Does the “80/20 Rule” have you by the tail as a sales manager? Are you managing “top down” or “bottom up?” Through a quick exercise, learn how to identify if Pareto’s Principle is working for you…or you for it! In this short video, I share techniques to get more out of your team, get your top performers producing even more, develop your underperformers and position yourself to both retain and attract top sales talent.
Join me for the 3 Keys to Medical Sales Leadership Success. Learn how your sales reps can embrace and use negotiation to build relationships, techniques to build promote individual sales growth while building a stronger team dynamic and how to reverse the 80/20 rule in your favor so that you are managing top down versus bottom up. You can register for this FREE webinar here!
Sales managers are often tempted to give their own observations before eliciting feedback from their salespeople. Often, after a sales call, sales managers will ask for their opinion, but it’s a quick formality before charging in with their assessment. This is a missed opportunity.
It is essential to get the person being coached to give their perception before the manager gives theirs. The coach must get the salesperson to self-assess with respect to one or more specific areas. There are three core questions for sales managers to ask so that people talk first:
- “How do you think that went?”
- “What did you do well?” “Be specific.”
- “What could you have done better?” “Be specific.”
By asking these three basic questions the sales manager can foster self-assessment that leads to growth and commitment to improvement. It is also the only way to get insight into what the salesperson understands or does not understand.
Some salespeople encourage managers to put on their “expert hat” and tell them what was good or bad, and what to do about it. Unless the manager is grounded in the value of coaching, they will probably comply. But, a sales manager who understands that people need to know how to self-assess will put the responsibility where it belongs: on the salesperson. Everyone has blind spots and the manager’s view is needed, but only after the salesperson’s!
- Thank my sales team for their efforts?
- Congratulate the successes?
- Spend PRODUCTIVE time in the field with my sales team and our customers?
- Provide coaching on live opportunities?
- Address problems openly and honestly before they can’t be fixed?
- Hold an interactive and interesting sales team meeting (face to face or conference call)?
- Remove barriers for my sales team?
- Manage internal people and processes so my team could focus on moving sales forward?
- Reduce the noise?
- Protect my team’s selling time?
- Thank valuable customers?
- Follow through on my commitments to my team?
- Learn something new?
- Play a daily part in moving sales results forward?
There is still time to check off anything on your list.
Have a great weekend.
The number of pharmaceutical and medical sales jobs posted on MedReps.com has risen 30% in the past twelve months, suggesting that the medical sales job market is finally improving. Of course, thanks to a rocky couple of years, the number of job seekers has significantly risen too.
There are certainly a lot of unemployed reps looking for work, but you still prefer those ever-elusive passive candidates. You want your competition’s top performer, not the one they laid off.
Well, if the MedReps.com audience is any indication, there are plenty of employed reps who are open to a job change too. In fact, according to our recent candidate survey, 53% of our members are currently employed in the industry.
You might think the high number of industry professionals looking for work would make finding quality reps easy, but it turns out there can indeed be too much of a good thing. And when you have an overabundance of qualified reps applying for a handful of job openings, it can be tough to decide which candidates to contact.
Whether you are relying on an outside recruiter to provide you with a short list of candidates or doing the hiring yourself, consider the following guidelines to help you extract the very best candidates from what is sure to be a highly qualified applicant pool.
Create your ideal candidate…
An overcrowded job market means you are allowed to be picky when hiring reps. So think carefully about your ideal candidate – consider the type of degree they might have, how many years they’ve worked in the industry, what companies they may have worked for in the past, and what additional skills they could bring to the role. Be as specific as you possibly can. If you don’t know exactly what you want, you are likely to get distracted by reps who might be impressive, but aren’t exactly right for the role you are seeking to fill.
…But don’t get greedy.
Before you snatch up that former sales manager for a primary sales position, think about whether that candidate will still be happy in the role a year from now. Unless there is a possibility of fast tracking them to management, chances are your candidate will be looking to move on before you’ve had time to schedule their new hire orientation.
The job market may be improving, but the future of pharmaceutical and medical sales reps is still in question. Limitations on how reps interact with physicians are forcing companies to come up with new communication channels including online seminars, virtual training sessions, and smartphone apps. The most successful reps won’t shy away from these changes but will be technologically savvy and easily adaptable.
