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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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…

 

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A New Look & Tool for a New Age: How Can ProSellus Help You?

You might remember some older blogs where we talk about the array of services that ProSellus Growth Engineers offers for medical device sales reps. But you have also probably noticed the website face lift we just implemented recently. As we preach, so must we practice. In addition, we have launched the first Sales Enablement Tool that combines both lead generation AND customer management in one. It not only will help the sales person, but the marketing person in the medical device organization. Technology is always changing and, based on user data and metrics, we can determine better ways to deliver the ProSellus experience & product to our current and potential clients. Let’s take a walk down the newly renovated memory lane, shall we?

So What’s New With Our Website?

New Look, Increased Growth

The first thing you’re bound to notice is the improved navigation toolbar at the top of the web page. Instead of the old navigatory buttons, we now feature the usual “Home” and “About” links, but we feature new ones, too. “Product” illuminates the plethora of ways that ProSellus Growth Engineers can increase lean efficiency, metric and data interpretation, user experience improvements, and profits while decreasing costs in money, stress, and time. “Pricing” lays out the available features and packaging while “Resources” links to our blog with numerous posts about all things medical device sales, thought leadership, marketing, and more. “Support” is pretty self-explanatory: We offer a toll free number with support services for any question you might have about your ProSellus services and business development. Following that, you can “Request A Demo”. All you have to do is fill out a quick contact form with information about your particular needs for a personalized demonstration of just how much ProSellus Growth Engineers can augment your business. There is also an insightful video featuring ProSellus client Dr. Michael Sprintz for those who would like first hand testimonies about the ProSellus solution.

While you might be saying – okay so the nice nav features and web pages – so what? Well I am here to tell you – it’s not only about that – it’s about the impact we are making on the market. If you notice on that website – we are growing – we have customer testimonials, and are gaining momentum. Folks, we are only getting started. For being on the market for LESS THAN A YEAR – we are proving to customers that their business can take off when they leverage our software – and you will see on our site that “Our Customers LOVE us”!

Now to the good stuff….

So, What’s New with our Tool?

Sales Enablement, Sales Acceleration, & Actionable Intelligence COMBINED

The ingredients of our “Secret Sauce” are top secret….but we’ll give you insight into the top  3 concepts ProSellus Growth Engineers leverages to adapt your medical sales business into the modern age and beyond. Two of them you may know about and the other one you MUST know about if you want to be a successful businessperson in the 21st century.

Strategies to “hack” sales are integral to any growth plan for a sales business (this means you, too, sales mavericks). ProSellus offers tools to enhance sales acceleration, transform data into actionable intelligence, and other sales enablement tools for every level. You might not use all of the tools we offer….oh wait, yes you will:

  • Robust search options and filters based on critical healthcare data
  • Forecasting, tracking and reporting of pipeline opportunities
  • Physician resource monitoring and organization
  • Physician and facility finder
  • Sales call and activity tracker
  • Territory and network linking
  • Mobile customer management

And so much more…

 

Remember when we asked “What if Salesforce and LinkedIn had a baby”

Grab your cigar…Here is THAT KID:

 

This kid will be the most successful person in the room. The services ProSellus Growth Engineers offers can be your all-in-one-tool to managing, growing, and understanding your clients and territory. We are a lead generator AND a customer management tool all packaged up and simplified for the on-the-go sales person. After all, when it comes to medical device sales, you can’t afford to fall behind. Email me Scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s talk tools to enhance your business in ways you never thought possible.

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ProSellus Announces New Sales Enablement Tool for Medical Device Sales!

We are proud to announce that ProSellus, Inc. has released a new fully loaded sales enablement tool, designed by healthcare sales reps for healthcare sales reps. This new tool includes a multitude of functionalities specifically designed to support the requirements of the always-on-the-go healthcare sales rep while making calls out in the field.  These functions include: targeted physician & facility searches based on tens of millions of healthcare data points; the ability to forecast and track sales revenue, build referral networks for physicians and facilities, track sales call activities with physicians and much more. I am personally thrilled to offer up this un-paralleled solution to my former medical device peers.  When I was a rep, we needed the ability to generate sales at lightning speed and there were no tools that enabled us to do that effectively. Now both sales and marketing professionals can access (EASILY) robust healthcare data in a mobile, easy-to-use actionable format that points them to the hot opportunities in seconds.

