surgery-676375_1920

What Qualities Make a GREAT Medical Device Rep?

What Qualities Make a Great Medical Device Sales Rep

Diligent.

Positive.

Engaging.

Convincing.

You know the normal ones… and then there are these…

Innovator.

Strategist.

Ruthless Competitor.

Out-of-the-Box Thinker.

The first 4 are some of the typical adjectives thrown around when discussing the personality of any kind of sales rep.

The second 4 are adjectives that describe the “rainmakers” in the medical device sales industry. They are often misunderstood.  Sometimes perceived as arrogant. Sometimes the marketing department doesn’t like them because they don’t fully embrace the message marketing wants distributed.  You know the people we’re talking about… they stick out.

There is one thing though that everyone notices about these reps. You can always see the “wheels” turning.  These reps never stop thinking of ways to differentiate themselves, and many times it’s not to differentiate themselves from competitors as much as it is that they just want to be several steps ahead… of everyone.

Like any commission-based work, the ledger of your success is measured by the amount of time you put into it and the connections you build in the field.  But these medical device reps don’t take it a step further, they take it a mile further (for example, they help build physician referrals to solidify their base of business and lock out competitors).

As a medical device sales rep, you are responsible for doing your own research, making the in-person visits, closing deals, and following up with existing customers to make sure no opportunity is left untapped. Even though prospects are bright for 2018, the competition is still so fierce that failing to be a Leader in your sales strategy means losing customers. So, no, it’s not the product that is holding you back – it’s the approach you take to your work. There are multiple characteristics that separate a great medical device sales rep from an average medical device sales rep, including:

An Ability to Make the Most Out of First Impressions

 Making a great first impression might sound like an old adage you could apply to anything in life. That’s because it is.

It is especially important in the medical device sales industry because customers make decisions quickly and take ages to change their mind.  The Rainmaker’s in this business do their homework (ie. what product(s) does the physician currently use?  Does this physician see every rep that offers a free lunch?  Is it worth my time? What competitors does this physician, or has this physician, done research or consulting work with? And these are just a few…)

A sales rep worth their stripes will know how to get their point across quickly, know what is important to the physician clinically and in business while showing their product off effortlessly. What does that mean in practice? It means prolonging your first presentation until you are fully prepared. It means doing the hard research to find out exactly what the customer or prospect needs, including the history of the hospital and its stakeholders. It means developing a set of contingency plans so that when you walk into a sales presentation you can engage the customer at different levels and make it hard for them to say no. They create the environment where the potential customer has a really hard time saying no.  This seems like it could take forever right?  Maybe not…

Knowing How to Stay One Step Ahead of the Sale

Foresight is key in the industry because opportunity is precious. A great sales rep knows they need an excellent medical device sales tool like ProSellus at their disposal to isolate targets and map out interactions with key players involved in the sale. They also know to contact all parties involved beforehand to ensure the deal goes through. Connecting with other manufacturers, distributors, and various parties at the hospital during the discussion stage is a great way to push the deal along and keep everyone on the same page.

Also, part of staying ahead means solving roadblocks and creating value on the way to success. A great sales rep knows how to open doors and influence key stakeholders to ensure nothing gets held up in the transnational process. Your Rainmaker’s create an environment where NO is never the final answer.


A Thorough Follow-Up Plan

The follow-up plan is your insurance. All too often, sales reps take a flimsy approach to the follow-up. As most of you know, selling your product is only part of the deal in this business. The service required to keep customers happy and coming back to you is paramount.  A great sales rep is the one that is thinking several steps ahead, that means clinically and sometimes, equally as important, in business. They are viewed as the true experts in the market.  Keep in mind… I didn’t say expert only about their product… I said the entire market.

Lastly, if you would like to talk more about the Qualities to that the best Medical Devices Salespeople posses or if you’d like to hear more about the ProSellus Healthcare “Non”-CRM, feel free to reach out to me at scottwalle@prosellus.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

repless model MAIN IMAGE_surgry back table

The Rep-Less Medical Device Sales Model: Can It Work?

If you’re in the medical device industry and you haven’t heard about company’s, or your company for that matter, trying to go “rep-less” you’re either living under a rock or don’t want to face the reality.

Buckling down to close a big sale or grow your existing business in the med device industry is hard work. It takes countless interactions with physicians, hospitals, ASC’s and other stakeholders before they are convinced of your product or service. These meetings often happen over weeks and months in the form of emails, texts, calls, and in-person demos, LOTS of in-person interaction. (Did I mention LOTS of in-person interaction?)

The Personality of a Sales Rep is Intangible

A lot of sales reps like to think it’s their captivating personality and rhetorical acumen that gets them a sale or converts a competitive customer in the end. At least this is the attitude of your conventional sales person – the one who bets they can sell anything under the sun because they are just so dang convincing. (And let’s face it folks, most sales managers want salespeople who believe they can walk on water, no matter the situation. These rainmakers believe so much in themselves that failure never enters their minds. These are the people sales managers love to hire…)

It’s a theory that many people come to because of the nature of sales in the medical device industry. No software program had been devised that could generate more convincing results than the tried and true sales rep model, and so the intangible value of a medical device sales person has stuck throughout the years. And quite frankly, let’s face it, if it was easy everyone would do it!

Until now, that is. Today there are so many impressive medical referral management systems and CRM’s on the market that are “believed” to isolate leads and produce targeted marketing material on an individual level. Indeed, the emergence of truly effective CRM’s begs the question: can manufacturing companies save tons of money by cutting their sales reps and making it work with a medical referral management program or CRM?

