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A Day in the Life of the Medical Sales Rep

It’s 5 AM. Your alarm goes off and you hop into the shower, groggily rubbing the sleep out of your eyes. As you stand in the shower and let the hot water wake you, your mind begins racing thinking about your day.  You think about all the things you need to get accomplished today and how in the world you’re going to make your quota by the end of the month, which gets closer day by day.

You dress to impress (which if you’re like a lot of medical device reps means you throw on a pair of scrubs), quickly check email on your phone to make sure nothing has changed in the middle of the night for your surgery schedule, grab a bar or some sort of quick breakfast and you’re out the door racing to your first case.  Unfortunately, your mind hasn’t slowed since the  alarm went off, it’s only sped up.

You might know it well: the daily life of a medical sales rep. But, what if your well-oiled, constantly changing  daily routine is missing something that could drastically improve the most important aspect of your business (making or exceeding quota)?  Hint: if you are reading this wondering, “Am I missing something? Could I make this easier?”  You more than likely are missing something if those thoughts even remotely crossed your mind. You should definitely keep reading.

Just an Ordinary Day

Whether you’re a coffee, tea, energy drink, or sans caffeine person, no day is complete without creating goals on a to-do list and deciding what to DO. This can be daunting sometimes, especially when you factor in the ever-changing line-up of your cases at the Hospital or ASC – hence the added courage of caffeine – but every successful sales rep knows that organization is one of the keys to success.

PharmaWeb lays out not only a definition of what a medical sales rep is, but also what they should do.

A medical representative is employed by a pharmaceutical (or… medical device, bio-tech or distributor of products) company to maximise the prescribing of that pharmaceutical company’s products in a geographical area. There are no strict formula for how to maximise product prescribing – hard work is only part of the story and often working smarter is the key to success. This is why pharmaceutical companies are constantly looking for candidates who have the ability to think (and then put into practice) new ways of approaching sales opportunities. As an experienced representative you will know your territory, know your customers and have a clear idea which part of your territory offers the highest potential for sales. You set yourself clear objectives for every day that you work and will know exactly what you want to achieve from each customer visit.
PharmaWeb

Sound familiar? If only it were that straight-forward in the real world…

The daily task of meeting with physicians, hospitals and administrators  while maintaining all of these customer relationships is more than half the battle. Sometimes, it’s probably the majority of your day, and at the end of a day like that you have to ask yourself, “Did I do what I needed to do today to really move the needle and get closer to achieving my ever-growing quota?” Did I really do anything to help “Dr. Jones” put more patients in the pipeline for my “product, therapy, prescription, etc?”  How in the world can I do that when I have 15 balls in the air trying to juggle them all and I’m caught up not doing the things I need to be doing to move the needle forward?

Often, you might feel like you have too many things to do in one business day. That’s why planning is an essential part of every sales rep’s daily routine.

Can ProSellus Revolutionize Your Life?

Product demos and sales meetings can be stressful and  time consuming, but they need to take place. Some customers require more care than others just as some clients require a firmer hand than others when it comes to recommending equipment or markets to potentially expand to. The reality is that if you’re an “A” player in this industry, your customers look at you much more like a consultant than “John” or “Mary” the medical/pharma rep. They ask you questions that are far beyond the scope of the products you represent it seems quite ludicrous.  For example:  “I love your product and it really helps my patients, but what about all the patients I don’t see?  What about all the patients who could benefit from this product or therapy?  How can we educate them or their managing physicians about the wonderful therapy available today?”

The above question seems to be the #1 thing that came up during my time as a device rep.  Where are all the patients and how can we let them know about “XYZ” product or therapy?  Initially it seemed pretty daunting.  How in the world was I, a device rep running around like a chicken with its head cut off, going to possibly take on this task? Many device and pharma company’s marketing departments provide information to hospitals or physicians for “outreach” programs where mailer’s are sent out letting the community know that “Dr. X” will be speaking Tuesday night at “The Steak House” about advancements in treating “XYZ”.  After a month of planning, securing “The Steak House’s” private room, putting down a sizeable deposit, inviting as many physicians in the area as we can, we wait to see who shows up…

And we wait…

And we wait…

After 3 physicians of the 64 we invited have a seat we decide to start.  No one really knows who these 3 physicians are or what kind of patients they actually see.  They just got a blast fax or an invite and thought, “Sounds interesting maybe, I’ll go…”  The physician who presents the material is very happy you and your company went through the effort to arrange the opportunity, however, no one leaves very impressed. It was a flop.

