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You Snooze… You Lose

Being ‘old school’ with technology can be the kiss of death

During the press conference to announce NOKIA being acquired by Microsoft, Nokia CEO ended his speech by saying,  “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.”  Upon saying this, his management team, himself included, teared sadly. Nokia has been a respectable company. They didn’t do anything wrong in their business, however, the world changed too fast and their opponents were too powerful. They lost.

The moral of the story is one which has been told thousands of times – You Snooze, You Lose.  Technology is a moving target these days folks, and if corporations don’t consistently, and I mean consistently, keep up with the innumerable amount of tools available to help achieve revenues, and use them, then they simply will be left behind.

The competition is already fierce, don’t be old school.

A tale which is also often heard, is that the Healthcare Sales Industry is behind the times when it comes to leveraging new sales technologies.  We hear the terms “prehistoric operations” or “dinosaur tactics” when it comes to how a lot of these companies run marketing, business development and sales. In stark contrast, we continually hear about the latest CRM’s, Marketing Automation platforms, SEO companies, Social Media platforms, and Inbound/Outbound strategies. It’s quite dizzying when you really pay attention.  So, my question is really pretty simple: Who’s buying all of this tech stuff?

Many companies are leveraging some form of automation as part of their “Tech Stack” or outsourcing agency assistance as part of their Go-To-Marketing strategy.  Why wouldn’t you? Why would you continue to travel via horse when cars are available? Sure, the horse works and he can get you from point A to point B – but the car can do the same thing, in a faster, more efficient way. It’s a no-brainer. So, why are these dinosaur tactics still around?

I believe one of the biggest reasons a lot of companies and salespeople operate in prehistoric times is resistance to change. The world changes, yet for whatever reason, it takes some folks a lot longer to change with it. Then you see the unfortunate result, just as Nokia did. Dust.

It could have been avoided. In fact, if you are in the medical device industry, you had better already be in the process of stepping up your game.  According to Morgan Phillips Executive Search, “The medical device industry is one the biggest industries in the $3.2 trillion global healthcare sector. The last decade has seen the industry go through a big shift, driven by innovation and new technologies.” The complex nature of the sales process for medical devices makes it very difficult to build and deliver a meaningful experience.  They are increasingly figuring out innovative ways to build compelling experiences while building credibility with their customer physicians.

Bridging the Sales Gap

While these sales folks are becoming more and more adept at utilizing new sales and marketing technologies, a gap still exists in the process. This void lies somewhere between a sales rep being handed a list of physicians to call upon and delivering an over-quota performance. Can you guess what lies inside this gap? I can.  In my 15 years of medical device selling, I managed to bridge that gap manually. I took my manual processes and automated them into a dynamic mobile solution. The ProSellus Linx Tool is innovative and revolutionary to the healthcare sales world. Reach out to me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let me show you how leave the dinosaurs in the past where they belong.

Remember, if you ignore the new ways to increase your competitiveness in the sales industry, you might as well look for a new career. Like Nokia…you will turn to dust and, quite possibly, so will your company.

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Learning the Market: A Beginner’s Guide

In this age of DIY and endless “How To” Guides, it’s no surprise that there are endless suggestions on how best to educate yourself about business. Market research has also never been easier and yet more difficult. With so many tools to extract all kinds of data, you can get overwhelmed or lost easily. Even experienced healthcare sales reps and Fortune 100 companies have struggled in this Wild West market.

Step One: Use the Tools That Work For You

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There are hundreds of data interpretation tools and analytics software in the world today. Instead of trying to parse through information yourself, you can benefit from these analytical tools. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran in the healthcare industry, you might still be operating on pen and paper (or the electronic equivalent: spreadsheets). While maintaining client information that way isn’t necessarily bad, wouldn’t it be more cost-effective and more time efficient to have that information at your fingertips?

LearningTheMarket3Let’s tap the brakes here for a second Tonto…

That entire paragraph above scares people like you and me.  Ditch my pen and paper? Are you crazy? The overwhelming majority of software tools that “allegedly” are supposed to, “interpret data or provide analytics and maintain client information, etc,” have either been SO complex or SO unintuitive that we salespeople toss them aside. They literally don’t get used, unless of course we are forced to use them.  Even then, the results are subpar at best.