The Financial Value for Companies

 A rep-less medical device sales model would look something like this:

  • A manufacturing company hires an expensive digital marketing agency and begins putting together a lead-generation strategy for new and existing customers. The price would be lower because no salesman is taking a cut, the bargain being that they wouldn’t have to close as many sales without a sales rep as they did with a sales rep because of the cost savings. (Pretty straight forward, right?)
  • The cost savings could either be realized by the company as higher profits OR the company could pass-on some of those savings to its customers creating a more competitive pricing strategy at the customer level. Therefore, giving the customer what they want: cheaper prices. (And in the end completely devastating reimbursement from CMS, which kills the product or therapy in the long run… awesome.)

  • The physicians they target can read up about products and learn as much as they can about specs virtually. Companies would also offer more frequent labs/training seminars for physicians. They would have to request shipment of a free demo or ask any questions they have with a tele-sales rep and make a judgement based on these experiences. (If you work with surgeons you are probably rolling your eyes right now, thinking, “yeah right… I can totally see my docs doing just that. Sitting behind their computer listening to some bozo over the phone teach them how to operate.” But, virtual medicine is a reality these days and robots do surgery, so don’t think it’s impossible.)
  • The manufacturing company would hope that their digital content is accurate enough to answer most of the questions a physician might have, or customer/technical services can fill the gap. (Big gamble)

This might look okay in theory, but in practice it does away with the most important intangible in the medical device industry: trust between a manufacturer and a physician or hospital. If you ever wondered why building industry relationships was an important feature of the job, you just got your answer.

In most situations, the salespeople in this industry aren’t just Joe Schmo’s who sell a product and walk away.  In more instances than recognized these reps are IN the operating room offering feedback and support about products to the physicians.  In addition, these reps provide support, service and value that can not be achieved through a “virtual” assistant. This is something that can not be replaced.

However, there are products sold by many medical device reps that are considered commoditized.  We’ve all heard it, “A screw is a screw, is a screw.”  These are the models where rep-less sales territories are considered first, and in some scenarios considered efficient.

Another example is a very recent interaction I was privy to.  A customer of ours was considering a rep-less model for one specific hospital in a major market, but the reality was that at some point they were going to HAVE to use a local salesperson to support the customer.  Again, the model didn’t work.

Software Should Not Replace Sales Reps, It Should Help Them

It might take a little while for the company to realize it, but hopefully they will understand the true value of a sales rep AND the true value of a specialized Healthcare CRM. Marketing and sales need to integrate better, not replace one another. The fact is that software cannot replace the intangible human qualities of a sales rep because it is the emotional support and physical presence of an informed representative that is so valuable to a physician. They want to be able to meet in person and develop a bond of trust with sales reps.

At the same time, sales reps need a specialized Healthcare CRM designed specifically for them.  Many company’s try the “Big Box” CRM’s and find they aren’t specifically built for their industry and leads to failure. Sales reps need to use a customized CRM that hunts and actually brings them to potential customers and offers insight into these doctors that is meaningful, insightful, and right on point. That’s why they need to use a Healthcare CRM like ProSellus, which allows you to filter by speciality, build solid physician networks, and track the status of your leads – all from your mobile device while you’re out on the road or desktop while you’re in the office!

Lastly, this topic can touch a nerve with many in this industry.  We’d love your feedback or experience from attempts to make this model work.

If you would like to talk more about the rep-less sales model or are interested in the Healthcare “Non”-CRM ProSellus, feel free to reach out to me at scottwalle@prosellus.com.

Pro 4

A Day in the Life of the Healthcare Sales Rep, part 2: The Quarter End Close

DING. DING. DING.

It’s 4:45 am…

The alarm hits you like a freight train.

After all, it’s Quarter End and you were up late last night entertaining a customer.

You rub your eyes feeling as if you had just 5 seconds ago put your head down to go to sleep, only to stare at your phone and remind yourself, “It’s the last day of the quarter…”.

The last day of the fiscal quarter for Healthcare sales reps is beyond hectic. To put it to you point blank, it’s freaking stressful.

You will be forced to answer calls and reply to several messages from your manager asking,

  • “What kind of deal can we get done today?”
  • “Can you collect this PO and that one?”
  • “Can you get that clinic to finally place an order?”

And on and on and on.

On top of replying to the entendre of messages, you manage your docs, hospitals, ASC’s, etc. After all, your Quarter End doesn’t matter to them nor does it mean that relationships get put on the backburner.

You stare at the Keurig as it makes a rushed cup of coffee, while you look back and forth at the emails that came through overnight on your phone and out the door, you go. To your dismal surprise, it’s raining and a bitter 40 degrees outside.

Awesome.

You are forced to sit in traffic and at the red light you continue to stare at the email your manager sent you yesterday, the same one you’ve looked at twice already this morning. The email shows your QTD sales numbers. You compare the numbers to the scribbled notes you’ve been keeping since the 1st of the month.

There are 3 things you are possibly thinking while looking at your numbers:

Personally, I’ve been in all three of these positions. If you stick around this business long enough, it’s inevitable to spend time in positions #2 and #3. If you are lucky enough, you will experience position #1 over and over.

This is the reality of 100% of salespeople in Healthcare sales today.

It’s a career that means constant pressure such as hearing, “It’s the most important close, of the most important month, of the most important quarter, of the most important year…. EVER”. Constantly.

Your reps dread this time of the quarter/year.

Can you blame them?

  • By this point, it’s too late to make a major impact, unless there is a move in the making that has been worked on for weeks or even months prior.
  • Their normally calm, cool and collected manager, manages to completely lose their cool.
  • Reps’ phones are bombarded and blown up by their manager wanting updates, as they sit through a 7:00 am case.

No one likes to talk about this part of being a healthcare rep.

The part that’s stressful, and can make you lose your hair and gain a few extra pounds.

When your family asks about your work, you tell them about surgeries and the docs, nurses, and admins you love to work with. You tell them about the rush, the money and being part of an important team.  You almost always omit about what the stress is like.

