America's largest healthcare recruiting firm.

 



For over fifteen years, I have utilized Buckman Enochs Coss to hire over one hundred individuals for Sales and Sales Management positions for a variety of healthcare technology firms. Whether it’s been for Fortune 500 companies or early stage, VC backed start-ups, BEC has always done a terrific job in sourcing top-talent.

Scott Schlesner
Vice-President of Sales
Elsevier

How Can Medical Sales Improve Its Relationships?
As experienced sales managers know, the obstacles that stand between sales reps and influence over formulary decisions are steadily increasing. But if your teams can serve as true partners in the healthcare process, physicians, pharmacy managers and hospital decision makers will be more likely to sit down with them and engage. Shift your approach from a sales and product emphasis to a meaningful relationship based on patient care and disease management goals. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

Learn to Listen 

During client meetings, encourage your representatives to listen more than they speak. Instead of launching into product and pipeline updates and trying to push for new contracting opportunities, representatives should work on collaborating and building a partnership with administrators and healthcare decision makers. This process begins when representatives understand the client’s role within the organization, the needs of the organization and current treatment gaps that impact a specific disease area. 

Move Beyond Products

For a variety of reasons, sales reps no longer have the direct influence over formulary decisions that they once had in the past. Product inclusions and formulary decisions are more complex than they once were, and key relationships increasingly exist between companies and hospital systems, not between individual sales reps and private practice physicians. 

With this in mind, companies find more success and stronger relationships with clients when they move their approach beyond the product. Conversations between reps and clients should involve sharing relevant disease research, offering programs that address patient education and outreach, and discussing best practices and evolving treatment protocols. 

Overcome a Trust Gap

Companies that seem less focused on sales and more focused on overall treatment goals will gain more traction with clients in the current healthcare landscape. Medical decision makers are increasingly protective of their time, and in order to form a relationship with these customers, reps should respect this time and add as much value to each meeting as possible. Once this trust gap is overcome, maintaining a strong relationship will mean delivering consistent value over time. Instead of sales, reps should focus on a reliable exchange of meaningful research, information, programs and best practices. 

Yes, companies understand the end goal is for a sale to be made. However, medical decision makers don’t want to continually be hounded by a sales pitch from a number of medical sales people. Developing a relationship and proving value over time will lead to more successful sales. The relationship and sales will really develop if you can prove the value to helping patient care and improving their medical situation. 

For more on how to embrace a new approach to sales and relationship building, reach out to the medical and pharma sales staffing experts at Buckman Enochs Coss and Associates.