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How Leaders Can Excite Sales Reps to Reach Optimal Performance in 2018


As the new year kicks into full-force, your sales reps are making their own new goals. Some are enforcing a new diet or even adding to their already ambitious bucket list. But most importantly, each rep is looking to improve goals, hit higher benchmarks, and achieve impressive revenue.

These goals, combined with quality performance management, is how medical sales teams are reaching optimal performance this year.

In fact, in our Best Places to Work report, one CONMED employee said, “…the company goes above and beyond to make sure each employee has the resources they need in order to succeed.”

It’s no surprise that 76 percent of respondents in the same report said they are very or somewhat satisfied in their jobs. In fact, 47 percent of those medical sales employees also said they’re not looking for a new job. That’s almost a 50 percent decrease from last year’s results.

The 2018 outlook is bright for medical sales companies and their employees. Here’s how you can cultivate excitement and motivation within your team to make this the most successful year yet:

1. Enhance productivity.

We could all use a productivity boost every now and then. Sales reps are especially in need of frequent check-ins because it’s easy to get set in daily routines and strategies.

To stop her team from becoming overly comfortable, Joanna Gajewska, marketing executive at Antivia, provides sales reps with access to interactive applications. These apps tie into various data sources, giving them better and faster insight into their customers.

Our sales reps will now have access to a 360 degree view of customer accounts and products including: products and ranges they have ordered and those they haven’t, outstanding deals, orders and invoices, a log of issues and their status, the profitability of each account — gross margin vs time spent in the account, product spec lists, product availability, and product pricing,” Gajewska said.

She further explained that this new availability has reduced preparation time by an estimated 90 percent.

“This should lead to a more data-driven approach to working with our customers, which we believe will aid growth and retention. This means bigger commission payouts for our sales people and increased company revenue and margins,” she continued.

Jumpstart your team’s productivity by providing insight into metrics. Allow them to see how their performance contributes to the company’s goals and create some healthy competition by comparing their efforts with their peers.

2. Give them something to believe in.

Most medical sales reps are in the field to make a difference. Their ability to sell is strongly tied to the quality of the product that’s being presented to customers. In fact, our Best Places to Work report found employees believe a strong product line is the most important quality in an employer.

Mike Schultz, president at RAIN Group and bestselling author of Insight Selling, believes companies that lead with performance management that has a strong focus on value for buyers have highly motivated sales forces.

“When sellers believe in what they sell and the difference they can make for their buyers, it creates better results, increases client satisfaction, and increases new business opportunities. Too many organizations focus on motivation directly,” he said. “Focus on value and you’ll unleash motivation.”

Take a step back from marketing to customers and begin with marketing to employees. Allow each person to discover how the product solves customers’ issues, fulfills their needs, and betters the lives of patients. Tying purpose into their everyday tasks and goals will promote excitement, which translates into their pitches and client interactions.

3. Offer praise — not just yours.

Positive recognition isn’t new to the performance management scene. However, Cristian Rennella, VP of sales and co-founder of, reminds us that medical sales reps also need praise from outside company walls.

Renella explained, “After nine years of work and being able to learn from our mistakes and successes in order to motivate our salespeople, we finally arrived at the solution: measure the number of thank-you contacts we receive from our customers!”

Renella realized those receiving positive emails, calls, and direct messages have 46.7 percent more sales than the rest.

Give your team confidence in the work they’re doing through customer feedback. Share comments immediately to keep the momentum going. Then, have a conversation about how they can take each review and apply it to every account.

4. Plan strategies together.

Strategies should be planned based on each individual’s performance, sales style, and personality. Bill Wallace, executive vice president at Revenue Storm, says this type of planning speaks to sales reps’ natural competitive and driven spirits.

“One of the best ways to get salespeople excited is to work through their compensation plan to create a strategy and approach where they can see a path to their income goals,” he offered. “Have them set goals, review them, coach them on strategies and steps to attainment, and then remove obstacles for them.”

Once goals and performance management strategies are in place, keep nurturing sales reps’ motivational needs. Wallace suggests always asking the “why” questions:

  • Why are you doing this job?
  • Why are you enduring the rejection?
  • Why are you putting your income at risk?

Use their answers to create future goals and focus on income. Combining passions and money gives them a self-fulling approach to reaching their goals.

How are you getting your sales team excited for 2018? Let us know in the comments below!