales channel. As an independent sales professional, paid on sales results, sometimes you simply need to walk away from an opportunity that just doesn’t feel right to you.
Every Independent Sales Associate has Questions during a product review prior to taking the sales opportunity on. MedCepts goes DEEPER and WIDER into the Discovery Process to extract the core issues you seek answers to. We’re NOT afraid to ask the hard questions because we’ll get the answers.
Is a product hot or not? Does a Medical Product REALLY have all the BELLS and WHISTLES it presents with?
- Is the medical product outdated in a technologically advanced Medical world?
- Where does the product or service stand on a Competitor’s Matrix?
- Does it really have “NO COMPETITORS” or “ONLY ONE COMPETITOR that’s twice the price” or….
You’ve heard It from suppliers; We’ve heard it too! (AND suppliers can recall thinking that!) Remember, Suppliers are closers too! They need to sell to YOU… before YOU will take on the product to sell to the end user!
MedCepts explores what you would (or should) be exploring AND what every Supplier, Manufacturer or Service Provider should ask themselves about their products when preparing for a product launch.
Below we have provided over 20 Top Hot Tips and questions an independent sales rep should ask and understand the answers for successful sales results when selecting a company to work with. (Also beneficial for vendors seeking independent reps to peruse and ask – evaluate – of the product)
- Value of Independent Sales Reps: Does the company recognize the value of independent reps and provide the support (and time) needed for successful results?
- Sales Team Support – are they investing in you, as the sales rep, or is the company just looking to spin numbers with free sales representation by hiring independent sales reps?
- Does the company recognize the sales rep value per call to a physician? This is important, it puts a value for every call the sales rep makes, a value recognized for the relationships you have as a sales rep in the field.
- Does the company recognize the value of Building a High Impact Sales force with independent sales rep(recognize traditional hiring of 20 Direct Reps is often an investment of over $3M and that figure is only considering a base pay of $50,000.00 per rep.)
- Does the company provide the proper tools for training a medical sales team – sure, we’ve all seen the infamous training webinars with the basic powerpoint presentation, with little to no creativity – yet, often the sales reps will grasp the overall concept easily. (If not, you’re moving on to another opportunity.) It would be nice to be provided strong and powerful training when starting off with a new manufacturer, company or vendor.
- Does the company provide a viable Sales Presentation, does the sales presentation close sales for you? Let’s take a look at the pharmaceutical model – creative product education for physicians, ultimately resulting in the physician prescribing the drug. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply be able to provide a sales presentation and your customer saying, “I want in!” ….
- Does the company provide Lead Generations such as email marketing campaigns,
- Does the company Recognize the level of experience of many independent medical sales professionals and average Income Earnings for Independent Sales Reps and Distributors in the Medical and Healthcare Sales industry
- Rewarding sales agreements inclusive of creative commission structure variables,
- Is the Company a Startup or Big Brand – Nearly 90 percent of all independent medical device reps prefer representing products from start up companies over big brand companies.
- Product Value: What is the clinical value to the healthcare provider and their patients?
- Is there a single source provider or market saturation of distribution channels?
- Is the medical product or company well Branded, even if a startup?
- Company infrastructure, what support system is in place? – not only for the sales force but also for the end-users, healthcare providers
- Does the medical product (or healthcare related service) meet and exceed PPACA / PPA Criterion?
- Does it provide a value proposition?
- Will the medical product supplier offer private label or co-branding capabilities?
- IS there ROI potential? (Return on investment for the independent reps’ efforts and the end user – the healthcare provider?)
- Does the medical product (or healthcare related service) provide Cost Optimization and Revenue Enhancement for the healthcare provider?
- Are there Reimbursement Codes?
- Does the medical product (or healthcare related service) support & enhance clinical and operational initiatives?
- How strong is the Marketing Material and Sales Presentation Material?
- What is the Potential Adaptability aka Market Share potential?
- What is the product’s Present Market share or HISTORICAL REP SUCCESS—what are the present independent sales reps closing in sales?
- Okay, let’s be direct: HOW MUCH MONEY as An Independent Medical Sales REP Can I Make?
- What are the sales barriers: Let’s face it, knowing the barriers in advance helps by being forearmed with answers!
- Are there Demonstration Units or Product samples available for the independent reps, if needed for closing sales?
- What sales closing techniques are the most successful independent reps utilizing? Are Call scripts provided? Do they work?
- What is the introduction to closing ratio? Is there interest with the first introductions you made?
- Are there GPO contracts or other national networking alliances, references from sales already closed, Physician Sponsors, Corporate Leads, Corporate marketing, Corporate Infrastructure, Sales Support, Customer Service Support
What happens when MedCepts explores—WE DO THE WORK FOR YOU …. and often WITH YOU.
