Insights & Trends

These 5 Amazon Leadership Principles Will Improve Your Medical Sales Hiring Game


Amazon’s rapid growth and online retail takeover didn’t happen accidentally — or overnight. The company’s wild success continues making leaps and bounds thanks to highly effective and dedicated leaders.

In fact, according to Beth Galetti, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources, it’s their ability to maintain a culture of builders and innovators. In an interview with Gallup, Galetti pointed out that Amazon’s leaders live by 14 simple, but crucial, principles.

Every Amazon leader lives and breathes by these principles, allowing them to consistently promote company-wide success. In medical sales, every rep needs to have the qualities of a leader. Their roles in managing their daily tasks, goals, and customers require many of the same hard-working attributes of Amazon’s leaders.

Here are five qualities you need to look for in your next medical sales rep:

1. Customer obsession

There’s a common misconception among medical sales reps that they must be obsessed with selling to succeed. But this just isn’t the case — at least it shouldn’t be the No. 1 priority.

Instead, they need to have a complete obsession with their customers. Their primary focus and complete energy should be placed on building relationships, uncovering needs, then finding out what products could be pitched.

Administer a soft skills assessment prior to interviews. When reviewing the results, look for those who rate well in communication, empathy, and listening skills. Once you’ve narrowed down the playing field, schedule an interview and ask candidates to list their top priorities in sales. Those who note helping customers first and shine in various soft skills are the reps who are likely to take your team to the top. 

2. Ownership

Look for sales reps who own everything they do. They’re always thinking about long-term goals for the company and their clients.

Look for medical sales candidates who are willing to do anything for the company — whether it’s technically part of their listed job or not. The best time to find reps who have strong ownership skills is during the interview process. Ask for a specific example of a time when they took on duties that weren’t listed in their job description while in a previous role.

3. Invent and simplify

As you know, medical sales is a challenging job. From being constantly available for customers to hitting sales goals, and frequently being on the road — you need employees who aren’t stuck in their ways.

Find medical sales candidates who are always looking to simplify and improve their processes. Invite candidates in for an interview or job audition. While showing them around the office, arrange a sales team meeting and encourage candidates to speak up.

Also, ask for an example of a time when they had to voice their opinion, even if it wasn’t the most popular. Those who speak up during the meeting and are able to share when they made a change, are more likely to be inventors and simplifiers.

4. Think big

Those who think small aren’t ready to grow and expand your company or customer-base. Instead, you need medical sales reps who are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to impress and improve their customers’ experiences. These reps aren’t only thinking big for themselves, they’re looking to better the company, as a whole.

After narrowing down candidates based on your favorite applications, ask reps for a 30/60/90 day plan. Take it a step further by asking them to detail how each personal goal will impact company-wide initiatives.  

5. Bias for Action

Speed matters in medical sales. There’s always a competitor who could be a week, a day, or even minutes faster than your reps. Your team doesn’t have time for indecisiveness and needs people who are confident in their quick decisions.

Use a timed skills test to assess how quickly candidates can make quality decisions. Have them answer questions about what they’d do if a customer tried negotiating a lower price on the spot or if a customer, who is an hour out of the way of their planned route, asks to see them. Both of these require fast, split-second decisions that could make or break a sale.