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What Medical Sales Breakthroughs Mean for Patients and Reps

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New technology and passionate medical sales employees have skyrocketed healthcare advancements into an impressive future. Patients everywhere are feeling the life-changing — and lifesaving — effects from new technology, medications, and various other products.

This November, Diabetes Awareness Month, we reflect on the life diabetics face and how advancing medical sales technology is impacting their lives. The uncertainty of glucose levels, the need for upgraded equipment, frequent tests and shots, and the overwhelming costs of it all are a reminder of the constant need for new and improved developments.

Medical companies are continually exploring new technology for diabetic care. For example, the latest Dexcom G6 sensor (a Continuous Glucose Monitor) has been FDA approved to replace traditional glucose monitoring. And for people with type 1 diabetes, hybrid closed-loop systems are being developed to even more closely mimic the human pancreas.

To say these developments are exciting for diabetics and their families is an understatement. Yet with that excitement also comes uncertainty. As a sales rep, you understand the significance of new products and the life-changing impact they’ll have on patients’ lives, but you also recognize that these developments can pose as a potential career disruptor.

However, fully understanding patients’ fears and excitement behind new products as well as their needs will help calm your hesitations and provide a patient-focused sales strategy.

Here’s what medical breakthroughs mean for patients and medical sales reps:

Facing fears

What it means for patients

Patients’ lives and their quality of life depend on new technologies. When a breakthrough is released, it’s a time of hope and excitement. But with any change, comes unknowns and new fears. What if the product doesn’t work for them, specifically? What if it’s too complicated to use? What if it’s completely out of their price range?

Also, when it comes to chronic diseases, like diabetes, doctors usually have long-standing, close relationships with their patients. So, to continue building your own meaningful relationships with doctors, use your doctors as a resource to truly understand and recognize patients’ fears to ensure your company is supporting their needs.

What it means for medical sales reps

In a world where there is a constant influx of new products, it’s understandable for you and your co-workers to feel uneasy when a new, competing medical device or treatment is revealed. When fear of losing clients or dropping off the sales board creeps in, take a step back and slow down your thoughts.

As you know, not all new devices will be the right fit for every patient. Insurances don’t cover all new treatments, many new products aren’t approved for all patient ages, and some patients will prefer to stay with a system they know.

To ease your fears, turn to data to understand what the new product is promising and learn about current success rates. Then, look at past trends. On average, how long does it take for new products to take hold in the market? Take this information to management along with any concerns you have about the future. Ask them what the company’s five-year plan is for new products.  

Once you find these answers, create a new strategy that focuses on the relevancy of your current product and allows space for you to grow as your company releases new products.

Staying up-to-date

What it means for patients

At times, patients can feel like they need a medical degree to understand difficult treatment information. And with frequent small changes and developments, it’s challenging to keep up.

This means every choice they make requires evaluating the pros and cons of both their current treatment plan as well as the new one. To lessen the burden, reps need to keep in mind how they present various educational materials to doctors. Each one should be relevant for the doctor, their staff, and patients.

What it means for medical sales reps

New trends are sometimes just that — temporary. However, there are new products, trends, and updated information that will forever change the future of medical sales.

Find out if new products will be short-lived fads or long-term solutions. Ask doctors and their staff for feedback on what they like and dislike about the product so far. If they have patients already using it, what sort of feedback have they provided?

Team up with your fellow sales reps for regular discussions on new products hitting the market. See how well customers are accepting it outside of your territory and what each rep is doing to remain relevant. Also, these meetings are the perfect time to chat about what’s currently on your company’s product expansion map and how they plan to incorporate each into their sales strategies.

Making a choice

What it means for patients

Changing a treatment plan is no easy task, especially for a diabetic. They often go through hours of training just to learn how to use a new product effectively. Beyond this, changing treatment plans means changing how patients live each day. They must take all of this into account before making a final decision.

Advocate within your organization for patients. Push for more in-depth, but easy-to-comprehend white papers, pamphlets, and one-pagers to help patients make easier, more informed decisions.

What it means for medical sales reps

The most tried-and-true way of being successful in medical sales remains — putting patients first.

Continue listening to doctors’, and their patients’, concerns about treating illnesses. Then chat with doctors about how your product can alleviate patients’ symptoms, even if it’s not the newest treatment on the market.

As new products come to market — your own and competitors’ — you’re facing new and complicated challenges. To continue giving doctors the power to help patients with chronic illnesses, check out these critical sales lessons:

When medical-breakthrough products hit the market, how do you stay relevant while remaining empathetic to patients’ needs? Let us know!