Do yourself and your team a favor and set up a quick demo here and now. 

Whether it’s targeting physicians based on specialty, prescriptions or procedures, ProSellus can serve up a targeted list, in any geography in the country, in a matter of seconds while a rep is in the field.  While this tool crunches complex healthcare data on the back end, it’s easy enough for a 12-year-old to operate. As a former sales rep for a major medical device company, I was given tools to use that were clunky, complex and difficult to use. Those literally were a waste of time and company money. This tool was developed as an alternative to those dinosaur applications and spreadsheets. It actually impacts revenue for the sales rep immediately and is simple to use. ProSellus carries similar features as a CRM tool but with less complexity and more intelligence. It’s like having a healthcare database expert on key things device reps need to know (and normally don’t have easy access to) in your pocket at all times.  It is also designed specifically for the healthcare sales industry, although plans to apply the product to other industries are in the works.

As always if you have questions, please email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com. You can also check out our two new eBooks: one for Sales Reps and one for Sales and Marketing Directors/VPs – to learn tips and tricks from the pros on how to  set your quotas on fire!

Get to hunting and don’t waste anymore time!

 

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Technology in Medical Sales: Is it worth the Sales Rep’s Time?

We talk a great deal about things like actionable intelligence, big data, and using the best tools available to you, but cutting edge technology has its drawbacks…right? Some advancements can completely revolutionize how an aspect of healthcare is practiced. However, it takes time for any industry to fully integrate even the smallest of innovations. The early adopters are ALWAYS the ones to see the biggest benefits. So, what makes a tool positively disruptive in today’s medical world?

Integration, Mobility, and Accessibility

Those three words right there are pure magic in the medical world in 2017. Just think about it: everything is interconnected. You have Google Drive on your phone. You can send iMessages from your Macbook. You can print anything via WiFi. While some are working on devices straight out of Star Trek, others are hard at work on advancing prosthetics. Of course, for something to be truly innovative, it MUST hit all three of those magic check marks.

Patient monitoring programs and apps have been booming in healthcare currently. These programs allow doctors to collect patient data and patient vitals remotely and ultimately cut healthcare costs while increasing access to care.

– ePharma Summit Blog

Technology is no doubt helping advance medicine, however – what about the healthcare sales industry? How many times have you sat there and said, wow, this would be great if this new tool or widget did “X”, which more than likely isn’t anything a software engineer would’ve thought of when they were making your current “sales acceleration” product.  Right?  How many of these products, which were designed “for you,” were actually created by people “like you”?  Newsflash: none of them.  The overwhelming majority of “sales” tools were created by people who aren’t “salespeople”.   I see a gap… it’s shocking… I know!

So, What’s the Deal With 2017?

That ePharma article we linked above had this to say about non-physical tools: “Medical apps and technologies are helping save hospital costs and make healthcare more accessible.” But that focus lies on consumers and healthcare facilities. If the Star Trek inspired XPrize is geared toward consumers, ProSellus is a similar tool for sales reps. Combining the most pragmatic aspects of integration, mobility, and accessibility, this tool is a heavy lifter.  Utilizing this three-pronged approach to all of your data and client relationships, you can easily organize, monitor, access, and implement information. There’s those three check marks again: integration, mobility, and accessibility. (Oh yeah… and created “for you”, by people “like you.”  We’re salespeople too. Sssssshhhhhh, don’t tell anyone! It’s a big secret! But, what a novel idea: Let’s create a sales tool for salespeople made by, wait, you guessed it, salespeople.  A novel idea if I do say so myself!)

If you aren’t using ProSellus, you’re about 10,000 steps behind your competitors. Take control of all the data at your fingertips and use it to grow your business. Email me at scott@prosellus.com to begin learning about sales acceleration techniques that can exponentially increase efficiency in your business. You don’t get anywhere in the medical sales rep industry by just working hard. Work smarter with ProSellus and, we promise, this technology will be well worth your time – and in fact, take very little of it to help you succeed.

