Team Kuware

Reinventing your Med-Device territory during COVID-19

The last several months have no doubt turned your business on its head. If you work in the medical business in any capacity the world is a different place for you; and that’s not always a bad thing.

The stop of business during this global pandemic not only caused concerns none of us thought we’d ever imagine, but it also hit the reset button for everyone. Whether you’re a med device rep, physician, hospital administrator, etc, the business stopped and changed.
There are a lot of you who read the ProSellus blog who’ve “made it” in the med device business, but there’s also a lot or who are “trying to figure it out,” or “trying to make it,” and for the last two, COVID-19 could be the best thing that ever happened to your career. Doesn’t make sense? Keep reading…

Is the Relationship Good Enough?

There are a lot of field reps in the medical business who’ve been in their territories for a long time, and carry relationships with customers for just as long. This is a tough nut to crack when you’re a new rep. One of things that happens in the long-standing relationship is that people (reps and customers) get comfortable. Sometimes too comfortable.
In some instances, the rep believes there’s really nothing that can take their business away, and a lot of the time they’re right… until the world stops and flips on its head, which just happened.
The uncertainty that the pandemic has brought takes all the perceived beliefs about business relationships and tosses them out the window.
The physician with strong relationships with the rep doesn’t need the same things they once needed. They need different things, and while relationships are great, most of the time they (relationships) don’t put food on the table.
This is your opportunity to change the way you are perceived

Your Opportunity

This is your opportunity to disrupt the market…

This is your opportunity to “reinvent” yourself and your business…

This is your chance to either solidify your customer relationship or lose it…

What are you going to do?

One of the Most Important Things your Physician Customer Needs Now: Revenue

When the global pandemic reached the point that non-emergency physician clinics were basically shut down patients simply just stopped showing up. They were afraid to go to their appointments, the physician staff was afraid to go to work and your company probably told you to stay at home as well!
Everything stopped. Until now.
Most physicians are back at work filling their schedule as best they know how. Some have rebounded quite nicely, while others are struggling.
Maybe 6-9 months ago you were the rep without the relationship doing anything you could to get the physicians attention. Maybe you weren’t having much luck either…
Now is the time to try something different.

As I mentioned before the common thing we hear from physicians right now is that they need to get their revenue back to pre-COVID levels and then make up the revenue that has been lost over the past months.

Help them plant new seeds!

If you want a seat at the table, it’s time to earn the relationship you’ve tried for so long to create. Help your customer meet new physicians in your market that can help them with referring patients. There are some practices that couldn’t weather this storm. What if one of those practices was a major referral source for your customer? Your customer needs to replace that referral source!
Finding which physicians to refer to your customer can be a daunting task. You can blindly knock on doors or your can use advanced software tools like ProSellus to show you who sees the right patients.
A tool like ProSellus will literally tell you which physicians see the most patients that your customer is looking for. It will even show you who that physician currently refers to!
It’s time you reinvent yourself as a rep or solidify those long-standing relationships, or I promise you someone hungrier than you will take them for themselves!

Check out ProSellus at blog.prosellus.com to learn more about how this tool can help reinvent your business!

A Day in the Life of the Healthcare Sales Rep part 2: The Quarter End Close

It’s 4:45 am…

DING. DING. DING.

The alarm hits you like a freight train.

After all, it’s Quarter End and you were up late last night entertaining a customer.

You rub your eyes feeling as if you had just 5 seconds ago put your head down to go to sleep, only to stare at your phone and remind yourself, “It’s the last day of the quarter…”.

The last day of the fiscal quarter for Healthcare sales reps is beyond hectic. To put it to you point blank, it’s freaking stressful.

You will be forced to answer calls and reply to several messages from your manager asking,
  • What kind of deal can we get done today?”
  • “Can you collect this PO and that one?”
  • “Can you get that clinic to finally place an order?”
And on and on and on.
On top of replying to the entendre of messages, you manage your docs, hospitals, ASC’s, etc. After all, your Quarter End doesn’t matter to them nor does it mean that relationships get put on the backburner.
You stare at the Keurig as it makes a rushed cup of coffee, while you look back and forth at the emails that came through overnight on your phone and out the door, you go. To your dismal surprise, it’s raining and a bitter 40 degrees outside.
Awesome

You are forced to sit in traffic and at the red light you continue to stare at the email your manager sent you yesterday, the same one you’ve looked at twice already this morning. The email shows your QTD sales numbers. You compare the numbers to the scribbled notes you’ve been keeping since the 1st of the month.

