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Reaching the Apex of Value for your Customer

Navigating the world of Healthcare Sales is a significant task. Those who have lived it, know it.  I lived it for 15 years. There is a reason working as a sales rep in this industry can be so profitable. It’s a highly competitive market, sometimes a saturated market, and the product differentiation is minimal at best. So, how do you stand out as a rep among the pack? There are many tricks you can hide up your sleeve and you can always employ the tried and true tactic: entertaining your physician. Of course, that’s not necessarily unique anymore and due to the Sunshine Act, many actions require documentation which will be reported.

Creating Your Own Value

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Dr. Richard Ruff from Sales Horizons offers a multitude of online courses to help medical device reps gain skills which will (no doubt) give them an advantage in the field. Dr. Ruff even wrote an article on how sales reps create value and differentiate themselves from competitors. In the article, he talks about how sales reps need to learn to create value that is unique from the product features and benefits.

“…products have no inherent value.  Products possess features; they do not possess value.  Value is a relative idea that is all about fit – the fit between the customer’s needs and your solution.”   —  Richard Ruff

It’s refreshing to hear this perspective. This is also a true statement. So – how does one create this value? There is no question that training is key. Understanding your product, your market, your competition, selling strategies, and your customer base are all vital to the success of your business. But, let’s face it – all of the things we just mentioned are merely the price of admission. In today’s world, you MUST do those things just to have a conversation with a potential customer. You might ask, “But what about the companies that have 800 or 900 reps? Are they going to be given access to the level of training they need in order to break away from the pack and will the company pay for it?” No matter if you’re a self-employed rep or a rep in a crowd of hundreds, something is probably missing from your business puzzle.

An Old Angle; A New Opportunity

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What if there was an easier way to harness value for your customer? Pro-tip: there is a way, but first you must understand not only your customer, but a new perspective. You need to view value from the customer’s angle and not just your own. So take a step back from your sales sheets and numbers to see the big picture. Spend time learning to understand what your customer really cares about. Is it the product or could it be something else? What if you could identify exactly what your customer cared about and how to not only capture that, but deliver it? We know how you can reach that apex. Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com to unlock your full selling potential with the world’s first targeted market development tool specifically for Healthcare Sales Reps.

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Think 5 Steps Ahead FOR Your Customer Physicians

Plan Tomorrow Today!

You know the old adage “Why leave for tomorrow what you can do today?” That goes double in the world of healthcare sales. No matter who your client may be, it’s important to plan ahead. These conversations are critical, but can be difficult to negotiate or initiate. As the sales rep, it is YOUR job to think 5 steps ahead for your physician customer.  In my device days we were preached to in training: In surgery you have to be several steps ahead of the physician! You have to anticipate his/her every move and be prepared whatever that move was.

So, my question to you is this: Is surgery the only place we (I) work?

Of course not!  Today’s healthcare sales reps are asked to do more than ever!

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Don’t Be In Trend; Predict The Trend

“The changes in healthcare are accelerating. The penalty for falling behind the change curve is irrelevance, that is, customers will replace you with competitors who anticipated and integrated change sooner and faster than you did. The take-home message, “You must remain relevant and to do that you must stay ahead of the change curve.”

This advice from author Jason Baker hits home for me in many ways. I have been the Sales Rep in his article – the top player in the medical device game, the heavy hitter….the king. That false sense of security can easily overcome reality because it is powerful and intoxicating. (A lot of us have been there)  You begin to think you cannot lose, but Baker speaks the truth – if you snooze, you lose. It’s as simple as the Tortoise and the Hare. Small changes set the stage for a giant shift in the market and you aren’t invincible.  None of us are…

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Heed Warning Signs

In the healthcare sales industry, it is vital that you pay attention to the signs around you (especially these days). You must have the will to keep getting up after every failure. I, myself, did this time and time again. I didn’t think there was any other way to work, but I finally figured out how to break away from the status quo. I cultivated my own path to success when I learned how to TRULY listen to my physician customers.  I would hear them talk about this or that which was impacting their business, but I thought, “Well, glad that isn’t me.” OR “That kind of stinks, I’m glad it’s not my job to do that.”   Then I said, “Well, what if I could impact that? I would be fixing one of their biggest problems or concerns.”

I found myself asking these questions:

  • What are they searching for?
  • What worries and concerns kept them up at night?
  • What can I do to address their concerns?

And when I did… the results are were nothing short of astounding.