THE BOTTOM LINE

This business can take you to places you never thought imaginable, but you can’t escape the Quarter End/Year end close.

You need to be consistently finding new revenue streams from new, up and coming physicians or accounts.  Better yet, what if you found the patients before they found their specialist and you could direct where they went?  A constant source of new patients to fill your pipeline!

Now THAT ensures constant growth and constant growth ensures stress-free Quarter End closes… all the time.

So, how do you, whether you’re a rep for one of the biggest Healthcare companies in the world, or an independent rep selling an entire smorgasbord of products from different manufacturers manage this part of the job?  But not manage it AT the Quarter End, manage it throughout the Quarter to where you never have to deal with the stress of the Quarter End?

That’s why you need something more than a CRM. You need a tool that tracks revenue, leverages the right data for you and can show trends for the entire quarter on your phone.

A tool that will never leave you in the dark and that will always let you know where you stand. One that can propel you to meet each Quarter End in position #1. If you are at a loss for answers, or you’re stuck in a “Big Box” CRM tool that just tracks what your reps do and doesn’t ever offer insights into physicians you DON’T know, but who can help you fill that pipeline, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com.  Let’s talk about how ProSellus can help you and your team never stress the Quarter End close again…

 

Millenials1

Do Millennials Get a Bad Rap?

Can They Make it in the Uber-Competitive Medical Device Industry?

Millennials.

They don’t buy American beer. They don’t play golf. They help others in need. They save more money than their predecessors. They aspire to a work-life balance.

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but sometimes in the Med Device Industry, there is NO work-life balance.

Gen-Y, the upscale word for “millennials”, is impossible to ignore.

They are the largest population in the U.S. and get bashed, more so than other generations prior. “Millennials” or “Gen-Y” often equates to a slew of words including:

  • Arrogant
  • Narcissistic
  • Entitled

Let’s not forget “selfie”. There’s a constant debate whether these points are true, but what is true, is that millennials make up the majority of the U.S. work force. Which means, it’s just a matter of time before they make up the majority of your sales team, if they don’t already…

By 2025, they’ll make up 75% of it. It’s critical to understand who millennials are and how they think to recruit top talent to the medical device industry.

Which leaves two choices. You can continue to judge millennials, or you can focus on their strengths, of which they have many.

I know, I know… many of you sales managers out there have gotten very accustomed to the sales teams you’ve had in the past that had the mentality of kick a** and take names, but if you don’t embrace this group of up and comers you will find yourself on the outside looking in.

Think about it, these shapers of our culture are all millennials:

  1. Mark Zuckerburg – Creator of FaceBook
  2. Brian Chesky – Founder of Airbnb
  3. Matthew Mullenweg – Creator of WordPress
  4. Jessica Alba – Creator of the Honest Company
  5. Adam D’ Angelo – Founder of Quora

And the list could go on.

There’s a power in not settling for the status quo of how things have been run in previous generations, for not accepting anything but a workplace meritocracy, a stimulating environment where la crème de la crème of ideas win.

Medical Sales is Ideal for the Millennial Lifestyle (to a degree…)

The medical device industry isn’t for everyone. You don’t get to hit snooze three times before dragging yourself to work to clock in at nine, just to stare at the clock for the next eight hours. You must be sharp, have self-motivation to devour the day and bring solutions to your clients, even before they know they need them.

It’s stressful and there’s a high chance of turnover. On the same token, it’s the ultimate meritocracy – a work environment where the talented are chosen and advanced based on achievement.

You can’t fake numbers. You can’t fake cultivating authentic relationships with medical staff. Nor can you fake bringing value to physicians and nurses with the newest technologies on the market that can help them and their patients.

For some, a lucrative and equally competitive industry serves as motivation to push the envelope. The reward is work autonomy, making great money {far more than their peers with the same level of education in other industries} and living an entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Status.
Freedom.
Money.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Not everyone makes it as a medical device sales rep. Most crack under pressure and fail to deliver.  But, the ones that do, reap significant rewards.

Do millennials have what it takes to make it in the medical device industry?

Yes! I think they can thrive, as the med device industry is a culture and way of life that parallels what they are looking for in their work.

Here are eight reasons why:

1: THEIR PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES WITH A “FLEX” SCHEDULE

Gen-Y wants to slay the 9-5 mentality.

The argument is: flexible hours increases productivity, incentive and job satisfaction. It’s estimated that in the next decade, the 9-5 approach may be eradicated entirely.

Over 75% of millennials want flexible hours, something that is completely possible in the career of medical sales. Although a demanding industry, you have the power to dictate your hours. In fact, medical sales reps admit flexibility is one of the highest perks of their career.

You may have to get up at 5am and work throughout the day – on and off – until midnight, but the work autonomy is worth its weight in gold. You can make that yoga class and carve out time to catch up with an old friend over lunch.

Millennials know not to take work autonomy for granted, they know it’s okay for the lines that divide “life” and “work” to blend, and they feel comfortable when it happens because it’s up to their disposal when to shift from work back to personal time.

 

2: THEY SUFFER FROM WANDERLUST & TRAVELING A TERRITORY IS PART OF THE MEDICAL DEVICE INDUSTRY

As I’ve mentioned, millennials are allergic to cubicles, in fact, they travel more than any other generation. I’m kind of jealous to be honest…

Coincidentally, travel is fundamental in the medical device industry. Being out in the field is more common than being in the office. Truth be told, in all my years in the device business I don’t think I really had a ‘real’ office. The office is more of a place to check back in than to get the weight of your work done.

Traveling is inevitable in the medical device industry, especially if you want to be a top performer.