Unfortunately, this is the result more times than not.  Sometimes a good amount of docs appear, sometimes not, but was it really worth the time, money and effort to set all of this up? If you’ve been in this business for any length of time I bet you’re laughing to yourself saying, “Yep, complete waste of time…”

So, in today’s ever-evolving, fast-paced workday how are you supposed to help your customers grow and gain the single thing they want more than anything else? Patients. How do you do that in a timely, efficient, effective manner?

What if you knew exactly who the most valuable customer targets were each day? What if you could easily view data on your customers, potential customers, potential referral sources etc. from the front seat of your car all in a matter of seconds?

You might have heard the buzzword “actionable intelligence” thrown around some PowerPoints, but it’s a real thing and you are doing it totally wrong. ProSellus is your first step into making the big world of Big Data work FOR you instead of creating extra work for you.

You can find plenty of articles about habits of highly effective sales reps, but none of them will mention the medical sales rep’s best tool. ProSellus is the best of social media and customer management, seamlessly integrating data and strategy to make your business leaner, more effective, and more profitable. How could ProSellus revolutionize your daily routines? Let us know in the comments or email me scottwalle@prosellus.com. I’d love to discuss how ProSellus can take your business from pretty good to absolutely incredible.

 

Establishing Value Leads to Establishing Relationships

One of the hardest parts about becoming a successful Healthcare Sales Rep is maintaining the relationships which power your business. As we discussed in one of our recent blogs about how to enhance your sales process, there is a formula for perfecting your sales business, and one of the requirements is crafting true value for the customer which leads to relationships that last.

Perhaps the most difficult part of any sales rep’s job is creating value for a new or recurring client in a world full of competitors who are all fighting for the one procedure you happen to compete against. Part of the reason so many Healthcare Sales Reps struggle with creating value is because they are viewing value through the wrong lens… their lens and not their customers’ lens.

Creating Value

True story: The overwhelming majority of salespeople who we train and meet with still typically answer the following question the same:

Question to the salesperson: “Do you create value for your customer and, if you do, what value are you creating?”

Salesperson: “Of course I do! I bring value to my customers by always being 3 steps ahead. I’m always prepared. I’m always on time and I always have all of the equipment that we may or may not use in our case. And…. I bring lunch to the customers office at least twice a month!” 

I’m not kidding. I worked side by side with them for 15 years and I continue to train them today. These salespeople, who work at both large and small healthcare companies, answer that question EXACTLY the same. In their eyes, that is how you bring value to the customer. Most have never stopped to ask what really is important.

News Flash folks: The above answer (I’m prepared, I’m on time, I’m always 3 steps ahead) is nothing more than the price of admission to the game.  Customers in this industry expect those things!  Those things are the BARE MINIMUM! If you can’t at least do those things, you’ll never get a single case with a doc.

So, we ask again, how do you bring value? Real value. Value that matters.

The answer: “…crickets….”

They’re lost. Everything they’ve been told is important, suddenly doesn’t matter anymore and they are completely lost.

Ok, ok, ok. I’ll stop beating the dead horse. If you’ve been in this business for any length of time and you’ve done well, you know the answer. Why? Because you’ve asked the right questions.

But, and this is a significant but, what if you could bring value that matters to your customer and your good ole’ competitor was still talking about what really didn’t matter? You think you might sell some more widgets? Just maybe?

Relationships are the Foundation

Sales reps need to be able to get inside the minds of their customers in order to truly understand what it is they care about and desire. There is a significant difference between what you ‘think’ your customer needs and what they ‘actually’ care about. You need to spend the time to understand the difference. If you can do this, you will lay the foundation for building true customer value. I would even go as far to say that if you could not only understand what your customers truly need, but how to deliver that over and over again – that your competitors will become obsolete over time.

Don’t let your sales business suffer because you can’t keep up! ProSellus is your “easy button” to answering the question of value for any client. You can also build references and a network of referrals to create intrinsic value in your services as a sales rep. In short, everything you need to win is in this little mobile tool called Linx. It was built by sales reps FOR sales reps. Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s talk about how we can help you create this value and build your customer relationships effectively and efficiently.

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Be the “Top Chef” in Healthcare Sales

Any seasoned sales rep – regardless of industry – will tell you that they have a perfected sales formula.  Well, that’s what they’ll tell you or any manager who asks, but realistically speaking it’s probably NOT written down, nor is it transferable.  It’s probably more along the lines of, “This is just what I do, and how I’ve done it for ‘X’ years and have been successful.” While it may only have a 99% success rate (realistically, more like 50 – 85%), it can always be improved. Before rocketing into the realm of advanced sales techniques, let’s examine the basic step-by-step sales process for your average rep.

