The Ultimate Guide to Medical Sales Success
Career Growth Guides On The Job

The Ultimate Guide to Medical Sales Success

Landing a medical sales job is an exciting accomplishment. You set your sights on a rewarding career and are now well on your way to changing the lives of numerous clients and their patients.

However, receiving a job offer is just the first hurdle. The coming, and most important, steps you’ll take revolve around navigating numerous internal and external variables. How medical sales reps make use of or function within each of those variables impacts their sales numbers, overall success, and ability to remain healthy in their role or move into a new one.

Each move you make from now on must be intentional and proactive toward nurturing positive customer relationships. Use the tips below to get on the track to medical sales success today:

Make good use of your personality

Many people believe they must mold their personality to fit a stereotypical sales role. This forces them into unknown and uncomfortable territory. As a result, they come off as disingenuous or even off-putting to customers.

No matter what your specific personality type, you have the power to find success in medical sales by simply being yourself. The key is applying the natural aspects of your personality directly to customer situations.

Define the various strengths in your personality to put your best self forward. Take this short personality type quiz to gain a deeper understanding of your positive attributes.

Use your four-letter personality type to better recognize your best assets when dealing with customers. Those with INFJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging) personalities, for example, are often thought to be focused on helping others realize their dreams and potential. Even though, as introverts, they may need time alone to recharge and aren’t as outwardly excited as some extroverts, their nurturing nature makes them valuable to customers.

Focus on specific qualities that feel natural and true to your personality and use them to create purposeful and unique connections with customers.

Understand how to nurture different types of relationships

Medical sales is a big, wide-open world. It’s full of different personalities and relationships — all of which are important. Successful sales reps understand these dynamics and are empathetic to each person’s unique needs, desires, and quirks.

You’ll find some customers, for example, are cut and dry. They’re only interested in a sales-based relationship. They want to know what you’re selling and if it will work for their patients. To some, this response comes off as cold or even offensive.

Rather than looking at this perspective negatively, find a different angle to approach them. Consider why they want this type of relationship with their sales reps and how you can fit into their fast-paced world.

Other customers will want a more personal relationship. You may even develop close friendships with a few of your customers or their staff. These customers will need to be cared for in a much more attentive way.

Each relationship is unique and no less valuable. As you take notes during customer meetings, jot down more than their questions or orders. Keep track of what they like to chat about or how much time they typically offer you. These notes will help you better understand the differences between your relationships and cater to each client’s various needs.  

Expand your soft skills

Success doesn’t happen overnight and neither does learning critical soft skills. Of course, as a medical sales rep, you have the basic people, social, and communication skills needed to land this role. But these skills aren’t mastered with just a few years of experience.

The most successful reps focus specifically on skillbuilding, knowing they need to continue learning and refining as they grow. Their goals: to excel in nurturing relationships, build their customer list, and close deals.

Never stop expanding your soft skills and pushing yourself to new heights. Start within your own medical sales team by building positive relationships and devoting time to teamwork. Strong communication and emotional agility start inside your company’s walls. Find strength and learning opportunities in co-workers, leaders, and mentors.

Develop hard skills

Hard skills are frequently overlooked in many sales industries. In medical sales, however, the perfect combination of soft and hard skills will set you above competitors.

Consider skills you’re insecure about or moments you were with a customer and froze because you didn’t know how to do something. For example, did they ask you to alter a price on the spot but math was never your strongest subject? Or do you dread drafting emails and proposals because you’re not confident in writing?

Put these insecurities to rest by better developing your hard skills. Take initiative and read how-to guides, watch YouTube videos, or even enroll in free courses. The more areas you’re confident in, the more chances you’ll have to impress customers.

Take care of yourself

This is one of the most critical and ignored tips. Medical sales reps can’t successfully take care of customers if they’re not caring for their own mental and physical well-being. Even the best reps can succumb to the pressures of their career if they don’t take time off, find balance that works for their work and home life, and make time to exercise and eat healthy.

Set guidelines for yourself — and follow them as though they’re a requirement from your manager. If you have an unhealthy addiction to your work phone, put it somewhere virtually unreachable after 6 p.m. to give yourself and your family quality time.

Most importantly, no matter what you’re struggling with, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Ask human resources, managers, mentors, or trusted colleagues for tips on unwinding, eating well while on the road, or even getting the anxieties of work off your mind.

Measure and analyze

Every single part of your sales process is measurable — not just sales goals. We live in a data-driven world — so take advantage of it. Use analytics to collect and compare your own data, no matter how simplistic some of it seems.

Measure how many customers you see in a day, compare your success rates of cold calling vs. customer referrals, and how long, on average, you speak with customers to determine how you can optimize your time.

Each piece of data you collect should be used to understand your entire sales process. This includes yourself, your customers, and your competitors.

Be prepared and persistent

By itself, persistence can come off as overbearing. When you add preparedness, you have a powerful new sales approach. Success in the medical sales field isn’t just about knocking on customers’ doors, building relationships, and signing on dotted lines.

It’s also about all the legwork that’s put into the relationship when customers aren’t looking. This starts with appropriately building your sales funnel from day one. Put in the effort to research the territory and product. Understand your customers’ pain points and needs before ever walking through their door.

Then, remain persistent to ensure they remember who you are and the immense amount of knowledge you have about their patients.

Never stop learning

What is success, really? Many medical sales reps are so successful because they’ve never given this word an ultimate definition as it pertains to their own careers. Those same reps have also never put a cap on their education.

Education is a necessity in medical sales as processes, technology, legislation, and products are constantly evolving. Those who refuse to remain in touch with those changes become stagnant.

Stay humble and in-tune with your own needs for increased understanding. Take advantage of opportunities to learn about new technology or even classes that will increase your understanding of the roles of techs, nurses, doctors, and C-suite executives. The more versatile you are, the more chances you’ll have to connect with people throughout the sales process.