The numbers speak for themselves, the more a medical sales rep travels, the more they make. The highest earning medical sales reps travel 75% of the time.

Whether it’s visiting local hospitals and doctor’s offices – or hopping on a plane to meet a client five states over – it’s not stagnant work. Reps can dictate how much they want to travel, ultimately finding their specific balance between “income” and being present at home with their families.

 

3: MONEY MATTERS, BUT HAPPINESS TAKES THE CAKE

Millennials need money. They want money. To pay bills. To travel. To buy organic food.

This is great, because the medical device industry is a lucrative field. A sales rep can earn $100,000 on average, and there are many that make far more than that.

Millennials value happiness more than money. We’ve all said we would “cut back on work” to be home more and value our happiness, but these people LIVE by that thought process.

Nearly 80% of millennials would rather enjoy what they do than receive a heftier paycheck. And in the realm of work, happiness and enjoyment comes in the form of work-life balance. When millennials have work-life balance, they feel satisfied.

When millennials feel satisfied, they are productive and innovative.

This also aligns with the industry, because the power of this industry is that you can control your input. You dictate your own equation of what work-life balance looks like to you.

What a medical device rep gets out is what they put in, it’s an entrepreneurial way of life.

If they want to work 18 hours a day for that fatter paycheck, it’s within their control and it’s their decision. They get to decide their individual balance that fosters their happiness.

 

4: THEY WANT TO MAKE AN IMPACT & CAN DO SO BY ADVANCING IN THE MEDICAL WORLD

Making an impact.

It made number 3 on the reasons why medical sales reps enjoy their work.

It’s also a top outcome that millennials desire from their work.

In the medical device industry, they can make an impact by allowing patients access to better technology for their treatments, from patients suffering from a headache to those suffering from stage four cancer, and all patients in between.

Medical sales reps believe in the products they represent because they:

Millennials want to make an impact and they can do so through the products and expertise they offer physicians.

Gen-Y wants to feel as if they have a purpose in the cutting edge, as well as give back. They want to know and feel that what they are doing matters in the world and is bettering at least one person.

What better way to do so than with medical technology?

 

5: THEY THOROUGHLY ENJOY COLLABORATING

Millennials are seeking out workplaces that honor collaboration.  It’s on their list of top ten things they want in a work environment.

The medical device industry is built on collaboration with leading physicians, surgeons and nurses of all specialties. These medical leaders and medical sales reps are ultimately working together to improve the patient experience,  surgery, etc.

In many sales and clinical positions in med device today, the reps play a critical role and are looked at as “part of the team” when treating patients. How about that for collaboration?

It’s about meeting with leading medical professionals and figuring out a way to enhance their practices and what they offer. It’s being part of a team that is offering cutting-edge equipment to progress the medical world.

 

6: THEY FOSTER WORK RELATIONSHIPS

It’s no coincidence that medical sales reps report that the relationships they cultivate with their clients and with the patients they serve is the number one reason they love what they do.

The need for relationships is in our DNA.

Millennials know the power of authenticity when it comes to working relationships. They won’t just take your material product and go sell it door to door at physician’s offices. Millennials are more likely to sell your mission and to believe in the product they are offering their customers.

Product knowledge and being informed prior to a purchase is key to Gen-Y. They will know your product, they will be prepared to answer any questions from potential prospects, not in an aggressive “greasy sales guy” type of way, but in an “I’m offering your practice value” way.

Millennials put the spotlight on people, not the cut on commission that is going to hit their account. Trust me, when it’s the other way around, meaning commission is first on your mind, it’s obvious to your customer and a big turn off to them.

The authenticity millenials cultivate in their working relationships and friendships has shown to increase their productivity.

It’s this type of mindset that leads to excelling in the medical device industry.

 

7: THEY WELCOME FEEDBACK FROM THEIR HIGHER UPS

As a medical sales rep, your manager will always give you feedback to how you are ranking in your territory.

This constant flux of feedback drives millennials to give their absolute best. Don’t confuse feedback for admiration, that’s not what it’s about. Gen-Y wants to keep tabs on the score, they want to know how they are doing and how to improve. Over 70% of millennials are satisfied with their work when they receive frequent feedback.

SALES MANAGERS! WE’RE TALKING DIRECTLY TO YOU: WHEN WE SAY FEEDBACK, WE’RE NOT TALKING MICRO-MANAGEMENT OR BELITTLING. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT BEING A LEADER, A COACH, A MENTOR. MILLENNIALS ARE VERY COACH-ABLE.

 

What I mean is, Gen-Y is loyal to a place of work where a sense of rapport exists enough that there is that open sense of communication and transparency.

In medical sales, you won’t always see your boss in the office, it’s heavily built on text and email communication – because of the distance between management and sales reps. This e-feedback works for millennials as they are accustomed to check in and reply via text and email.

 

8: THEY HAVE TECHNOLOGICAL PROWESS & THEY KNOW THE POWER IT HOLDS

Millennials adapt to new technology twice as fast as others. That comes as little surprise, as they grew up with technology at their (literal) fingertips. They also know that data doesn’t lie. Selling to them is a science, with a specific working equation, evident in data.

Gen-Y knows that most emails are read at a specific time, under a specific word count, with a specific subject line and format to the message. The point is, they follow the research trends and apply what works to prospective leads – they aren’t picking processes out of a hat.

Before meeting with a potential customer, a millennial has seen their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, etc. and understands their personal vibe and philosophy.

Any millennial knows that before meeting with a client, the prospect has also checked them out online as well as the product they are interested in. And they’re right, greater than 50% of a prospective clients decision is made by hopping on google and scoping out the scene, before a face-to-face meeting.

Millennials understand the power of branding LinkedIn and Twitter consistently to further drive the value that they offer in terms of what they do and why they do it. Selling themselves socially comes as second nature to Gen-Y.