There are 3 things you are possibly thinking while looking at your numbers:

Personally, I’ve been in all three of these positions. If you stick around this business long enough, it’s inevitable to spend time in positions #2 and #3. If you are lucky enough, you will experience position #1 over and over.

This is the reality of 100% of salespeople in Healthcare sales today.

It’s a career that means constant pressure such as hearing, “It’s the most important close, of the most important month, of the most important quarter, of the most important year…. EVER”. Constantly.

Your reps dread this time of the quarter/year.

Can you blame them?
  • By this point, it’s too late to make a major impact, unless there is a move in the making that has been worked on for weeks or even months prior.
  • Their normally calm, cool and collected manager, manages to completely lose their cool..
  • Reps’ phones are bombarded and blown up by their manager wanting updates, as they sit through a 7:00 am case.
No one likes to talk about this part of being a healthcare rep.
The part that’s stressful, and can make you lose your hair and gain a few extra pounds.
When your family asks about your work, you tell them about surgeries and the docs, nurses, and admins you love to work with. You tell them about the rush, the money and being part of an important team. You almost always omit about what the stress is like.

THE BOTTOM LINE: This business can take you to places you never thought imaginable, but you can’t escape the Quarter End/Year end close.

You need to be consistently finding new revenue streams from new, up and coming physicians or accounts. Better yet, what if you found the patients before they found their specialist and you could direct where they went? A constant source of new patients to fill your pipeline!
Now THAT ensures constant growth and constant growth ensures stress-free Quarter End closes… all the time.

So, how do you, whether you’re a rep for one of the biggest Healthcare companies in the world, or an independent rep selling an entire smorgasbord of products from different manufacturers manage this part of the job? But not manage it AT the Quarter End, manage it throughout the Quarter to where you never have to deal with the stress of the Quarter End?

That’s why you need something more than a CRM. You need a tool that tracks revenue, leverages the right data for you and can show trends for the entire quarter on your phone.

A tool that will never leave you in the dark and that will always let you know where you stand. One that can propel you to meet each Quarter End in position #1. Let’s talk about how ProSellus can help you and your team never stress the Quarter End close again!
Check us out at blog.prosellus.com

The most important relationship a successful medical device rep can have…

What’s the most valuable relationship you can have as a medical device rep?

If the first thing that comes to mind is the “good ol’ boy” surgeon you’ve been great friends with who uses your products you may want to go ahead and dust off your resume. I have a friend who comedically refers to the reps who rely on these relationships as the “back slappers,” and quite honestly, I laughed out loud the first time I heard that.

You’re a dying breed…
When working in this complex business you are routinely bombarded with phone calls, emails and text messages from different stakeholders who can influence your business. At best many reps in this business are running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Not running their business but being run by their business. I’m sure you can relate; I’ve been there too.
So, if the business is significantly complex, with many moving parts and stakeholders who are constantly asking for your time, how in the world are you ever supposed to excel?
The relationships that matter

Relationships that matter

As a salesperson you more than likely have more relationships than the “Average Joe.” From your physician customer to the person you give a high-five in sterile processing, everyone of these people can influence your business. How do you spend the right time with the right people?
Physicians are fickle. Scrub-tech’s change jobs. Nursing staff rotates, evolves and changes. Employee’s of physicians can revolve like the door at a Marriott. Hospital administrators are somewhat stable, but how realistic is it for you to create a meaningful relationship with one of those folks, unless it’s outside of work?
Given these stakeholders, where do you turn for the relationships that can help your business grow, not for a month, quarter or fiscal year, but for a decade?
It’s not with who or what you think…

Being in 5 places at once

How many places can you physically be at once? 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 mouth… etc. You can only accomplish so many things when you’re solo; even when you have a team, I’d still prefer more eyes, more ears, more assets… period.
The idea of being in 5 places at once is quite attractive, right? I mean, what if you knew what was going on in every bit of your territory whether you were there or not? This can be achieved a few different ways, but rarely is it consistent and you are constantly “massaging” new participants to feed you information. And that gets old…fast.
But viewed through a different lens, what if your customers, more importantly your access to your customers was all the leverage you needed to be 5 places at once?

Medical device reps can play gatekeeper better than anyone

The reality of being a med device rep is this: you have access to physicians and surgeons that the typical healthcare rep does not. Plain and simple.
Why not use this to your advantage and make loyal allies of other reps who depend on that access?

