Medical Device Sales: How to Stay as a Top Performer

Strategy, Sales | March 5, 2018 | 3 mins read

The medical device industry is one of the most profitable industries there is when it comes to sales rep incomes.

A survey from several years ago found that Health IT/Software reps in the medical device industry have the highest salary at $176,012, followed by Biotechnology ($162,544) and Medical or Surgical Device reps ($159,130).

If you’ve been in the industry for any length of time, you’ll know that many salespeople can make much more than the numbers above. But not all sales reps do so well.

With changing territories every year, new competitors entering the market at a rapid pace, and no real switching costs for physicians or hospitals, how do the top reps stay on form?

Efficiency is Key!

One of the most important pieces to the puzzle of being successful in sales is organization and efficiency. You only have so much time in each day to build towards a sale, and you have a time limit to meet your sales goals.

So, the pressure of time is real. Plenty of studies have been done showing that list-making helps people perform better and be more productive. A top sales rep knows the power of a great list and builds their entire day around it (ProSellus does this for you too!).

As you’re probably guessing, a list can take on many forms, shapes and sizes. If you’re old-school, your list may be a simple as a pencil and paper. However, with all of the technology floating around today, if you’re still utilizing a pencil and paper, you’re really missing the mark!

Rely on Excellent Physician Targeting (ProSellus does this for you!)

Top sales reps don’t rely on a simple healthcare CRM to build a client base. They need more than a static list of contacts to reach their ambitious monthly sales targets, and a traditional CRM simply cannot offer such insight.

The top salespeople in this industry are cross-referencing the Sunshine Act Data (Open Payments) or physician prescribing data to determine if their physician or even target physician’s are consultants for their competitors.

These top reps dig through that pretty cool thing called the “world-wide-web” tirelessly to investigate and find as much information possible about potential target docs or competitive physicians.

The salespeople who are aggregating all of this information on their own are the guys and girls who work late into the night or are early risers, many of them work on the weekends just researching, but we all know they are the minority. But… this is a significant competitive advantage they provide and their physician customers notice.

But this is the 21st century… there’s gotta’ be an easier way. Right?

Know Your Product In-and-Out

I can’t express how important it is to have a strategy. Many salespeople in the medical device industry simply glaze over when their manager asks for a business plan for the year. Folks, this is your opportunity to show how you’re different! This is your opportunity to show how your mind REALLY works.

The best reps combine “List Making” and Strategy to show how they’re going to crush the new quota.

Make Strong Personal Relationships with Multiple Stakeholders (But Especially Physicians)

Nothing beats the personal touch – especially when it comes to a sales rep and physician. A study out of Sweden on the US medical device industry found that physicians were the most influential player in purchasing decisions made by hospitals. They are followed closely by Director of Materials Management and Management Director of Surgical Services. The onus is on the sales rep to make a personal bond with physicians at key hospitals and leverage their support in negotiations with other stakeholders.

The same study pointed out that more hospitals are hiring procurement personnel to help find and purchase products to fulfill specific needs. A sales rep at the top of their game will have strong relationships with the procurement team as well as the physicians, managing directors, and distributors.

As the industry changes more and more, we all see how physicians don’t pack quite the punch they use to when it comes to influencing decisions at the purchasing level. With that being said, if you’ve found yourself in a purchasing process and your doc literally has zero say-so… you may want to revisit the “List” you put together and your strategy. You’re probably working with the wrong doc.

Building your list, creating the strategy and developing key relationships are some of the most important things to do year in and year out in order to stay on top in Medical Device Sales.
Following these guiding principles should serve you well in the quest to become a top earner in your product market.

If you’d like to learn more about creating strategies, or how to make those ever-important lists in second instead of hours check out ProSellus at

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