So, how do you bridge this gap we healthcare salespeople have with technology?  Not always like the example above, but many salespeople are resistant to technology and resistant to change.  For example, here is a conversation I’ve witnessed many times between managers and reps:  “Why do I have to use this stupid tracking tool now? I’ve made my quota for years without it.  Do you not trust me to just do my job? Why is it that you guys (corporate and managers) think you’re helping us with your tools, when really you’re making it harder to sell.  How about this: How about you guys actually give the sales people a tool that actually helps us sell!?!?”

Shocking idea… I know…

Ok. I’m glad I got all of that out. I feel better now…

Sales Acceleration is a strategy that incorporates the three biggest facets of the digital age: efficiency, interconnectivity, and influence. To that effect, ProSellus is your all-in-one tool.

Step Two: Do Your Research

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Even though you don’t need to go to the library much anymore, you still need to hunker down and do your research on your current and future clients. Forbes suggests that it is the “key to success” which is exactly what we told you in our last blog. Another Forbes article offers tips to help better identify your target market, but the kind of research you need to do as a sales rep goes way beyond simply saying “my market are these buyers.” You need to craft relationships with physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physician staff and companies – and then maintain those relationships. This means that “research” isn’t just googling information about something, rather, it’s checking in on clients every month, asking about their equipment, and asking about their lives.

Step Three: Build Your References

This step might not be the most difficult, but it is the most important. Once you’ve built the foundation of relationships and developed steps to maintain them, you need to build a network of references. The only advanced mobile tool of its kind, Linx by ProSellus, allows you to manage your market in ways like never before. The unique part about this tool is that it is has social media platform-esque qualities combined with a customer relationship management system. The best part? It is mobile and simple to use. You want to harness your target market in all the ways we have explained above?  This tool is your answer.

Can You Influence Your Market?

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The next question is: who really controls the market? Is it even possible for someone to control the market? Here’s an idea: what if that person was you? Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com to find the answers to these questions. In the meantime, check out our other blog posts for more ways you can improve your sales rep business!

 

 

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Your First Key to Success

No matter what industry you’re a part of, the biggest concern may not necessarily be the product or service you represent. Is it the people who work for the company? Maybe it’s the price point or barriers to entry associated with the product or service. In reality, it’s the market you serve. After all, they are the ones who purchase the product or service your company provides – no matter at what level you may be involved. We’ve already provided you with a few ideas on what tools can help you bring your Healthcare Sales Reps into the digital age. Now you just have to answer one question: who is the most influential physician in your market?

Quality vs. Quantity

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This is an adage you’ve heard often: “It’s about quality vs. quantity.” But what does that really mean for Healthcare Sales Reps? In an industry based on quantities and quotas, is “quality” even a factor? In a way, yes. Take a look at your list of physician customers. If you’re not already using the ProSellus Linx Software App with all that information at your fingertips, it might take you a minute. Once you’ve got it, identify the physician with whom you have the best relationship. Now identify the physician who provides you with the most business. What’s the difference? Now it’s time for the “nitty-gritty”: take a look at those two physicians in the context of the entire industry and ask these questions:

  • How do the numbers stack up?
  • What’s the scope of each physician’s business?
  • Has either physician referred you to other doctors and physicians?
  • What are the differences between the professional networks of each physician?

Quantifiable Influence

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Similarly to how companies are utilizing “influencers” on social media, you can make your most influential physician customer work for you. You can also do this without having a “robust social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc campaign.” All you need to do is incorporate the win/win relationship strategies we’ve discussed and get some simple information from your most influential customer. Customer testimonies come off as “hokey” in cheesy infomercials, but they’re still one of the most effective strategies in marketing. Not only can their endorsement increase your sphere of influence and customer base, it increases your reputation.

Added Bonuses

Your most influential clients can help you in other ways, too. In the process of identifying your most influential customer, you can better understand your overall market, as well as specialized markets. Basically, identifying your number one client helps you perform a more targeted market analysis. With the new data you’ve gathered, you can craft your sales pitches and marketing materials to better fit your target market.

Want to Confirm Your Thoughts?

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Performing your own market research is a paramount tactic for any sales rep, but you’re still subject to bias and human error. With so many tools at your disposal, it can be difficult to know which ones will work best for you. Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s discuss the implementation of your first key to success.

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