  1. Make contact & Build Rapport
  2. Ask prospective client about their need (Questions, Question, Questions)
  3. Introduce and explain product/service and how it fits their need
  4. Establish rational desire and emotional need
  5. Close the deal

Uh….what is this exactly?

This is a formula, a to-do list, a dull and boring recipe. A recipe for failure if you ask me, and to throw a little salt on the wounded ego’s out there reading this, your prospect, ya’ know, the person you’re trying to turn into a cash-paying customer, they’ve seen it a million times and they’re tired of it.  Quite frankly, most brand-new, straight out of college sales reps are taught something really similar to the above “Formula”, and not surprisingly the majority fail.

Do the Top Chefs in the world follow recipes by the book? I think not. They add flavor, innovation, and creativity. The Best Chefs think “outside the box”. I mean, they have to these days to even make a name for themselves. Sure, there are some that are experts at the tried and true recipes, but most need an edge in order to shake things up in the industry. The same goes for sales reps, especially in the healthcare industry.

To be a “Top Chef” in the healthcare sales industry, one must think 5 steps ahead of his or her customer physician in order to build and own that loyalty. There is so much competition in this arena, you can no longer simply take your doctors out to dinner or to a “course” somewhere and expect there to be any loyalty.  At best you may be able to START the process of building some rapport. You certainly cannot expect to beat your competition based on product features and benefits, or what you’ve always thought of as bringing value.  The value you think you bring really isn’t nearly as valuable as you once thought.  (More on bringing value in a future post)

So what is a sales rep to do? Has anyone thought of another way to appeal to the customer? Is there a tool to support that? You bet there is.

More Than Just Strategies

There is a crucial difference between sales processes and sales methodologies. Employing both in your techniques will increase your engagement numbers (and revenue). Sales methodologies include how you approach the entire sales process. Are you a more aggressive salesperson or do you approach your clients with a more empathetic approach? Do you really think about what the customer cares about and keeps them up at night?  Maybe you should think about how to create more value for your customer other than by offering your hot new product. Identifying which approach works best for which customer might be your best option for maximizing territory and revenue.  And the legit “A” players of the sales world are chameleons. They can turn a different color in a matter of seconds based on the posture, tone, look, feel, answers to questions they receive from customers or even staff members of the customer. They can turn on a dime.

Beyond implementing sales methodologies though, you must also depend on management support. Unfortunately, communication breakdowns can lead to missed calls, misunderstandings and ultimately missed opportunities which can ultimately change the trajectory of your business. Relationship management within your own team matters almost as much as your client relationship management.

While all of the above is much better than simply following the earlier “list” or “recipe” of a sales process, it is still not enough to break away from the herd of sales people these days. Sure, while having solid methodologies and innovative approaches will help differentiate yourself and potentially create more value for a customer, there is still one unresolved issue – it has to do with speed and how fast you can close the deal.

Using Sales Acceleration Tools to Enhance Results

No matter which sales process or methodology you may ascribe to, you won’t get too far without using the right tools – sales acceleration tools to be precise. Think about how much you would rock your territory if you not only offered the one thing your customer really cared about, but you were also able to access that one thing instantaneously from a mobile app?  Think about how much time in the field you would spend actually SELLING versus SEARCHING? Take the painstaking and laborious task of finding and tracking physician referrals: What if you could completely streamline that massive network with ProSellus Linx? “Actionable Intelligence” is not just some fancy buzzword. It’s a brand new reality few sales reps know how to embrace and conquer. Take your first steps and email me at Scottwalle@prosellus.com for your step-by-step process to revolutionize your sales strategies, break away from the herd once and for all, and finally become the sought after “Top Chef” in your territory.

ProSellus, Inc. – One of Houston’s fastest growing healthcare software startups announces partnership with Redhouse Associates

PRESS RELEASE

HOUSTON, TX – 03/06/17 – ProSellus, Inc., one of Houston’s fastest growing healthcare software startups, today announced a partnership with Redhouse Associates, one of Houston’s most successful startup accelerator teams.  ProSellus will work closely with the Redhouse to accelerate product development, add functionality to its existing products and prepare it for future growth. Currently, the ProSellus Linx™ Tool serves the healthcare sales industry, particularly medical devices that have a need to target the right physicians quickly, build networks effectively, and grow revenue exponentially. ProSellus Linx™ is a sales acceleration tool that directly impacts revenue for the busy healthcare sales person by utilizing massive amounts of critical healthcare data and delivering it into an easy-to-use mobile tool. ProSellus Linx™ is on track to disrupt the sales tactic status-quo and pioneer a new way to improve the bottom line.