In the medical device industry, a physician has checked out the company, rep and whatever research there is on the new device, before the rep appears at their office with a suitcase and a dozen bagels.

It helps to have a consistently branded social media stream, as it strengthens first impressions even prior to the first face-to-face meeting. Social Media and information doesn’t intimidate Gen-Y. It’s clear that they use their technological savvy to their advantage.

The bottom line is this: all the tools you’ve been trying to get your reps to use for years… millennials will use them, but only if they are valuable to their business.

They understand data and crave more of it, but in the fast-paced world of med device, the company needs to catch up to the millennials. Companies cannot continue delivering data and expecting data in old, dinosaur-esque files like Excel and CSV.

Those tools are fine if you spend 90% of your work time behind a desk, but that isn’t the reality for most of your reps.

THE TAKEAWAY? URGE MILLENNIALS TO GET ON BOARD

Foster a work environment that appeals to the millennial mindset and they will be inspired to offer priceless ideas that can take your operation to the next level.

If you can offer Gen-Y the opportunity to make an impact, to find a sense of purpose, reasonable pay and the freedom for them find a healthy work-life balance, then you are on your way to attracting top millennial talent and thought leaders.

Talent that wants to live and experience the best of life, as well as create something impactful in their specific industry.

Loyalty is something that will have to be earned with Gen-Y, it isn’t accepted at face value.

How will you earn their loyalty at your company?

What are you or your company doing to create an environment for millennials to not just survive but THRIVE? Is there a way to merge the “old school” way of doing things with the analytical mind of the millennial?

If you are at a loss for answers, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s talk about how ProSellus can help your team EMBRACE and EMPOWER the millennial generation.

 

sales-acceleration-software-e1456244475698

Your Sales Acceleration Formula: Pt. 1

ProSellus Debuts “The Sales Acceleration Formula…Part One”

We mentioned last month that we would be debuting a two part blog series on the ultimate sales acceleration formula. Since we are growth engineers of our word, we have the first part of the sales acceleration formula right here, right now.

Are you ready to hack your sales strategies?

Part One: Know Your Audience Like You Know Yourself

This may sound like a fluff phrase, but seriously: it’s one of the biggest parts of the sales acceleration formula. You cannot get to part two and part three without it. Period. So, how do we execute part one? You need contacts.

One of the biggest tenets of sales acceleration is having well-maintained and solid customer relationships. Now, if you are scratching your head at this, let’s recap some of our other blogs on how sales acceleration works.

Cultivate Relationships Based on Need & Demand

You might remember from one of your intro business classes the term “value proposition.” It is how you establish value in your sales pitches to customers. Of course, I’m tweaking the definition just a bit because I’m focused on medical device sales. But you get the idea.

As we have covered before, establishing value for repeat customers requires a deft hand and an open ear. You can’t just go in there throwing around free dinners and boring presentations. People don’t respond to traditional sales pitches like they used to. You have to establish REAL value by establishing a relationship first.

In an effort to increase the success rate of your customer relationship attempts, check out this blog on the type of sales rep NOT to be. People can debate all day long about the kind of sales rep you SHOULD be. But I’ve found that it is much easier to know what tactics and behaviors to avoid instead.

So, What’s the Trick? Where’s the “Easy Button”?

The “trick” to managing customer relationships isn’t really a trick either (by the way). You can build a referral network simply by being actively engaged in the lives and well-being of your customers.

One physician customer is overloaded with patients (or more realistically, doesn’t have enough patients). Do you know someone who can help? Do you know physicians that can either help with the overload or more importantly send patients to your customer?  Make a recommendation. Set up a dinner, lunch or happy hour and watch your value increase 10x.  You can leverage your contacts to further your success.

Try to avoid getting caught up in just the features and benefits of your products.  Physicians can read; they know the features and benefits of all the products.  Listen to what they NEED.

That’s what sales is about!

It might take an extra five minutes on a call or a few texts or emails here and there. But investing in your customers and the well-being of their patients means that they will invest in your medical device sales business. True Story.

More to Come….Stay Tuned

This is merely part one in a series of three parts to this sales acceleration formula. Parts two and three will be coming down the pipeline in the coming months. But if you are hungry for more now (which…if you are a sales rep always trying to dominate your market, you are always hungry), email me.

I’m available at Scottwalle@prosellus.com anytime for questions on sales acceleration, sales enablement, and our all-in-one tool for sales reps designed by sales reps.

 

Google3

Newly Launched “Desktop” Dashboard & Management Module for Sales Teams

ProSellus originally aimed our product at medical device sales reps, whether you were an independent rep or working for a large corporation.  Being a veteran sales rep myself, I wanted to design a product for a vastly underserved market, the actual salespeople. In our last blog we covered why sales people loathe CRMs so much, so if you need a primer on why and how ProSellus came to be, there ya go!

While planning and developing our new functions and features, we wanted to expand our audience from individuals to teams and businesses. Every salesperson should have access to a tool specifically designed for their success, don’t you think? (And quite frankly, the big box CRM’s don’t really “fit” this market…)

From the Palm of Your Hand Right to Your Desktop

 

The best part of our desktop version: you can access ALL of the features from our original mobile app + streamlined analytics and reporting!

While it is helpful for your average sales rep to have a powerful all-in-one tool on-the-go, integration is the name of the game in 2018. With the added capability to track your individual territory or your entire team on a desktop, you can more aggressively approach new areas with a more strategic mindset.

The move to cross-platform also informs our expansion to include the “management module” for sales teams and their leaders.

The Best of CRMs, Social Media, & Data Management

One of the biggest headaches I had as a sales rep was how many damn programs and tools I needed on a daily basis. Even as part of a team, I had to use upwards of 10 things a day to track sales, project new sales, connect with clients, etc. (It was a nightmare!)

