There’s no doubt that Teleflex is one of the best medical sales companies to work for. Topping MedReps Best Places to Work list for four years running, Teleflex consistently treats employees with respect and provides them with incredible opportunities for growth.
MedReps wanted to know more about what it takes to be successful with a highly sought-after medical sales employer like Teleflex. Which qualities do the most successful medical sales reps exhibit, and what does their career path typically look like? Fortunately, Christopher Walker, VP of Sales and Marketing – LATAM, was willing to answer our questions. Six years ago, Walker relocated his family from Connecticut to North Carolina to join Teleflex as a Regional Sales Manager. During his time at Teleflex, he has had the opportunity to manage sales teams, start and lead a market development team, and he now manages the sales and marketing teams in Latin America.
In Part One of our interview, we asked him to share a little about the hiring process at Teleflex and what it takes to get hired. In Part Two, which you’ll find below, we’ll learn more about the qualities found in the most successful medical sales reps and the tremendous opportunities they have at Teleflex.
As someone who manages medical sales reps, what can you tell us about the qualities and habits of the most successful salespeople?
I will answer this one by sharing with you the four things that I look for in a sales representative, marketer, or any other role I am hiring for in the Organization.
1. Someone with strong character and integrity. If you do not have this one checked, the next 3 points are irrelevant. Moreover, if you do not have this, you will not be on my team very long.
2. Veracious unsatiable appetite to learn – some big words for you. I want someone who is more interested than interesting – every day they ask high-impact, thought-provoking questions in an effort to learn from their customers, peers, management, etc. They never stop wanting to learn because they know it will make them better at their job and in life.
3. Hardworking. I think hard work matters. The phrase “work smart, not hard” is often thrown around, and I do not know if I agree with it completely. Working smart is important, it means there is rationale, strategy, foresight, and analytics in your actions – completely agree these are important. The idea that “smart” can replace “hard” is what I am not sure I can agree with completely. Maybe a better phrase would be “Work Smart, then Work Hard” – this would ensure that you “think and strategize” before you execute.
4. Be a Builder. Don´t go out and search for candidates that want to join a great company – that is obvious, we all want to work for a great company. Rather, go out and find candidates that want to build a great company. I think about what these types of candidates or employees would do to separate themselves as “builders” versus what I now call “riders” (just riding the coattails of the company). A few attributes of builders:
a. They own their development. They seek out feedback, apply plans for development, seek to mentor and be mentored. They understand that when they are at their best, they will be able to contribute at the highest levels.
b. They raise their hand. These individuals volunteer to selflessly help make the Organization better than it was before they were hired. They ask to do more, without being paid more. If there is a project, committee, or team they can join to help improve the way we serve our customers, the lives of our employees or the community we live in, then they are all in.
One thing is for sure, when we lose someone like this, there is a void that is felt. One of the questions that I challenge my team with is this very question. “If you left today, would we feel your absence?” Teleflex would still go on as a company, we would find a backfill, but it begs a good question on whether one has truly had an impact on the business, on their peers, on the community.
What is the typical path for medical sales careers at Teleflex? What kind of growth opportunities are available for the most successful salespeople?
The topic of this question is one I love having with salespeople. I love talking about growth, development, and advancement. The answer itself is a little tougher. There is no shortage of advancement opportunities at Teleflex, and as we acquire companies, there are only more of those growth opportunities. Sales representatives can be promoted into marketing, sales training, sales leadership, and even other roles completely untraditional. The question I think many representatives ask is “how do I get promoted” or “which pathway is best for me” – those questions may be too robust to answer in this article. A couple pieces of advice though on those topics:
- Be really good at your current job, and remember you are ALWAYS interviewing for your next job (when you are referring to internal promotions).
- Be open and flexible to relocation. I have done it several times in my career – go to where the opportunity is vs. waiting for it to come to you. Advanced conversations about “where and when” you would be relocatable are critical to have with your boss, significant other, or otherwise.
- Know yourself. Johari Window is a great model to begin the path of self-awareness. I am a big advocate of knowing what you are good at, what you are not good at, knowing what you like or do not like in a job, and then matching up career opportunities against those metrics.
- Get a mentor and mentor others.
People are at the center of everything we do, and we live that through our core values. I am happy to speak to anyone who would like to learn more about medical sales careers at Teleflex.
If you believe you have what it takes to find success with one of the industry’s best employers, you can view and apply to medical sales careers at Teleflex right here on MedReps. Don’t miss Part One of our interview with Christopher Walker and learn more about what it takes to land medical sales jobs at Teleflex.