Medical device sales reps face unique challenges selling in their industry. They have to be informed about healthcare regulations, hospital policies, evolving technologies, medical discoveries, and products whose effectiveness is often a life-and-death matter. As a manufacturer, you never want a medical device sales rep to miss an opportunity due to lack of knowledge or preparation. You want to keep these sales reps engaged and educated, so you can build long-lasting, fruitful partnerships that serve your healthcare buyers well.
Here are three practices that can make huge improvements in your medical device sales reps’ engagement and education:
Deliver training in an engaging, rewarding way.
Medical device sales reps have a lot to keep up with. They have to stay informed of government regulations that impact the industry from the top down, where funding is being distributed, rules and regulations for individual products, along with policies specific to each region, state, or healthcare facility. Your online sales training platform should have the ability to be updated in real-time, on the fly, to deliver the most up-to-date information.
As the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve tells us, people lose knowledge as soon as it’s acquired—often within days or weeks—if they don’t review that knowledge repeatedly. A flexible online training and rewards platform allows you to repeatedly deliver training content in different contexts. Your sales reps might complete an 8-hour course on your product catalog one day, for example, while receiving repeated chances to answer product trivia questions to earn reward points. You’re delivering the same information to ensure it sticks in their brains, but they’re not getting bored with taking the same courses over and over.
Improve your sales enablement practices.
Especially with the demand created by the COVID-19 response, the healthcare industry is looking high and low for ways to cut costs. You can be sure they’re looking closely at supply chain analytics to find expenses to eliminate. Never send a medical device sales rep into this kind of situation unprepared! To help sales reps succeed, you need to provide effective sales enablement. Sales enablement includes the assets, training materials, product specs, testimonials, case studies, and peer-reviewed clinical research that helps reps sell your products. Your sales reps can pass these resources along to the healthcare buyer, who can use them to prove that you’re the most trustworthy and cost-effective supplier.
Sales enablement technology can help you make this process faster and more efficient. By applying audience hierarchy and segmentation rules to your sales training or incentive program, you can offer your sales reps tailored experiences with training content and enablement resources. This reduces the chance that they’ll get lost in the vast amounts of information, and sends sales reps directly to the training courses, product information, and updates/announcements that are relevant to them.
Integrate your channel technology.
As more manufacturers adopt channel sales, marketing, and enablement technology that helps them better manage their sales channel, it becomes increasingly important that this tech stack is fully integrated.
In an ideal channel tech stack, you have a customer “master record” that can receive sales and customer data from all other channel technology you operate. Having this reliable source of information about your customer contact, firmographics, interests, needs, and purchase history will empower your medical device sale reps.
Imagine your top salesperson retires, and all their accounts and relationships have to be transferred to someone new. Rather than scrambling in the dark, trying to memorize the needs and situation of every buyer, your sales rep can follow each customer’s master record, and have all the information they need to continue delivering an informed, trust-based relationship with your end-customer.
Particularly during a worldwide health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, health care facilities are under mounting pressures to meet patient needs and reduce costs to remain operational. They need to make dire decisions that are based on hard, reliable data. This makes trust essential to the relationship between the salesperson and their healthcare customer. Better training, sales enablement, and channel technology integration can help medical device sales reps stay informed and maintain the trust that ultimately reflects on your product and brand integrity.