The Medical Sales Authority has previously covered the topic of cold calling. We reviewed the structure of a cold call, the best opening lines, and best practices. Many readers found these strategies for success valuable. In the article, we are going to review medical sales prospecting from a different perspective. Rather than look at a single sales call, we are going to look at best practices for managing a territory and calling on prospects over time. Medtech sales reps face complex customer organizations and long sales cycles. This means your prospecting efforts need to be focused.
How Do You Get Leads In Medical Device Sales?
Medical sales prospecting is all about persistence. It takes between 5-10 customer touches before making progress with a prospective customer in medical device sales. This entails in-person visits, emails, phone calls, etc. It is all about patience and persistence. The key is pacing. It is not strategic to visit, call, and email someone multiple times over a couple days. This will come off as obnoxious and turn off potential customers. The best tactic is a multi-touch approach that is spaced out over days and weeks.
Six Things To Consider When Finding Sales Prospects
1. Evaluate Contract Status
Medical sales prospecting is a numbers game. That means you need to focus on which accounts offer the biggest payoff. This will be the accounts your company has a contract with. Regardless of where you work, management will want you to focus on every account. They will want you to bang your head against the wall at accounts that will never actually buy your product. While this makes sense at a high level, as a rep you need to more focused.
Nothing is more frustrating than building clinical support, then losing out on business as contracting or materials management shuts things down. This is why you need to take a step back and remember to spend more time on the low hanging fruit.
2. Call On Multiple Stakeholders
Selling in the hospital environment is complex. There are multiple people involved in any product decision. Reps get tunnel vision sometimes and focus only on getting clinical buy in from physicians. No doubt about it, this is very important. But early in the prospecting process, make sure to also be calling on department leadership, materials management, and clinical engineering. These contacts can provide valuable input, feedback, and support throughout the buying process.
Also, information gets shared internally within a hospital. Calling on multiple stakeholders increases your name recognition. In addition, it creates the perception that others are engaged with your company. This can build momentum during the sales process.
Related: Medical Device Sales Process
3. Communicate Clearly
Sometimes medical sales reps get lazy if a prospect does not seem interested. They may be prone to send a generic follow up email or not even follow up at all. This is not good. Sales moves slowly and things progress over time. Don’t be shortsighted because it will hurt you down the line. Once the prospect has a need arise, they will look back at previous communications. This means they will try to dig out your card or look through their old emails. If you provided confusing or inaccurate information they may not reach out. This will hurt you and the worse part is you will not even being aware of it.
4. Social Media Selling
Do you have a social selling strategy? Social selling is when sales reps use social media to build and nurture relationships with key decision makers. Whether you like it or not social media is here to stay. This is where your customer’s are getting most of their product information. They are networking with other physicians and learning about the latest industry technology. You have to find a way to be active in a manner that makes sense for your product and territory.
The simplest way to started is to use LinkedIn to build your personal brand. I hate this phrase, but there is some value and truth to it. You can add current customers and message prospects as well. It a great place to share new product information in a non annoying way. Social selling leverages an environment in which customers are more comfortable interacting with vendors. They get to do it at a time and place that works for them and their schedule. You will find that prospects that don’t know you will be a lot more likely to be open and engage.
Related: Medical Sales LinkedIn
5. Ask For Referrals
Asking for referrals is crucial to building a strong territory. It doesn’t have to be done in a cheesy, formal way. It can be as a simple as making connections among customer’s that already know each other. Ask good questions and make connections between doctors you know. This goes a long way towards building credibility and a personal brand in the industry. Referrals naturally come from these types of discussions.
6. Build Solid Contact Lists
I have said this before and I will say it again. Make sure to take good notes and build solid contact lists. Just because the day is over and no one is interested does not mean it is the last time you will be at a given account. Most likely, you will be back six months to a year later prospecting again. To get the most out of your time, you need to remember the email addresses and phone numbers of the people you called on. Otherwise, you end up spinning your wheels year after year, visit after visit.