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

The RFP Should Not Be Your Team’s First Move

Depending on the nature of your medical or pharmaceutical product, your sales and contracting process may involve responding to a formal RFP. And if you need to submit proposals to get your foot in the door, your team may see this as an essential first step. In some ways, they’re right; you won’t put yourself in the running until your proposal has been received and signed off on. But in another sense, the proposal should be one of the last steps in the process, not the first. Here are a few ways to help your medical sales team understand this counter-intuitive approach to prioritizing. 

The groundwork matters most. 
Keep in mind the old saying: Measure twice, cut once. Great craftsmen and carpenters spend most of their time planning, measuring and laying out the pieces so they don’t have to spend as much time engaged in assembly and hammering. By the time your team starts putting a proposal together, they should already have a solid foundation already laid. This foundation should be built on meaningful relationships, a sense of trust in the company brand, and countless time spent gathering and analyzing shareable data. 

Placing the proposal at the top of the list can actually diminish your chances of success. 
Receiving a proposal from an unknown team pitching an unknown product in response to only the information that appears in the RFP isn’t guaranteed to spark interest in the recipient. This may be especially true if your team’s proposal is one of many. To get attention, your team should already have that attention. Ideally, you’ll want your recipient to know the proposal is coming their way and they should be anticipating it with interest. This process starts long before the project has even been formally announced. In fact, it’s an ongoing process that’s renewed with every contact between your reps and the medical decision makers your company considers its primary audience. If your proposal arrives as an afterthought, it will likely be treated as an afterthought. 

The proposal should be a final formality. 
Coach your teams to think of the final proposal submission as a formality. All the necessary information has ideally been shared and exchanged by the time the proposal deadline arrives, and all the participants should be well known to one another. The nature and benefits of the product should be widely available to the recipients, and they should already have a strong understanding of its place in their disease process, clinic, or business model. If all goes well, the decision will already be more-or-less made before the proposal even receives a review. 

For more on how to move your medical sales teams toward this goal, contact the medical sales recruiters at Buckman Enochs Coss and Associates.