Listen and Respond

If I could find a way to connect with my customer in a way which greatly differentiated me from the rest of the herd, I would be successful and so would the customer. After realizing what I had to do, I still needed to see the path before arriving at it. I needed to do my research and understand what the factors were that might affect my customer’s practice and, ultimately, my own business.  My advice to the other reps out there is to listen to your customers, monitor current trends in the market, predict future trends, stay informed, and challenge the norms. The worst thing you can do is get complacent. The second you fall asleep at the wheel, you fall behind. If you have questions like I did, feel free to email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com. I’d love to swap stories some time.

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What is Sales Acceleration?

What is Sales Acceleration?

Sales Acceleration is not some fantastical buzzword (Although, to us salespeople, it kind of sounds that way). It is a tested strategy that emerged from existing ideas and evolved from existing technologies already widely used by various industries including healthcare sales and marketing. (Sound confusing? It does to me. Think of it this way: Basically, people have used all kinds of different tools to try and help you guys and gals do your sales job over the years, but instead of giving you a 3-ring binder, they actually made software tools designed to help you sell more and sell faster. Your sales manager’s dream right? I know. Easy enough right?)

You might have heard of one of the major tools in almost every business’ arsenal: Customer Relationship Management Software (ie. Salesforce, Zoho, Insightly, etc)

“Salesforce.com pioneered the concept of renting customer relationship management (CRM) software instead of selling it. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or software in the cloud as it is so lovingly called now, has become the de facto standard that is disrupting the traditional software companies who still sell software in a box.” – Ken Krogue, co-founder of Insidesales.com

Customer Relationship Management tools like Salesforce and Insightly are useful in terms of organization. They’re very valuable when it comes to organization, however, when was the last healthcare sales rep you met that said, “I just love having a CRM to enter where I’ve been and what I’ve done all day! -OR- This just helps me sell SO much more!!!! I don’t know what I’d do without it!” Never, right? Of course, this doesn’t mean that CRMs are useless. They are 100% necessary to your operations, but the next logical step was to find a way to accelerate sales rather than just be more organized or efficient. Cue the development of the concept: Sales Acceleration.

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The Next Big Thing

Sales Acceleration tools are increasing in use everyday, but many people still wonder just what these tools do or what information they deal with. Listed below is a sampling of some of the cloud-based categories sales acceleration tools enhance:

  • Contract Technology
  • Data Visualization
  • Business Intelligence
  • Gamification
  • Presentation Technology, including Slide and Screen Share
  • Predictive Analytic Tools and Technology
  • Sales Intelligence Tools
  • Email (designed specifically for the sales function)
  • Sales Communication tools
  • Video technology
  • Social selling technology

 

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The Proliferation of Sales Acceleration

You might know from our previous blogs that change isn’t just inevitable, it’s natural to adapt over time. As James W. Phillips of Insidesales.com said, “Over the last 10 years, the sales industry has witnessed a disruption. Due to the innovation of Internet cloud-based business transactions and an upsurge in sales technology development, the sales profession is in a state of rapid modernization.” The chart above shows the overall expenditures on sales acceleration technologies. That will only continue to grow.

Now is a good time to hop on the train or risk getting left at the station. We’ve mentioned it several times in posts prior to this one; ALL ABOARD…the train is leaving. Don’t get left behind…

If you want to take to better understand sales acceleration technologies, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com. Let’s start your ProSellus journey to increased revenue and more peace of mind.

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Why the WIN/WIN is key in Medical Device Selling

How does the Healthcare Sales Rep create a win/win relationship when trying to educate the Primary Care Physician in the community?

The Primary Care Physician (PCP) is the real “driver” when it comes to distribution of patients in the healthcare marketplace. These physicians are overlooked in many cases, however, they truly are the HUB of the “Hub & Spoke” model of patient distribution in healthcare. Also, think about the way healthcare insurance coverage is changing; more and more often we see PPO insurance plans disappearing with the entrance of more HMO type plans.  In HMO plans it is very commonplace that a patient HAS to have a referral from their PCP in order to see a specialist.  These docs really are the “Gatekeepers” of patients…

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Power of the Gatekeepers

The majority of patients see a PCP when an issue of some kind occurs. Those PCP’s then distribute the patients to specialists based on the issue.  Of course, there are variations of the example I just described; however, this example seems to be the most overwhelmingly common example of the Primary Care referral. So, what does this mean for you? How does this, or can this, impact you?

