Insights & Trends

Changing Times Mean Changing Medical Sales Methods


April is a top-earning medical sales rep. With more than 12 years of experience and a proven track record of landing consistently lucrative deals, her methods have become the unofficial company standard at her workplace.

Lately, though, things aren’t as easy as they used to be. Fewer physicians are open to in-person meetings, and April’s old “tried-and-true tactics” just aren’t generating the leads they once did.

However, she has noticed a growing trend. Many physicians — while still open to meeting with medical sales reps — are desperately seeking new information that’s not easily accessible online or through published reports.

According to a 2017 ePharma Physicians annual study, 51 percent of doctors surveyed said they were already aware of the information medical sales reps were offering. The study — now in its 15th year — surveyed 1,814 physicians in a variety of specialties.

Luckily, there are some ways you can revamp your medical sales pitches, regain physician interest, and continue to generate leads and revenue. Here is a look at how you can keep up with the times and stay one step ahead with your sales methods:

1. Be the first to know medical sales news, trends, and tech

You’re busy during the day making sales and chasing leads. Still, it’s important to make time to ensure you’re in tune with the latest news and trends.

Subscribe to industry journals and newsletters. Attend workshops and webinars. Make professional development and continuing education a priority.

In addition, you should take every opportunity to use cutting edge tech that will make your job easier.

Tech Tools for Medical Sales Reps

  • You’re likely already using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRMs feature a ‘one-glance’ view of clients and where they are in the sales process. Advanced CRMs offer a higher level of data collection, including marketplace trends and opportunities for increased sales.
  • Sales Enablement Tools (SET) are used together with CRM software. SETs allow medical sales reps to further personalize the business relationship. They can also help identify new leads. Populars SETs include Amacus, Infer, Teradata, and more.
  • Mobile platforms (apps) make it easy for you to demonstrate products through video. You can also easily start a video conference with satisfied customers to get expert testimonials. Note-taking/dictation apps will cut down on the time you spend taking notes, so you can focus more on building a professional relationship with your clients.

2. Tailor meetings to physician preference

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to client meetings. You should be open to using the method of communication that best suits physicians.

The face-to-face meetings traditional reps, like April, are used to won’t ever go away, but it’s important to explore other ways of reaching out to clients. This might include any combination of phone calls, video conferences, email, mobile alerts, speaker programs, and even direct mail.

In fact, a 2016 Access Monitor study found that 35 percent of physicians are receptive to digital communication. The study polled 40,000 medical sales reps to determine how they interact with clients. Some doctors said they actually prefer digital communication since it saves time and is often easier to schedule.

You should also make a point to tailor each presentation to the specific client. In a 2017 Bridge Group Inside Sales Report, 80 percent of physicians said they don’t want to hear a generic or “canned” pitch.

The study also found that 38 percent of doctors will engage in either personal or non-personal sessions, but not both. This trend further proves that you need to be flexible.

3. Adjust presentations if the information is already known

Given the trends April has uncovered, she’s started to keep a “Plan B,” in case the client is already aware of the information she brought to a meeting.

As a medical sales rep in an ever-changing industry, you must be able to skip irrelevant information. Don’t stick to a script. You should always have other information available to keep the physician’s interest.

You don’t get to be a top medical sales earner (and stay that way) by accident. It takes effort and determination.

Establish a drive to always be the first to know industry news and trends. Make client meetings personal. Always be able to adjust presentations on a moment’s notice. These are the things that create increased engagement and build lasting professional relationships.

What are you doing to make your medical sales pitches more engaging? Let us know in the comments!