Interestingly enough, I spoke to a large biotech company just last week that used FIVE (yes FIVE) different software tools to do the following:

1) Track interactions with customers

2) Find new customers

3) Schedule (Calendar) events

4) Record & Track Revenue

5) Have Marketing Information or Clinical Cheat Sheets available and viewable

Seriously, why would you use and pay for FIVE tools when you can do all with just ONE?

The management dashboard of our ProSellus sales enablement tool employs everything from our base model, along with several additions:

  • Network views
  • Tracking team quotas, sales forecasts, and actuals on a month-month basis every year
  • Productivity tracking
  • Custom reporting (finally!)
  • Access to data to find the right physicians at the right time
  • Organization of and access to valuable relationship information

This is just a short list off the top of my head. Custom reporting has to be one of the most exciting parts though. No need to sift through mountains of data, spreadsheets, or sales reports. You can pull it up with a few quick clicks or short swipes.

Interest in a more in-depth demo? Email Scottwalle@ProSellus.com and let’s talk all things medical device sales. Or we can just complain about CRMs some more…

P.S.: Coming soon (like… real soon)

  • Phone Integration… (Full utilization + Call, email, and text from the app)
  • Calendar Incorporation…
  • Actual and Scheduled Revenue including PO Management and much more…

 

 

pro 1

5 Reasons Why Salespeople Hate CRMs So Much

Why Do Salespeople Hate CRMs So Much?

CRMs (aka customer relationship management) is an integral part of any salesperson’s job, even though lots of us don’t think of it as a process or “something we do….”.  After all, if you don’t maintain a relationship with your clients, you can’t close deals, you can’t build a referral network. Guess what? None of this happens – you are out of a job…

Most CRMs such as Salesforce, Zoho, or Insightly might work for some industries or marketing teams, and they are very effective for the job they are intended to do.  But for field-based, always-on-the-go salespeople? It’s a totally different ball game. It isn’t even the same sport.

That’s why there are five reasons why salespeople hate CRMs.

Oh, and take it from me, as a former device salesperson, we had to limit to five. For many of my former colleagues as well as the sales reps I don’t know personally, the list doesn’t stop at five.  If we missed your reason, let us know in the comments!

Reason #1: It’s Time-Consuming As All Get Out

Well, I don’t need to tell you how annoying and time consuming it is to fill in up to 98 required fields before moving on to a new task. 95 of those 98 required fields have absolutely nothing to do with the “relationship”.

When you have meetings all day, new products and services to learn inside and out, and any kind of personal life, data entry is not high on the list of priorities.

Data entry isn’t even on the list! Selling is top priority period.

image of George Orwell's Big Brother from 1984 for ProSellus blog 5 Reasons Why Salespeople Hate CRMs So Much

Getty Images/Larry Ellis

Reason #2: The “Big Brother” Effect

If working as a part of a team, CRMs are often used as a resource management system. But, salespeople with managers can often feel the “Big Brother” effect – that they are being unduly spied on or monitored. This can affect morale and performance in detrimental ways that can hinder overall career progress.

But let’s go ahead and totally unpack this. WHY is this a concern? And, let me be transparent, I was definitely one of those people.

I would say to myself, “I’ve worked here “X” number of years; I’ve won every award there is to win. Why on Earth do I need to fill out these 98 required fields?”

If my employer at the time had given me something that allowed me to collect beneficial information or streamlined workflows, I would have used it. I wouldn’t care if someone from corporate was looking at it if, at the end of the day, it helped me do my job better. But….it didn’t.

So, like receipts I don’t need and so many lost pens….to the floorboard of my car you go CRM!

P.S. This issue relates to reason #5 on this list.

Reason #3: I Shouldn’t Have to Share Information I Don’t Need To Share

Whether it’s because the size of the sale doesn’t necessitate the full gamut of info or the sales rep being protective of their leads, CRMs force information sharing. As Yesware contends, some companies even go so far as to claim that, because the sales rep is using software paid for by the company, the contact “belongs” to them.

Not only is that a flawed concept, it strips a sales rep of the “agency being” a sales rep requires.

While collaborative work environments are great for some jobs, sales is all about closing deals and making relationships. If someone on your team has competing goals with you, information becomes your biggest commodity.  

After all, having information and knowledge is the same as having power. Right? The person who holds both, holds the cards in a given geography. It’s their leverage, right?

That’s one of the biggest reasons why CRMs fail salespeople: you can’t harness the power of the information in a substantial and practical way.

image of salespeople trying to make sales go up for ProSellus blog 5 Reasons Why Salespeople Hate CRMs So Much

Reason #4: Forecasting Inaccuracies

This is a huge deal breaker for sales reps. Forecasting is essential to our line of work. Without tools to accurately project sales numbers, we can’t plan ahead. We can’t do our jobs.

But what’s worse — not being able to make sales projections or making INACCURATE sales projections? Arguably, incorrect forecasts are more harmful than a lack of them. Most CRMs use a linear function to predict the “Probability To Close”, as David Brock points out. This is flat out wrong.

The big box CRM wants me, the healthcare salesperson, to attach a percent probability of closing a “deal” as a result of the “step” of the selling process I’m in with the physician?  

If I sold capital equipment or one-time deals, this would work, but these physicians do cases every day! This process makes NO SENSE in my line of work…So, tell me again how I am supposed to “forecast” appropriately when the software you give me doesn’t make sense for my industry?

Second or third meetings don’t guarantee a close just like current clients won’t buy everything you pitch them. But, all of these reasons are just symptoms of a greater cause. That’s reason #5.

Reason #5: Square Pegs Can’t Fill Round Holes

CRMs were not designed for field sales reps. Period.