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Not Obstacles – Opportunities

There are a few problematic aspects of this process. Outside of making sure the patient gets the best care, there’s little to gain for the PCP by referring the patient. They simply lose a patient, potentially, by referring them out (or that’s the fear at least). Joe Hage of medicalmarcom.com considers himself a pioneer in the field of medical device marketing. A bonafide medical device sales person informed him of the challenges associated with establishing a win/win relationship with PCP’s. Creating referrals from Primary Care for the specialty product reps sell can often be seen as an obstacle. Any sales rep worth their salt knows that there are no obstacles: only opportunities. Two statements from the blog post highlight key facets of developing a PCP win/win relationship:

Joe Hage (to the device rep): So, if you are calling on interventionalists, who is creating primary demand for consults among primary care physicians?

Med Device Rep: Me. That’s a large part of what I do. Help create awareness within the referring community for my interventionalists.

– #MedDevice “Selling ‘Through’ Physicians”

This is a solid strategy and one attempted by many, just… without a solid strategy in place.  There are many questions unanswered.

So, what motivates the PCP? The specialist potentially gets a new referral, but what about the PCP?  All they did was lose a patient to another specialist right? Or no?

Game changer: what if they DID have something to gain? Better yet, what if it made complete sense for the PCP to refer?  What if it was actually BETTER for the PCP to refer the patient out? What if they never realized it, until of course, you taught them…? How would you be perceived then?

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More Questions? Get Answers

Your head must be swirling with questions.

  • If healthcare sales reps are actually doing this, how do they make sure they’re talking to the right PCP’s?  There are quite literally thousands; how could you possibly know which ones to call on?
  • And if you did, do you know how to create the win/win?
  • What is the win/win in this scenario?
  • How do you which doctor can influence your business the most?
  • What is that “solid strategy,” we mentioned earlier? Do you have one?

There are many unanswered questions. What would the referral community be like if you had the answers to all of these questions and more? ProSellus is the key to all these questions. Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com to get answers to all of your Win/Win relationship queries.

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The Holy Grail of Sales Acceleration – Part 2

In our last few blog posts, we talked a great deal about how the world is changing. Missing this train would leave you stranded while your competitors flourish exponentially. We also discussed up-and-coming software tools related to sales acceleration, actionable intelligence, and how companies were purchasing these tools for its salespeople to augment the sales cycle in the most important way:  speeding up sales and increasing sales altogether.

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Numbers You Can’t Ignore

Speaking directly to this point for sales reps in the field (especially in the healthcare industry), you may or may not be familiar with some of these sales acceleration tools, but the business of sales enhancement tools has exploded into a big business. The kind of “big” that makes you ask: “How much money are companies spending on these tools?!” The answer: almost $13 Billion. Yes, you read that right – $13 billion. That’s big with a capital “B”!

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Get In the Know

Insidesales.com, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and many other sources have taken notice of the rapidly growing usage of sales acceleration tools across various industries. In 2014, companies were already spending over $2,280 annually on sales acceleration tools per sales rep.  Folks… that was almost 3 years ago. Imagine where this is going.

“The sales acceleration technology category encompasses a large collection of innovative technologies that do not fit neatly under the umbrella of marketing automation or CRM. By definition, this emerging category is devoted to accelerating sales — enabling companies to turn their leads, prospects, and opportunities into paying customers faster than ever before.” – InsideSales.com Chief Marketing Officer Mick Hollison

The money spent by companies investing in sales acceleration technology directly correlated to bigger deals, increased revenue, faster sales cycles and higher close rates. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this information directly from the Insidesales.com report:


Bigger Deals:  Companies that close the biggest deals spend nearly twice as much on sales acceleration technology as the average company spends.

Faster Sales Cycles: Companies with the shortest sales cycles spend 28% more than the average sales communication and intelligence.

Higher Close Rates: Companies with the highest close rates spend 17% more than the average company on sales acceleration technology.

Increased Revenue: The top 50 percent of companies in terms of revenue spend almost twice as much as the average company on sales acceleration technology.

Become an Early Adopter

Earlier in this post, we said that companies spent an average of $2,280 per rep annually for sales acceleration technologies in 2014. Projected budgetary numbers for money dedicated to sales acceleration tools for 2017 are nearly three times that! If you want your sales team putting the competition in the dust, it’s time to start looking for the tool to REALLY help your field salespeople get ahead.

Check out the ProSellus Linx Software Solution here and email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com to incorporate the next tool to revolutionize your arsenal. After all, the more you invest in your field salespeople, the better the results they deliver.