The most valuable relationships you can have: Pharmaceutical Reps

In all the years I worked in medical device sales, the one constant thing I saw was pharma reps begging, borrowing and stealing any opportunity they could to get in front of surgeons. Many of these times I was sitting next to the doc in his/her office while the pharma rep regurgitated their company line and the doc half-heartedly listened to them.
These reps don’t have near the access you do but depend on seeing these physicians just like you and I do. So, what if you can help influence getting the pharma rep time with your doc? Don’t you think they’d be appreciative?
One of the ways I’ve utilized pharma reps in the past was to leverage that influence. For example, when working with a group of specialists, let’s say 4-6 docs; I’ve invited them to dinner, and they all come. The pharm rep would chop off an extremity to have 2 hours of facetime with these docs which would almost never happen.
I’ve worked with these reps, because in many cases, they have a budget for these sorts of things, where I never did. It was quite simple, they paid for dinner, they got access and the docs listened to them because 1) they weren’t in their office and 2) they were with me.
Voila… a relationship has been created and that rep will bend over backwards to help you. All you need to do is continue to feed that rep access. Maybe it’s with that same group or a different group of physicians. They will become your loyal eyes and ears around town, and no one will be the wiser!
These reps will then feed you information about any doc they cover. They’ll even introduce you to their counterpart reps to help them as well. Suddenly you have multiple eyes and ears!

Pharma isn’t the only solution

Pharma reps aren’t the only solution when it comes to extended relationships that can help you. Many DME, PT Clinics, etc have marketing reps who beg, borrow and steal for opportunities to get in front of physicians. Make them your own personal army!
Everyone has something to gain in these situations. The extended rep gets the access they want, you are seen as a dealmaker, your doc respects the fact you can get these things done and you all win.
So, when the next time you see a rep in the hall or in the doc’s office, maybe it’s time to start conversations on how you can work together…

To learn more about ProSellus check us out at www.prosellus.com

The “Must Have” skills of the Medical Device Salesperson are changing… Are you?

The healthcare sales industry is changing as rapidly as the ER moves on a Saturday night.

Pushed forward by the many technological advancements of the past several years, we’re now in what’s called the 4th Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

The Old vs. New

With this turning of the tides, medical device salespeople need to redefine themselves and change the way they operate or risk becoming obsolete. (i.e. becoming a victim of the “RepLess” Sales Model. And before you jump all over me for even mentioning the “RepLess” Sales Model, keep reading. Ignoring that possibility, no matter what your opinion is, is no way to continue thriving in this industry.)

In the not so distant past, medical device salespeople were hired in overwhelming part on the ability to sell (which makes sense right? That’s what you’re there for after all). With the new tactics and strategies in place by medical device firms the look and feel of the salesperson is changing… rapidly

No longer are the “Relationship Rep,” or the “Competitive Rep,” considered the top candidate.  Are those qualities important? Of course, but not as important as they once were.

There’s an increased emphasis on metrics, data, and analytics, as well as the ability to pitch to the C-Suite (and if you think everyone has that skill set, just go have a 2-minute conversation with the “case coverage rep”).

These are some of the skills the new medical device salesperson needs to have.

Engaging Healthcare CFOs

Most salespeople are well versed in tackling the OR and working with physicians, but when push comes to shove, almost none of them are comfortable engaging in an in-depth meeting with the CFO. Unlike the typical OR session, a one-on-one with the C-Suite needs to address the financial concerns and priorities of the hospital and how your device will impact the overall revenue and expense forecast. (Not just reimbursement vs cost of device.)

In an article by Health Leaders Media, it says that “CFO’s are feeling the pressure to trade in their spreadsheets for crystal balls, when what they really want is a good way to integrate long-range financial planning with the tactical cost reductions they are implementing every day.”

For salespeople to have a serious and comprehensive discussion with a CFO, they need to address pricing and reimbursement upfront but understand the market dynamic the facility competes in.

Salespeople with a better understanding of stakeholders and how their product or company can impact the overall strategy of the Hospital are the winners in this battle.

Can the current salesperson look beyond face-value of the price and look further into the long-term relationship with the hospital?  Most can’t, which is why “Rep-Less” or “Rep-Lite” sales models even exist.