They are rarely user-friendly (more like never user-friendly), requiring demo session after demo session after demo session. You know the drill.

Your eyes get glazed and everyone on the call is falling asleep, saying to themselves, “I have no idea what these people are talking about. This is supposed to help me? Sound more like torture…” It all becomes another “let me just ‘check’ the box and move forward type thing.”

Combined with forecast inaccuracies, this can make any sales reps’ job and life 10,000% more difficult. This tool is supposed to make a sales rep’s job easier. So what’s the solution?

While some would suggest that it is just a matter of perspective, it’s 2017. We don’t have to settle for subpar and dated sales tech that never worked for us in the first place.

No CRMs Needed; ProSellus Growth Engineers Can Streamline Your Business

Don’t dive into confusing and overwhelming CRMs like Salesforce and a whole host of others. Here’s the big “secret”: you don’t need a CRM to maximize your success as a medical device sales rep. Maybe you need something that was actually designed FOR you by people LIKE you.

I say this with love: it is time to step away from the spreadsheet and come into the digital age.

Noted sales guru Geoffrey James said this in 2008: “If CRMs actually made it easier to sell, sales pros would be clamoring for it.” ProSellus is exactly the tool healthcare sales reps need to ditch the CRM forever. Not only does it combine the data management aspect of CRMs, it can track your territory, help you keep in touch with current clients, connect with new prospects.find the physicians you need to be talking to — the works. It’s a healthcare data “brain” with CRM features.

Interested in learning more? Email me at Scottwalle@ProSellus.com. Say goodbye to CRM and spreadsheets and hello to your all-in-one sales enablement tool. And lastly, for entertainment purposes, feel free to reply with your, “Top 5 Reasons for Hating CRM’s”. I’d love to hear them!

Medical physician doctor  woman over blue clinic background.

How Does Thought Leadership Work in Medical Device Sales?

What Makes A Thought Leader in the Medical Device Sales Industry?

Becoming a thought leader — regardless of industry — can be a tricky path to walk. You can’t just say what works for your brand and your business or practice. You have to consider the grander industry at-large, too.

Specifically in medical device sales, there are a few ways in which you can incorporate thought leadership into your current processes and shift your focus from micro to macro.

Start With Your Motivations

Photo Credit: https://www.ted.com/topics/motivation

We all want to be the best medical sales rep out there. Putting up strong numbers. Closing the most deals (aka ALL of them). Building the most robust relationships over a large territory. But becoming a thought leader requires a complete shift in focus and motivation.

Instead of considering the best ways to increase YOUR numbers, you have to think about how all sales reps can improve. Similarly, if you want to establish your voice as a “North Star” of medical device sales, you have to remove a bit of yourself from the message you want to convey.

But not too much; Steve Jobs didn’t become Steve Jobs by watering down his ambition and vision. Of course, people don’t respond too well to unfiltered and unfettered greed. That’s where item number two on the list comes into play.

Think About the “Ripple Effect”

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That’s one of the laws of physics, but it also applies to thought leadership strategies. If you interact with a fellow sales rep in a negative way, they might carry that energy into their next sales meeting. It could cost them a client.

This might not affect you, but if you are looking to become a leading voice in medical device sales, you NEED to care about how your actions affect others. Ultimately, your attitude and tone mean just as much as the words you use or the overall message you impart to other people in the industry.

 

How to Get People On Board

The biggest challenges for someone transitioning into thought leadership in medical device sales are visibility and engagement. Though normal brands struggle with getting enough shares on LinkedIn, thought leaders need even bigger ROIs to make the kinds of impact necessary.

When we here at ProSellus started seriously positioning ourselves as thought leaders, we didn’t want to half-ass it. We pushed ourselves with a robust content schedule, researching topics and articles, interviewing our own customers and talking to other sales reps in the industry. We knew it would take time to build up clout, but we can now say that we are — definitively — one of the top healthcare startups with a distinct voice and message.

I always close every blog telling people that they can email me, Scottwalle@prosellus.com, at any time with their questions. I mean that. One of the most important factors in the ProSellus journey to thought leadership has been our connection with medical device sales reps and professionals. We live and breathe the message of our brand and the services we offer, too.

Thought Leadership isn’t quite the opposite of business success; it just takes into account the “human” factor that we so often forget in our numbers-driven industry.

Tools1

The Top 5 Tools for Medical Device Salespeople

No sales rep – medical device or otherwise – can live without their gadgets and tools. From your Android or Apple smartphone to the LinkedIn app, we all have things we use on a daily basis for our life and for work. Of course some of you may still be working using spreadsheets or worse: pen and paper. It’s time to step up your game with these top 5 tools for medical device sales reps.

1. Expense Tracking Tools

Tracking your expenses is a time honored sales rep tradition that, if you let it, can get out of hand very quickly. Instead of stockpiling receipts or tracking it all in your head, consider apps like Expensify.

These not only allow for digital receipt storage, they let you keep track of all of your business expenditures or otherwise. Expensify is free, but it’s pretty bare bones unless you splurge for the $5 or $9/month versions. Zoho Expense also offers a free option that supports multi-currency and features the added safety net of two-factor authentication.

For sales reps working for a small company or large corporation, you might consider Abacus or Freshbooks. But….that’ll cost you anywhere from $9 to $50/month per user for their host of features.

 

Credit: https://www.iphonetricks.org/iphone-voice-dictation-commands-and-punctuation/

2. Voice Dictation Software

We’ve talked a great deal about the importance of maintaining and cultivating relationships with your clients. Communication is just as big a part of your job as knowing your product and selling techniques. That’s where voice dictation software comes in.

While you can use Apple, Windows, or Google dictation software, they can be limiting or frustrating in the long-term. For a simpler solution, consider Dragon Anywhere from Nuance. This isn’t your average dictation software and it can translate for as long as you can speak.

