A lack of proper education is harmful to anyone’s career. However, medical sales reps aren’t only impacted by their own learning, but customers’ as well. In fact, our latest report, Selling Controversial Products: Rising Above the Negativity to Find Positive Impacts, found that 94 percent of sales representatives said a lack of proper education impacts their sales.
Top medical sales pros want to be part of a company that offers a true coaching culture. One where they not only feel supported in educating customers, but where they’re immersed in furthering their own education and skills.
Here’s how you can create a coaching culture that will attract top medical sales reps:
Make your mission, vision, and goals clear
Medical sales reps can’t effectively educate customers if they aren’t aligned with your mission, vision, and goals. When your passion for coaching and education is evident in everything you do, your team will replicate that culture out in the field.
However, your mission, vision, and goals won’t shine through in your coaching if you’re only pulling your team aside for once-a-month meetings. Invest in reps’ development by finding a daily opportunity to connect coaching with company-wide missions.
For example, if part of your mission is providing customers with the best quality products and service, pull your team aside each morning to recognize reps who are already doing this well. As you celebrate team members who push your mission forward, other reps will note this transparency and work even harder to offer the same great service to their customers.
Stop managing and start coaching
Talented medical sales reps are independent thinkers. They’re in charge of dealing with customer issues, managing their own time, and even keeping themselves on pace to hit challenging deadlines. So, chances are, they’re not looking to join a team with a manager coordinating their every move.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t require guidance throughout their career. By supporting, rather than managing, reps’ immediate and long-term goals, you’ll create a workplace where employees feel confident and empowered.
Work together with your team to define common customer objections, especially those due to educational gaps. Then, mutually set strategies and goals to overcome each obstacle. Acting as a mentor and team member gives you the ability to connect with reps in real time. This allows you to guide and engage each person in a way that propels their individual success forward.
Show candidates how you empower your team by hosting job auditions. Be sure to have a team meeting scheduled during each audition. Now, candidates can see exactly how you interact with and coach your team through everyday challenges.
Lead by example
To help your team educate customers, they need to first be educated themselves. Beyond understanding the basics of their products, your team needs to know how to approach customers in a learning situation.
If sales pros are learning about products and receiving sales coaching from understanding and patient leaders, they’ll do the same for customers. On the other hand, if your team only learns via one-pagers and quick emails, customers will likely receive the same amount of attention.
Provide your team with the educational tools they need to succeed. Offer various methods and strategies to show them how to approach learning from all sides of the spectrum. When available, use research and customer success stories to help your team educate customers about the importance and validity of the product.
Once you’ve started leading by example, show potential candidates you’re already equipped to give them the tools they need to further their careers. List each educational method, strategy, and tool in your job descriptions.
Also, get your team involved by having them share testimonials on your career site and social media pages. Ask them to speak candidly about your coaching and education-focused culture. Have them share detailed stories of how it has helped them effectively teach customers about the products, leading them to closer, more meaningful relationships.