Obtaining as much product information as possible will be helpful
Our objective is to go above and beyond the aforementioned questions; we seek to additionally explore and review:
- Any and All Available data the Supplier can provide: Market analysis, case histories, clinical studies, market trends, Clinical News, Press Releases, Geo/Demographic Info (GIS) reports, Corporate or Product SWOT analysis, competitors analysis, White Papers, End User Guides, results of beta testing, is it a Pioneering Opportunity and is the supplier providing creative and higher commission compensation for breaking into new markets, is it a “BRAND” well known with sales established, possibly providing a smaller commission structure but sales close quicker, is there residual income…..
- Needs Analysis – Comprehensive channel reviews to assure the success of the medical product or healthcare related service for the independent medical sales reps, medical product distributors and the manufacturer or primary supplier:
– Target market identification
– Sales presentation review
– Contracting review
– Sales compensation plan review
– Sales rep/team assessment
– Distribution channel needs assessment
– Market research review
- Profile, Recruit and align the BEST-of-the-BEST Independent Sales Reps
- Resume or Bio review of the Independent Sales Rep and Independent Medical Product Distributor – does the medical product or healthcare related service offered really fit your niche call points and already established relationships?
- Independent Sales Rep and Distributor screening – Interview & business review – how well will you succeed?
- Contract negotiation and commission agreement reviews
- Proactive and continuous review of sales activities and sales results with peer to peer communications – talk with those succeeding with a specific product or service. Grab ideas and run with them!
(Medical Product Manufacturers and Service Providers – See turn-key solutions of the Sales Management Services offered by MedCepts)
There are times when taking the medical product into the field determines how hot the product is.
The truth is, some companies do not have all of the answers we seek or even the revenue to invest to determine same – so where do we go without answers? Should MedCepts recommend to the company or the inventor to invest tens of thousands of dollars to provide us (or you) this data? Or do we turn to our unique members of our Network to explore? We KNOW you want to know about those potentially hot products – even when the product is directly from the inventor and potentially without market presence as yet.
How does MedCepts explore WITH you?
Perhaps you’ve received an inquiry from MedCepts such as the following:
“MedCepts is looking at a ___ product that will diagnose ______. The Potential Competitor is ______. Any experience or additional information would be helpful for a new product introduction. Be sure to let us know of your interest for this product alignment.”
Typical and actual results of our exploration with YOU, our network members: 12 elite network members received an inquiry based on their sales experience, product specific, relationship with MedCepts, with multiple additional other factors considered. Within 3 hours MedCepts received SIX responses that included telephone communications, faxes and email responses. What did we receive? Copies of the competitor’s sales material including pricing structures, the Potential product’s Pro’s and Con’s, along with other powerful decision making material to identify whether to forge ahead or to use due caution. We utilized the information in our own database, along with everything we received from network members. In this particular situation, the manufacturer actually had a few other competitors they were not aware of resulting in an educational opportunity for the manufacturer. (Limited information is provided on products of our Client network members.)
In the event we begin an exploratory product launch – MedCepts forges ahead “pioneering” WITH YOU, the independent sales rep partner. MedCepts commits to placing only a select few independent sales associates in the field with a “pioneering” product – (AKA beta – soft launch.) We become pro-actively involved through:
Actual participation in sales training and throughout each step of the entire process for the new product alignment, we monitor sales results, sales activities and YOUR REPORTS of whether the product is HOT or not. Typically, in within just a few months (sometimes sooner or slightly longer depending on the sales process) with only a handful of independent reps in the field, we can all see the potential if the product or services offered is HOT! Those independent sales reps that are successful in a “Beta-Launch” are acknowledged in our network system! (A part of our proprietary network member ranking system.)
Hot Products are winners for all and MedCepts continues on with implementing more sales channels. We then bring in our MedCepts’ true road warriors – Our Network Members!
If it’s not hot?
- Perhaps the product simply needs updating and introductions to a network (development) member that can offer a few “aesthetic” upgrades. The birth of “The Next Generation” has happened on many occasions.
- The product may benefit by being partnered with another product.
- The product was presented over priced for what it offered?
If it’s not hot, we know who the Supplier is going to blame and it’s not the product. As we place multiple reps out there in the field, we begin to see the potential of whether it’s hot or not. Reps see it with a few introductions. When we take on a “pioneering product” we inform the supplier that we (you – our network members) will explore. Initially this is done with only a few select independent rep network members (experienced in soft launches) to explore the results. Positive results means EVERYONE is happy and we continue the momentum a little more aggressively! (Okay, a LOT more aggressively.)
See also – Pioneering a New Medical Product or healthcare related service in your sales territory
MedCepts Liaison Positioning For Independent Medical Sales Reps, Medical Product Suppliers, Medical Product Distributors, Vendors and healthcare providers.