Simplify the search with technology
Even when you know exactly who you’re looking for, the sea of resumes on your desk can still be daunting. Simplify the process by searching an electronic resume database such as the one on MedReps.com. Rather than wait for applications to come in, you can search a database of more than 8,000 resumes using specific keywords.
Of course narrowing down the applicant pool is merely the first step, but it is a critical one. Phone screens, face to face interviews, and reference checks will guide your final decision, but take the above suggestions to be sure that your “short list” of candidates represents the very best of an impressive applicant pool.
Good luck and happy hiring!
Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager for Healthcare Job Boards. MedReps.com has been connecting employers and agencies with experienced medical and pharmaceutical sales and marketing professionals since the year 2000. More than a decade later, experienced job seekers expect to find the most sought-after medical and pharmaceutical sales jobs on MedReps.com. Likewise, big-name industry employers and agencies trust MedReps.com to deliver top-performing salespeople.
Listen in as I interview Leisa Mohler-Erickson of Advantage Performance Group on how to successfully sell in the 2011 Healthcare Market. We tackle how the promotion rules have changed, navigating overwhelmed, time constrained doctors and the new buying influences caused by the proliferation of managed care.
Success in Medical Sales has never been more challenging: shrinking budgets, tightened access to decision makers, ever changing laws and more. But, the expectation for Sales Leadership to meet and exceed goals hasn’t changed. In this webinar, I share the three keys to getting better results from your customers, salespeople and yourself.
- How you can show your sales reps to embrace and use negotiation to build relationships.
- Techniques to build and promote individual sales growth while building a stronger team dynamic.
- Reverse the 80/20 rule in your favor so that you are managing top down versus bottom up.
- Q&A Session and more!
Unlike many other industries, pharmaceutical sales representatives work out of their homes rather than at a central office. This means that most sales meeting are conducted over the phone rather than face to face. This can be productive but there are unique challenges to this format.
Problem: As the Sales Manager, you’ve prepared your agenda, you’ve gotten to your office a few minutes early, you’ve dialed into your weekly sales team meeting call a few minutes early to greet your team and…. you wait. Like most Sales Managers, you want to make the most of this hour. You are counting on undivided attention as you work your way through your topics of company news, report requests, performance updates (so you can fill in your report for your boss) and assigning tasks. So, you greet your team members as they join – they sound a bit overwhelmed and tired from the weekend as you try to fire them up with “good morning”, “how was your weekend?”. They greet you and then push… mute. You start your agenda and you hear in support… chirp… chirp…. nothing. It is silent. No one agrees or disagrees or even answers questions. Just …chirp…chirp.
Solution: There is nothing more awkward than leading a call and not having any idea if the team is supportive or even listening. Most likely, they are checking their e-mails. There are ways to make your sales team meetings interactive and interesting.
Here are a few solutions to this problem:
- First of all, create an agenda that isn’t just about you, the sales manager. No matter how tempting, the sales meeting is not your opportunity to gather performance updates from each person or gather information for one of your reports. You need to be doing that in one-on-ones with your salespeople or pulling the information from reports you already gather from the team. Instead, make the agenda about them and what is helpful to them, NOT you. This can be done by adding agenda topics relevant to sales issues they face in the field.
- Then, involve your team in leading and managing the sales team meeting. Assign team members to lead agenda topics, ask someone else to be the timekeeper and keep the team on track, randomly call on people for their opinion on the current topic and involve the team in agenda preparation.
- In addition, send the agenda out in advance and include pre-work. The pre-work can be reading an article, preparing an idea on an agenda topic or any other quick assignment to get them in the meeting before the meeting. During your sales team meeting, have a discussion on the pre-work.
- Lastly, as a team review the agenda and set a goal for the meeting. “At the end of this meeting, we each want to have one new idea for handling an objection we’ve heard recently.” Then, at the end of the call, ask each team member to share their one new idea to confirm the team met the goal of the meeting. Time well spent!
What are the techniques that you have found that make your conference calls more interactive and productive? Post your tips so that we can share them.