Hiring Process Recruiting

Passion, Motivation, and Personality: The Key Factors for Reducing Medical Sales Rep Turnover

Hiring medical sales reps can feel like a never-ending project thanks to the rapid turnover rates that are common to the industry. Our recent Best Places to Work Report found that while 80 percent of medical sales reps are satisfied with their current position, more than 50 percent are still looking for a new job. And while some turnover factors are uncontrollable, others are simply due to a mismatch between sales candidates and the company they work for or the role they fill.

So how do you get ahead of it all? In order to ensure your next hire is in it for the long haul, it’s crucial to understand the motivating factors behind a salesperson’s interest in the field. This enables you to identify if they are the right long-term match for your company. The right candidates will show these telltale signs of their ability to match with your organization.

They are passionate (as well as knowledgeable) about the products they represent.

Our Best Places to Work Report revealed 41 percent of medical sales reps regard the product line they will represent as the most important quality of their potential employer, while 33 percent hold product innovation as a top priority.

During the interview, pay attention to the candidate’s reaction to your product line. Of course, they should have done the research and be able to converse around your offerings. However, keying into their passion and excitement for the impact your products have on patient well-being can help you identify their fit within your organization.

The majority of medical sales reps chose their career because they see the products they’re selling improve and save patient lives. They understand the impact of their work and when they believe in what they are selling, they’re move motivated and more successful. They’re fueled by the knowledge that their work helps people.

If a candidate is able to speak to the impact and benefit of your product and talk about it with enthusiasm, it’s a good indicator of their investment in their work and their belief in your products and company.

Money isn’t their top priority.

A common misconception of recruiters in the sales field is that money plays a major role in a candidate’s decision regarding the products they represent. Our Best Places to Work Report, however, identified that only 9 percent of respondents marked compensation as a factor they consider when evaluating their work satisfaction.

High salaries are attractive to any job candidate and in medical sales, they’re a tool used to lure reps from company to company. But they really don’t mean everything to everyone. If you find a candidate is focused on the pay bump, chances are their shortsightedness won’t result in job satisfaction, and you’ll find them jumping to the next best offer.

Find candidates who talk more about long-term potential and commission structure than starting salary. By creating conversations around vested efforts for success and the resulting benefit your candidate could see, you gain insight into their willingness to stick around and put in the work to increase their paycheck. And all of that work will result in a full, genuine interest in the success of the company as a whole. 

They get along and build good rapport with the current team.

Sales is a pretty independent field, but that doesn’t mean your reps won’t interact, learn, and depend on each other. In our Best Places to Work survey, half of respondents noted trustworthy team members as an important factor in their job satisfaction, while 56 percent said that supportive and helpful teammates are desirable.

Encouragement, advice, understanding, and support are what help teams thrive. Even when assigned to different territories and selling to different businesses, sales reps want to be able to depend on their teammates. They want to be able to share new ideas, celebrate wins, and troubleshoot issues with colleagues who really just get it.

An ideal candidate will want to meet their potential team (you should arrange that following interviews). Do they have good chemistry? Is their conversation easy, engaging, and elevated? It’s important to ask your team for their thoughts on the fit. If they feel like they’ve met the missing link, you can be confident that making an offer to the candidate will strengthen your team and set you up for a long-term, enjoyable partnership.

Hiring medical sales reps needs to be about more than a quick fix to fill a vacancy. Focus on the key indicators of each candidate’s passion, motivation, and personality. Getting in front of these baseline factors of job satisfaction will ultimately lead you to the candidate who will best serve your business for the long term (and who will thrive while they do it).