We’re living in an internet-driven information world. Consumers are taking to reviews, social media posts, and relying on not-so-trustworthy news sources on Facebook and Twitter.
While your consumers are intelligent, many of them are likely getting false or tainted information. Unfortunately, this lack of proper education is impacting sales, according to 94 percent of sales representatives in our newly released report Selling Controversial Products: Rising Above the Negativity to Find Positive Impacts.
Another 64 percet of those respondents said it’s crucial that sales representatives offer educational resources to the general public. However, 68 percent said it’s the responsibility of managers and leaders to ensure customers receive proper education on these products.
The key here is that medical sales representatives want to educate the public but need the help of their fearless leaders to do so. Let’s take a look at three ways you can start supporting your medical sales team in educating the public:
1. Create a company culture around education
If an organization doesn’t place value on education, its employees won’t either. In order for medical sales reps to understand the importance of educating the public, they must first see how it positively impacts their own lives. Leaders must hold learning in high regards by weaving opportunities throughout the entire company.
Make education part of your company culture immediately from onboarding. Employees should be greeted with training, courses, and mentorship opportunities during their first moments of employment.
Keep the momentum going by setting educational expectations. Give employees time every month to further their education. This can be done with online courses, going into the field with a supervisor, chatting with research and development to learn more about a product, or even researching the public’s opinion on their product.
By offering this time each month, you’re setting an educational standard. Additionally, giving reps the freedom to learn what and how they want, shows them everyone learns differently and prepares them for teaching opportunities in the field.
2. Put your research to work
Research used for internal purposes only isn’t reaching its full potential. With so much unreliable news in the world and untrusting consumers, research is the one and only concrete source the public will open their minds to.
If your company isn’t doing much along the lines of research, it’s your job to advocate for them to start. Your sales reps need this kind of information to remain competitive and trusted while selling. However, before you go demanding information and new research, you need to understand what the public wants and needs to know.
Send out polls to the general public questioning them about your industry, product, and where they obtain their information. Also, start social listening on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Really focusing and taking a look into your target buyer’s life will help you guide your team in offering the right information in the most effective format.
Once you have product and target audience research in your hands, put together materials for your team. Communicate to them why you chose this research, language, style of resource, etc., so they’re prepared to put it to use.
3. Rally your customers
Your products are changing lives. You have loyal customers who believe in the positive impact your product is making in their lives. It’s important to remember this because negative media or reviews can lower morale within your sales team.
Unfortunately, some people simply don’t trust medical sales companies — or corporate America for that matter. That’s why they need to hear it directly from their peers.
Set up a meeting with marketing to discuss creating a campaign involving customer success stories. Ask them to make print materials, add stories to the website, and share video testimonials on social media. The more positive feedback the public sees from current customers, the more likely they are to open up their minds to getting educated about your product.
How do you help your team educate the public? Let us know!