Not only will you be more hands-free, you will more accurately be able to communicate anywhere at any time.

 

3. Social Media – Of course!

It’s a fact that sales reps who use social media outperform those who don’t, so why wouldn’t you leverage these treasure troves of connections and information to gain momentum in your territory? LinkedIn is now the gold standard for connecting with prospects, peers and potential customers. Twitter is the way to put your company (or your brand’s)  voice out there quickly and seamlessly, with little effort – but you have to be proactive and consistent in order to benefit.  Get up to speed on these platforms and you’ll not only make your sales outreach more effective, you’ll be a champ in your organization.

 

 

4.Web Conferencing Tools

Giving presentations, product tours and tutorials remotely has gotten much easier over the years. GoToMeeting continues to rule here but upstarts like Join.Me have grabbed some attention.

Google Hangouts is sure to become a sales tool as it enables group video conferencing and robust online conversations that include photo and  document sharing.

Assemble a panel of thought leaders and stream the discussion for the world to see or conduct sales presentations one on one and share content right in the stream of the conversation.

 

5. The ONE tool EVERY Medical Device Sales Rep Needs is…..

The 5th and final tool that all medical device sales reps need is ProSellus. It’s not some dry, mechanical thing designed by people who have never lived the life of a sales rep before. It’s designed by people like me, Scott Walle, and others with more than 50 years of combined sales experience. You want this tool, I promise.

All of us wanted a way to better and more easily monitor and expand our territory, maintain and cultivate relationships, and use the latest sales techniques. Data management and manipulation, sales acceleration, and relationship management are integral parts of the sales process in the 21st century.

Are you getting left behind? Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s catch you up.

8 steps

8 Tips to Market Your Sales Business Better

If you’re a medical device sales rep who’s been around the block a time or two, you are always looking for ways to better yourself and your business. Even sales reps who are part of a big company can find small ways to tweak performance for the better.

Start with the basics:

1. Identify, Clarify, & Segment

No one likes a muddled sales pitch. If you can’t communicate your product or services to others, there’s very little chance of you closing any deal. A quick and easy way to streamline your sales process is to cut the fat with three simple steps:

  • Identify your objective and overall message
  • Clarify your message and objective
  • Compartmentalize the message for easy digestion and understanding

These simple steps help to trim any excess fat (words) from your pitch to reduce time wasted. They also facilitate better and more comprehensive understanding on behalf of the client. Time is money, after all, isn’t it?

 

2. Sell the Benefit Instead of the Comparison

One of the biggest faux pas any sales rep can make is also one of the most common. Newbies to the game will often focus on comparing an old product or service to their new product or service. Now, this can be useful, but it’s an amateurish move.

Instead, focus on the benefits of the new product or service. Forget about the old one; the only one that matters is what you’re selling. Full stop.

 

3. Content is King

You’ve probably heard this phrase before and thought nothing of it. But if you’re an individual operating your own personal sales business, creating SEO blog content is a fantastic way to boost your ranking and increase visibility.

It doesn’t need to be super in-depth or crazy specific articles. It can be something as simple as explaining a case study or listing your personal tips for closing a deal. Research other thought leaders in your industry. Do what they do. It’s worked for ProSellus and it can work for you.

 

4. Sell to Customer Needs

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we all need to be reminded of it sometimes. Regardless of the product or service you’re representing, you have to keep client needs in mind.

You can’t sell a new heartbeat monitor to a Podiatrist. But take this one step further: anticipate the needs of your potential or current clients. How could this client best utilize a new product you’ve got? What could it do for their quality of life, their profits, their patients?

Addressing all of these questions will not only make you a better salesperson, but it will help immensely with number 8 on this list.

 

5. Fail Quickly, But Not Often

Failure is not the end of the world. It’s a necessary tool in order to grow and learn to do better. That said, you can also plan for failure in order to mitigate fallout and decrease recovery time needed.

In terms of marketing, this philosophy goes double. You can’t afford to waste hundreds or thousands of dollars on frivolous marketing ventures that produce zero results. Start with small tests, targeted ads, and specific PPC campaigns. Run them for 2 – 3 months, then measure the results. Do your own A/B split testing using your blog content (since it’s king and all).

 

Failure is a good thing in small doses. Remember that.

 

6. Share the Spotlight

Nobody likes a know-it-all, but everyone loves to network. In doing so, you can make connections with manufacturers or other sales reps with more presence than yours. Then, all you have to do is share the spotlight.

Go a guest blog post on their website or vice versa. Go in on a joint project together and collaborate. These connections should NOT go un-leveraged. You can benefit from each other’s audiences and grow together and respectively.

 

 

7. Have a Mobile Presence

Everyone practically eats and sleeps with their phones now. Admit it — you do, too. It’s important to maintain some non-digital marketing channels, but your biggest audiences are in the palm of your hand.

Leverage your LinkedIn contacts by posting regular articles or blogs and interacting with other people’s posts. Update your Facebook page. Learn to love and how to smartly use hashtags. Even text messages are a huge tool for marketing. Think about it: 95% of Americans have cell phones. And 98% of their text messages get opened.

That’s a pretty good ROI wouldn’t you say?

 

8. Build Relationships & Develop a Referral Network

Having a gregarious nature and making friends easily should come natural for all sales reps. You need to develop relationships in order to close deals. The trick to growth is maintaining and further cultivating those relationships. But again: this network should NOT go un-leveraged.

Ask for client referrals or recommendations. Build a network of potential clients based on your current list.

If any of this seems like a foreign concept to you, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s enlighten each other. Share the spotlight, remember?

prosellus-white

Get to Know Us

Connect With Us

Copyright 2017 © All Rights Reserved