Data & Decision Making

Analytics & Data Driven Decision Making

The next key skill set many medical device firms look for in reps is the ability to analyze data, understand the market, and make an informed decision based on numerous factors. (Not just does Dr. “A” do a lot of a certain procedure, therefore he is target #1)

Less and less Sales VP’s and Market Managers are impressed with the “I ‘know’ the market and I ‘trust my gut’,” approach to the market.
The stakes are simply too high for companies to depend on the “gut or field experience” of the salesperson who’s been in the market for several years. These firms want their salespeople to truly partner with hospitals and surgery centers at the CFO/CEO level, where the real decisions are made.

Understanding the Market (Not Your Customers)

In many cases when a sales leader is interviewing a candidate the inevitable question about the market comes up. It’s usually sounds something like this:

“I see you’ve worked in ‘Phoenix’ for several years. Tell me about the market.”

In the salesperson’s eyes, they think this is their time to shine about all the key customers they know. And in many cases, it is.
However, in the new Healthcare Market the customers are important, but what’s more important is where those patients coming from? Is there ample supply of patients for the market to grow? If so, at what rate? And for how long? Can this specific market support multiple reps?
The new sales leaders want to know the salesperson they hire isn’t just plugged into the customer market, but the entire market.
For example: Who are the largest Primary Care practices or docs in the market? Which docs influence the market? What underlying relationships exist where the company could gain an immediate foothold in the market?

These are the answers the sales leader wants to hear. They want a salesperson who UNDERSTANDS the entire market.

Are you prepared for that?
Let’s take a look…

Step 1: Get Plugged In

The first step salespeople need to take is truly get plugged into their market.
Start asking questions about referral sources. Go meet with these docs. The easiest sales call you’ll ever make is the one where you’re not selling anything. Go talk to the big hitters in Primary Care. They’ll tell you exactly where you need to be!

The key here is PAY ATTENTION. These conversations aren’t for lip service. These docs can lay out the market for you. They are the gatekeepers of patients. Every specialist wants a relationship with the big primary care practices… it’s how they survive.

Step 2: Understanding the Finance’s

Talk to your company about financial proforma’s for CFO’s. Don’t ask for one so you can have it in your bag. Ask for one so you can UNDERSTAND the financial position in the market and it’s long-term benefits and pitfalls. Be prepared to take the conversation either way.

Go meet with the VP of Finance at one of your hospitals. Don’t do it to sell your product. Ask their opinion. Ask them what keeps them up at night. Ask what direction the hospital wants to go in the next 3-5 years. Try to understand their issues through THEIR eyes. This will only help you position your product or service.
These conversations will help you educate your customers but more importantly, position you in a great place when it comes to meeting with the CEO & CFO of the facility.

Conclusion

This may seem like a tall order, which is why ProSellus is here to help.
ProSellus provides the market analytics for your entire sales team, or individual salespeople, all in a simple-to-use mobile application. Never be caught on your heels again when talking about your market.
If you would like to learn more about ProSellus check us out at www.prosellus.com

A Hate/Hate Relationship: Salespeople & CRM

Salespeople rarely agree on anything. The comp plan is good, the comp plan is bad, quota is too high, it’s not enough for me to make enough money, and the list goes on and on.

The one thing they all seem to agree on: The CRM my company makes us use SUCKS.
And here we go!

Compliance with our CRM tool is “good.”

Most Sales Leadership we speak to agree that, “we require 1 login per week with our CRM nd compliance is achieved with the ‘stick.’” Meaning salespeople are, more or less, forced to use the CRM. Believe it or not, this is considered success. (Seriously???)

The reason for this, as many salespeople will attest, is they feel the CRM system is nothing more than Big Brother keeping track of their every move.

It has nothing to do with helping the salespeople grow their business.
And unfortunately, they’re right.
Growing business is the #1 priority of salespeople, right? Of course it is! That’s how they earn a living!
So, don’t you think you could get more compliance out of your CRM if it actually HELPED them sell something?!?!

Shocking thought… I know… (You’d think I must be some sort of a genius to come up with that!)

CRM isn’t exactly Mobile Friendly

Salespeople are always on the go. They work on commission and every moment spent in the office can be considered wasted time.
If this is the case, which it is, why are they still being given tools to use that are laptop or tablet based?

I remember very distinctly when I was a salesperson: If I had to do something on my laptop it more than likely wasn’t going to get done. Once expense reporting was available on my phone, my laptop became an official paper weight.

