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Unfortunately, not all workplace technology is created equal.

In fact, a May survey from Harvard Business Review Analytics Services found that nearly four in 10 respondents said their technology systems make work harder, not easier. That means wasted time and money spent on a tool that created more problems than it solved.

So, how can employers in the medical sales industry avoid these costly mistakes? The key is having a checklist to consult when researching workplace tech.

Here are four things to consider:

1. Does it create or reduce steps?

Every medical sales company has its own processes. While technology should make these methods simpler, not every tool will mesh with how your team works. Depending on the user interface, some tools might actually add steps to employees’ processes.

Luckily, most software offers a free trial period before you have to commit to the product. Take advantage of this time by having a few employees try out the platform. Track their performance during the timeframe and compare it to other team members who were still doing things the old way. If the new tech didn’t improve employee effectiveness, it’s not a good match for your organization.

Also, survey employees about their experience with the technology. Get their opinions about how it affects their job. It is possible for tech to make certain tasks so simple that they become monotonous. If that’s the case, using the tool in the long-run will hurt employee engagement and won’t be worth the investment.

2. Will it become outdated quickly?

There’s nothing worse than purchasing a software, getting all employees on board, and then finding out a better option was just released. Then you’re stuck with an inferior product. Unfortunately, workplace technology evolves so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up with the changes.

When you’re researching your options, always ask if the company is about to release any new updates. Even if the current product doesn’t meet the needs of your medical sales staff, there might be a new version coming out in a month that’s perfect. Waiting for the right, up-to-date choice is always better than choosing something that will soon be obsolete.

3. What is the learning curve?

Unfortunately, not all tech tools are intuitive. Chances are they were developed by engineers who are unfamiliar with the medical sales industry. As a result, employees need to re-learn how they work. This means long periods of time when the entire team isn’t operating optimally.

All workplace tech should play a part in increasing your company’s success. Before purchasing any new tool, set expectations about when you want to see a return on investment. Start by thinking about when is an acceptable time for the aid of the tool to increase productivity enough to cover its own cost.

Then, check in with employees who were part of the tech’s trial. Ask them how long it will take before they master the new software. If they estimate it will take longer than your break-even deadline, search for another option.

4. How will it help reps improve their daily sales?

This is a simple, yet often overlooked aspect of buying workplace tech. As you know, a good salesperson can make anything seem fantastic. But that doesn’t mean your company actually needs it.

For example, there are many wonderful platforms that help teams organize their projects and tasks. If your sales reps work independently, there’s no reason for them to share their to-do lists with the rest of the team. It doesn’t help them sell more; it just adds an unnecessary step.

To properly assess the tool, make sure you understand your reps’ methods. If you assume they go about sales a certain way, you’ll be looking for tech that solves problems they probably don’t have.

Instead, have your reps walk you through their typical day. Ask them what challenges they’d like to address. Then you can better evaluate different workplace tech.

What are some other considerations for medical sales companies looking for workplace tech? Share in the comments!

2018 Medical Sales Salary Report

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