 

ImproveYourBottomLinein3EasySteps

Improve Your Bottom Line in 3 Easy Steps

Let me say this – For almost 15 years labored in the “old ways” of healthcare sales. I spent long hours crunching numbers anywhere I could find them, performing my own manual research the best way I knew how and knocked on doors to expand my market. And believe me, IT WORKED, but at one point I thought to myself, “Why isn’t there an easier or faster way to do this? Is this why there are the “1%’ers” in this and every other industry?  Is this the hard work that separates them from the rest of the pack?”

Finally I realized: “It’s the 21st century. Isn’t it time I started using all the tools available to me (and some I didn’t know existed) to enhance my business? If there really is an ‘easy’ button, shouldn’t I go ahead and push it?”  Seriously folks, why work hard when you can work smart… right? In 3 easy steps, I put “big data” to work for me to rapidly boost my revenue’s, visibility, and build my physician network. Many industries have incorporated the critical analysis of data into its business plans. But just how can all these metrics work for an individual or sales company?

Start With The Basics

Before we get too far down the yellow brick road, let’s talk about what “data” actually means. (And let’s face it, if you’re anything like me you’ve heard your company’s marketing team refer to “the data” and what all it “says” and “does”. However, personally, I’ve never had one of these marketing folks actually talk about “the data” in a way that actually made sense to me and in a way I could actually use it to help drive business. So usually, my eyes just glazed over and I watched them talk, no words ever sinking in…  But nevertheless, back to what data actually is…)

Data refers to any collected statistics, metrics, or insights into a particular industry, service, or platform (generally). It can range from how diabetics monitor the glucose levels in their blood to how predictive analytics can help battle a brewing opioid crisis. You might think “data” only refers to how many hits a day your LinkedIn or Facebook page gets, but it is so much more than that. Data can also uncover underlying value within a certain business with regards to performance, patterns and relationships.  Data can potentially make or break your business, but more importantly, understanding your data make or break your business. If you don’t pay attention to the data, you will fall short. Data is everything these days and it’s only going to become more powerful to a business’s competitive arsenal.

Now, let’s start down the road. The first step to improving your bottom line is to analyze your current list of clients. You can do this with just a few easy metrics: quantity, quality, and connections. Performing this analysis allows you to determine how each client is most valuable to you and how to maximize the returns on your investment in them as clients. (We’ve all heard our managers at one time or another refer to the “ROI” of your activities with your customers.  Most of us would roll our eyes and think, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, just watch how much he/she does next month…” However by performing this quick analysis you can see ROI starting to take shape.)  

If one practitioner doesn’t buy the most product from you, but has an extensive network of connections and potential customers, they might be worth the effort after all. In fact, on that last point, if they do have this network of connections – maybe you can tap into it FOR your client. Now here is a thought – take one extra step and deepen the connection for your customer with members of their network and further solidify your own customer relationship.

Do you Really Need 3 Steps?

Secondly, you want to look at the products you represent and how each is performing. Which ones are in demand and which ones are stagnating? Better yet, do the research to find out about innovations in the fields of your best clients. Staying on top of the adaptation of new tools like the app for brain injuries known as “Constant Therapy” is the only way you won’t fall behind.

Thirdly, you want  to communicate all of this in an effective and persuasive manner. That means studying which techniques work best for certain physicians or even clients in certain specialties of the medical industry. Just thinking about cataloging all of that is stressful. I took hours upon hours to gathering intel on, not only my customer’s specialty but also their referring networks’ specialties. Talk about exhausting! But, I was hungry. And while I mention being hungry, I would imagine every person who answers the phone when a recruiter calls and says, “I have an opening you may be interested in” is hungry too. Hungry for YOUR JOB.

I went through all of it: the long hours, the hard work, the nodding off in the middle of typing a sentence. I knew there had to be a better way, which is where ProSellus came from. The first of its kind, ProSellus is a revolutionary app that puts big data to work for you in the palm of your hand. Utilize the latest in sales, sales acceleration, sales enablement and networking strategies to boost your profits and efficiency with the click of a button. Translating numbers into actionable intelligence is easy with ProSellus. Want more info on how to transform your healthcare sales business? Email scottwalle@prosellus.com and be sure to read more of our blogs for constant updates on new tools and technologies.

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.

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