Today’s political climate often feels like it could shift at any second. There are many strong views and even stronger people advocating for change. The potential strain these shifts could put on your team are likely already in the back of your mind.
How can they not be? Already, this year, the FDA chief has called for the release of millions of previously unpublished injury and malfunction reports tied to roughly 100 medical devices. Additionally, the federal government is investigating the potential hacking risks of implanted medical devices.
New political shifts aren’t the only thing that could derail your sales team. For example, in the U.S., the medical device tax caused concern for many manufacturers while in effect from 2013 to 2015. Even though it was paused, the tax could come back into effect at any time.
Of course, you can’t predict the future. And you don’t want to scare your team every time there’s a tiny indication of new developments. However, prevailing through the shifts that cause major transformations depends on how you prepare your team now.
Here’s how you can ready your team for unexpected developments due to political shifts:
Send frequent reports
Your medical sales employees’ plates are overflowing. Keeping up with customers’ requests and bringing new prospects into their pipeline is more than a full-time job. Their ability to focus on their customers’ worlds, though, is exactly what keeps them successful.
Unfortunately, that leaves little time to read up on political trends impacting the medical sales field. This is especially true when potential shifts arise daily.
Be your team’s eyes and ears. Track changes, throughout each month, you see coming down the pipeline. If, in the middle of the month, you notice a trend shift and it is no longer a risk, remove it from your report. Your goal is to keep everyone informed without sending stress levels through the roof.
Ensure your monthly reports are focused specifically on changes that will impact their sales roles and how they approach customers or their products directly.
Be open about the “how” and “why”
Losing control also means losing power. If your team is constantly fearful of what’s to come, they’ll begin to feel out of control. As a result, they’ll lose the driving force behind their relationships and sales numbers.
Help team members remain in control by keeping them completely in-the-know. Even if a current political shift isn’t guaranteed to impact their medical sales careers, open up about it. Be generous with your information — even if you’re intimidated by potential changes. Genuinely connecting with your team through your own emotions during the process will give them the power to accept their own feelings.
Let your team know what you’d do if a political shift occurred. For example, if the medical device tax resumes, how would it impact your team, what would you do to keep it from hurting their sales numbers, and why?
This type of information lets them know what to expect and how to prepare as they receive monthly trends reports.
Call on your champions of change
By nature, medical sales is a rapidly evolving field. When something is already moving at such a fast pace, even the smallest modifications feel like major disruptions to your sales team. But some reps are better equipped to handle this type of change.
These are your champions. Now is the time to call on them to prepare team members for shifts. Rather than waiting until change is actually implemented, these employees will give their colleagues the necessary tools to move through any disruptions with confidence and grace.
If you have champions who are already mentors, ask them to add lessons about dealing with unexpected changes. Those who aren’t mentors can provide direct examples of how they’ve handled change in the past during weekly sales meetings.
How do you help your team prepare for political shifts? Let us know!