The idea that software companies provide a tool that isn’t designed specifically for the on-the-go salesperson is unbelievable. What’s worse, companies still buy them.
The Software tool decision makers typically sit behind a desk and mainly focus on themselves and not their end-user: salespeople. After the fact they are completely flabbergasted when salespeople won’t use their shiny new toy.
Imagine that…salespeople not wanting to use a tool that is not built for them.

CRM’s Don’t Help Salespeople Sell

Not only does CRM make little to no difference in the sales process, but it also makes it more complicated and time-consuming.
Let’s call it what it is: CRM is a data-collection tool that 99% of the time is simply telling a salesperson, manager, etc what has happened in the past.
That my friends, is called a rear-view mirror… Have you ever tried driving forward while keeping your eyes on the rearview mirror? Impossible.
So, why do Healthcare companies insist that their salespeople use tools that force them to use the rearview mirror?

Answer: Well, we need a CRM, right? They all do the same thing, right? I guess this is what we’re supposed to do… We’ll just use “this” one…

And bang, just like that you’ve set your salespeople up with a tool they will fight you on 100% of the way.

Goodbye Rearview Mirror, Hello Windshield

Instead of your salespeople being forced to constantly focus on the rearview mirror, what would it feel like to have them focus on what’s in front of them?
Imagine your salespeople using a tool throughout the day that actually fed them leads and insights about those leads while they worked in their territory?
Now that would actually make sense. Maybe that’s why companies are so slow to move to a solution like that,,, because it makes sense.

After years of having to suffer (and yes, I do mean suffer) through the same problems as presented here, our team built a solution for both sides of this problem and it’s called ProSellus.

ProSellus was designed with all of these issues in mind, allowing them to manage their territories, without having to do the extra work to appease their superiors.
Come take a look: blog.prosellus.com

Is Healthcare Data only for The Big Companies? That’s What They Want You to Think…

Healthcare Data is expensive!

So expensive that the majority of Healthcare sales organizations never buy it.

Once it’s purchased it has an inherit diminishing value. It’s data in a spreadsheet from a snapshot in time, which unless you’re a Marketing Manager or an Excel Guru, you will never understand, let along use.

Why Did it Become So Expensive?

Buying and selling healthcare-related data is a huge business. It all started back in the 1980s when it became commonplace for the pharma industry to track doctors’ prescribing habits and use that information for their gains.
This data, as one might expect, doesn’t come cheap. Big US pharmacies, labs, and others in the sector are selling their data for tens of millions of dollars. Companies like IMS Health, alongside IBM Watson, and LexisNexis are a few of the better-known companies that buy this information. They then use it to connect physician practices with pharmaceutical and insurance companies, as well as other players that are looking for all sorts of insights into the medical marketplace as a means of better promoting their products.
But like we mentioned before, these companies are worth billions of dollars and have data-purchasing budgets to match. It means that they are the ones who set this high price for the information, in the first place, making it next to impossible for their smaller competitors ever to use it.
It is a monopoly in pretty much everything, except the name.

The Misconception about Data

All of the companies mentioned above would like you to believe that the only way Healthcare Companies can utilize data is to stroke a check for a minimum 5-6 digits. After all, they’re in the Data-Selling business. That’s how they make money!
Low and behold, what if we told you a lot of the data you’re looking for is public? Yes, that’s right, with a lot of time on your hands, some advanced database management experience and lastly some sort of tool to analyze and interpret all of this valuable data you could use it for free?
I guess “free” is a loaded term in this context. The time necessary to find, identify, decipher, load, re-load, organize, re-organize, unify, re-unify, display and then FINALLY use this data would likely take an experienced team a few years to do.
So, what if there was a turnkey way to utilize all of this data? Already stockpiled, already organized, already ready to go, already ready to go on your phone?
Most importantly, not a snapshot in time. An ever-changing, ever-growing system where data is continuously updated allowing for changes to happen just like they would in the real world…

The Solution is Here!

In the end, one of the things salespeople crave is data.
What physicians are doing what?
Who’s “In-Bed” with whom?
These are all things we as salespeople talk about during happy hour and text messages, but what if it was real? Not just gossip? What if it was in the palm of your hand? All in a tool that is simple enough for your kids to use?
Seems impossible right?

Conclusion

ProSellus is a data provider, analytics tool, and a CRM system all mixed into one. It combines all of these systems, and adds the user’s way of doing things, maximizing your results, in the process. But don’t take our word for granted.
Check us out and request a demo. The Future of Sales Acceleration is here…