 

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Sales Intelligence 3.0

Sales Intelligence 3.0

What if I told you that you could forecast and control your revenue more accurately, increase your upsell / cross-sell numbers, more easily maintain your contacts and their information – all with one word? With the exponential advancements in technology and the advent and popularity of various social media platforms, change has become part of our every waking moment. Globalization has also played a part in this phenomena and, regardless of industry or age, the world, as we knew it, has changed. By the way, that word we mentioned, ya’ know, the one word that would enable you to do all the things listed above…

That word: change.

Teach Yourself New Tricks

If you didn’t notice this transition over the course of the last 20 years, you’re not alone. Even the millennial generation has to play catch up these days! From your company’s perspective; look at the differences in your new hires today versus days or years past. What do you notice about them? Are they more well-read? More outspoken? Dare I say: distracted? Maybe they utilize techniques we’ve never even considered before. Maybe that’s a good thing.

No matter how you bake them, they’re some pretty different cookies from when you and I started in this business.  Fortunately, this means they bring an entirely different mind-set – an analytical mindset – a mindset that is being embraced throughout the healthcare industry and beyond.

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Adaptive Innovation

Anyone who has been in the healthcare sales industry for more than 15 years worked in this field when we utilized tried and true strategies and tactics to push our customers into the direction we wanted them to go, and it worked! We might be a bit older compared to a lot of folks, but many of those classic tactics are widely utilized today, but in an evolved variation on the original approach. Think of it like the Apple iPhone – think of how many revolutionary iPhone innovations have been consistently delivered time after time again. They listen to their consumer and adapt to their needs. The bar is always pushed higher.

The tools available to companies range from predictive sales technology to ever updating customer management systems and digital information dissemination aides. That was a bunch of fancy words, but what it means for you is that you must create your very own new version of the iPhone. Incorporate all the tools available to you and boost your sales, increase your client base, and give yourself some breathing room in one fell swoop.

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Actionable Intelligence

One of the greatest changes to have taken place in our industry is the access and availability of data and analytics. Whether you’re monitoring your contact list, tallying sales numbers, or checking your Facebook page, insights and metrics play vastly larger roles in our day-to-day operations than ever before. So, how do you best incorporate all of this “big data” into your sales call, sales strategy, or sales tactics? Many people ask me the 3 same questions regarding this overwhelming influx of information: “What can all of this data do for me? “Can it really help me sell more?” “Where do I even begin?” The first step to adapting and improving is asking those questions.

What Can You Do?

As many people are discovering, this industry has changed. Your physician customers have changed and your new teammate who just got hired has changed. Swimming in data and new technologies, it might be time for you to look at things a little differently, too. It’s a big scary new world out there, but instead of ignoring it or balking from it, harness the power of Big Data for your business. Let me help you answer those big 3 questions. Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com, or go check out the Prosellus App to see how you can make Actionable Intelligence work for your business.

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Social Media Meets Customer Management

What if LinkedIn and Salesforce Had a Baby?

Are traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM’s) tools a thing of the past?

Already…?

Really…?

That was fast.

That’s the world we live in today: a world of social media and heightened interconnectivity. Emerging as a “thought leader” in any industry seems impossible since markets and audiences change seemingly overnight, but when you create an entirely new approach to sales strategies, it’s easy to stand out.

According to Howard Burton, CEO and Founder of RingDNA.com, the CRM craze of the last 10 years has produced an outcry for a more comprehensive tool. He talks about the need for technologies and strategies included under the genre “Sales Acceleration”.  These technologies do exactly what they say they do: accelerate your time and efforts into sales. Every company with a service or product wants to increase sales margins and add new sales leads. The trick now is this: how to acquire these sales in less time?  Technologies which fit into the sales acceleration category are designed to do just that.  These companies take on many different looks, for example: faster/better email platforms, lead generation tools, and role-playing tools (just to name a few).

But, the 2 keys to Burton’s article are the following:

  1. CRM tools aren’t enough. “And while customer relationship management software has done wonders in recent years in storing client data and improving collaboration, it just doesn’t do enough to influence the outcome of deals. Sales acceleration tools can bridge the gap between sales intelligence data and customer calls, by providing representatives with the right data in a useful context – during sales calls.”
  1. Keep a Competitive Edge.  “Demand for sales representatives is up, according to the Bridge Group.  And companies are recruiting less experienced sales reps as a result.” “According to data from the TAS Group, 67% of reps don’t hit their numbers.  Sure there will always be all-star sales reps and underachievers. But these days technology can help far more reps perform like A players.”


Without question, the world is changing.  As much as we may love how things have always been, it’s time to start changing to keep up with our evolving industries or get left behind. So, the question you have to ask yourself is this: “Is my healthcare sales company doing all it can for its sales reps? Are we providing tools to help far more reps perform like A players, even if historically they haven’t been?”