“With our product only having been on the market for 6 months, we have managed to build a solid customer base with several major medical device corporations. This new partnership with Redhouse Associates will enable us to continue on our growth trajectory and expand into other markets.” said Scott Walle, the Founder and CEO of ProSellus. “The exceptional caliber and management expertise of RedHouse Associates is a tremendous asset to the ProSellus team. We are excited about the market opportunity and believe that Redhouse Associates will help accelerate our growth.”

“After our first meeting with ProSellus, it was clear that they are able to deliver a sales acceleration solution to the medical device sales industry that is revolutionary and unprecedented,” said Doug Erwin of Redhouse Associates. “The founders of ProSellus are proven entrepreneurs and we are excited about the size of the market, the potential sales pipeline, and reference-able customer base. We feel that this type of technology will not only apply to the medical device industry, but other industries in the future.”

About ProSellus, Inc.

ProSellus, Inc. is a pioneer of the next healthcare sales revolution. We are veteran medical device sales leaders who have turned a proven networking methodology into a sales acceleration solution which is unparalleled in the marketplace and will impact medical device and pharmaceutical sales businesses like never before. The ProSellus Linx™ Software System is designed to empower healthcare companies to connect their physicians to business growth opportunities. It is the first solution built to aggregate complex healthcare data which helps sales professionals build networks effectively while in the field. By utilizing ProSellus Linx™, healthcare sales companies will not only differentiate themselves from the competition, but create a significant competitive advantage while accelerating revenue growth.

About RedHouse Associates, LLC 

RedHouse Associates provides strategic advice and services to assist clients in developing business plans, devising product strategies, growing sales organizations, preparing senior management teams for interaction with investors, and advise our on raising capital and strategic exits.  Visit www.RedHouseAssociates.com for more information.

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Healthcare Sales: How to nail your territory

You already know how ProSellus can augment and streamline your healthcare sales business. Whether you’re new to the game or a grizzled veteran (like me), you know there are certain key strategies even big data can’t replace. We touched on a few things in our Beginner’s Guide to Marketing, so consider this the next chapter in that same direction. Of course, for some of us, it might just be a much needed refresher course!

Three Core Traits All Sales Reps Should Have (to be successful!)

Psst: we are going to let you in on a few secrets – all successful reps seem to have 3 key traits when running their business. The first one is effective listening. If you don’t actually hear what your potential client is telling you, you could miss a very important opportunity and ultimately lose a sale. As a sales person, I was told a million times, “You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason; use them proportionately.”

The second key trait is the ability to create meaningful relationships and challenge the customer to think differently. Some people might tell you that formal sales training matters more than interpersonal skills, but they’d be wrong. Beyond the ability to be well-liked or hold a conversation, you have to learn how to forge lasting bonds of trust with your clients. If they trust your business acumen, integrity, and ability to be a significant resource, you can build anything with them.

The third key trait is one you’ve probably heard a million times: organization and goal setting. The old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” goes triple for the work of sales reps. With the amount of accounts, information, and numbers you have to maintain and monitor, strong planning abilities and an affinity for color coding are pivotal for any sales rep.

I can’t stress the last key trait enough, Planning & Goal Setting, because this may be one of the most important habits you can create in order to be a dominating force in the Healthcare Sales Industry.

As I mentioned before one of the significant challenges associated with planning is there are SO MANY MOVING PARTS to running a successful healthcare sales territory!  Just take a snapshot for a quick second and think about how many accounts you have to manage, both physicians and facilities (hospitals, surgery centers, etc), coupled with all the tasks for each!  Now, if you’re really successful you know how to connect the dots of customers to potential referring customers and after a quick few weeks it’s a tangled web you can’t control… But what if you could? What if you could literally control the market? What would that possibly look like to your territory then?

The Second Ultimate Secret Weapon

ProSellus is your ultimate secret weapon when it comes to selling strategies. But you can’t reap the full benefits of this amazing product without pairing it with the second ultimate secret weapon: realistic expectations and goals. We touched briefly on the importance of goal setting, but you have to run before you can teleport. Realistic goal setting applies in two ways: with yourself and with your clients. You need to be honest with yourself about how many things you can accomplish in a day. Once you’ve identified what you CAN accomplish, add two or three more things to that list. You know the saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars” – that’s the idea here. Then, you need to be realistic about your clients. A physician with a small, family-focused practice won’t be interested in the same opportunities as a large scale business.

There are more tips and tricks to identify, of course, but this is merely chapter two in our ever evolving Beginner’s Guide to Everything. If you’d love to learn more about how ProSellus can upgrade your healthcare sales arsenal, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com. Let’s discuss your present, but, more importantly, your future using actionable intelligence to improve profits and efficiency.

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