What is your healthcare sales company doing, outside of CRM, to make sure your sales reps have the most impactful data, in a platform your reps will actually use during sales calls – all at their fingertips? Is there a way to merge the connectivity of LinkedIn with the customer management of Salesforce?  If you are at a loss for answers, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s talk about how ProSellus can transform your sales growth today.

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Modern Service – Old School Mindset

Modern Services with an Old School Mindset

By now, you’re familiar with the movers and shakers of ProSellus, but you may still be wondering just what we mean when we call ourselves, “Sales Growth Engineers”. To get a full scope of our company philosophy, you need to know more about three things: modern business structure, Growth Hacking, and old fashioned business practices.

“Modern business structure” is one of those phrases that can leave you scratching your head, but all it correlates to is how a company is built and how it operates. Your typical corporation will be comprised of dozens of departments or pods under one umbrella, but many modern businesses operate on a much more lean business anatomy. Rather than diving into every single cookie jar, businesses develop business relationships with companies which offer services they will utilize and work in tandem in order to achieve its goals.

This exact mindset describes every aspect of ProSellus, but that means it requires different strategies for growth than your average company. A set of techniques known as “Growth Hacking” mainly focus on search engine optimization, content creation and implementation, and social media, but the philosophy is this: utilize a distinct brand identity and tools of the modern age to boost your company’s visibility and reach. Again, a mindset that describes every aspect of our company and focuses on streamlining processes for maximum efficiency and results.

Finally, with so many contemporary and forward-thinking business mantras, we wanted to root our Software System in something everyone understands and respects: old fashioned business practices. This means a commitment to excellence, our word being our bond, and delivering a fantastic service or product. By using all of the technological tools at our disposal and still forging people-to-people relationships, ProSellus intends to increase productivity for all Medical Device Sales Reps.

The 3 facets of the ProSellus Linx Solution: ProSight, ProConnect, and ProIntel – all offer various strategies and knowledge to help build a significant network and insights never before captured. You can then utilize that network and those insights to bolster and boost your sales – hence the nickname for ProSellus: “Sales Growth Engineers.” Put that entrepreneurial mindset to work smarter, not harder!

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ProSellus – The Sales Growth Engineers

New lean, service based companies are popping up all the time: Uber, Air BnB, Door Dash, or even one of the dozens of dry cleaning pickup and delivery companies. What is the one thing all of these apps and companies have in common? They are connecting people. They are enhancing the way we do business by making operations more efficient and easier for everyone.

My name is Scott Walle, co-founder of ProSellus – the first ever comprehensive Medical Device Sales Acceleration Software tool designed specifically with the Sales Rep in mind.  My goal is to help my fellow Medical Device Sales Reps avoid the hundreds of hours I spent fostering positive business relationships, pouring over Google searches of various specialties, and building bridges where people thought they never needed to be built. None of it would have started if a classmate of mine from Rice University and I hadn’t attended an entrepreneurship class to develop a hypothetical company.

That’s right – this revolutionary product originated as a Business School class project.

I knew  I wanted to combine my passion for connecting people and my knack in the world of medical sales to replicate what I had done for so many years, but in a much more efficient, proficient and powerful format. My co-founder helped me conceive the idea of a software product that acts as a database of medical specialists, high-prescriber information, industry & referral relationships, as well as a management tool for your sales contacts and customers. The inspiration for such a concept was my own personal experiences working as a Sales Rep in the Medical Device industry for almost 15 years.

In trying to show compassion for my customers, I began to notice how few physicians knew of physicians working in other specialties; more importantly how they could help my customers. It occurred to me, through connecting these specialists and building stalwart business relationships, I could play an important role of connecting specialty physicians with my customers, therefore opening the door for more patients to receive ground breaking therapies they otherwise may have never received.  In order to establish this collaborative environment, I had to research the obstacles physicians faced across multiple specialties. In developing this hypothetical company, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could spare my fellow sales reps all of the hard work I put into the development of this concept?” Thus, ProSellus was born!

When we call ourselves “Sales Growth Engineers”, it isn’t a hollow title meant to stir up arbitrary hype; it’s a mission statement that means an expanded market for you, increased efficiency, and a brand new networking tool to incorporate into your marketing strategies. ProSellus: where social media and CRMs collide to produce results. For more information, check out our website or feel free to reach out to me at scottwalle@prosellus.com. I’m always eager to hear the stories from Medical Device Sales Reps to see if I can augment their operations in any way possible. That’s my philosophy and the ProSellus philosophy too!

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