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Three ways that medical sales reps can improve their sales skills

If you’ve found yourself thinking that now is the time to work in medical sales, you’re absolutely right. The healthcare sector going from strength to strength coupled with the relentless advancement of medical technology means there are so many opportunities to carve out a specialised role within medical sales.

But if you’re a medical sales rep, you’ll constantly be asking yourself, “But how can I improve my sales skills?” There are many techniques that you can adopt, and here are a few.

Define your long-term goal

Do you have a long-term goal to reach in your medical sales rep career? Maybe you want to progress to a key account manager or find a job where you travel to work with multinational pharmaceutical companies. Alternatively, your aim might be to build a network of contacts so that your name is known within the industry. Whatever it might be, it’s important to define it early on so that that you can plot measurable steps that will get you there.

Any successful medical sales rep will vouch that leads don’t come in and close at the same rate. Sometimes leads don’t materialise into anything, and other times it takes a few interactions with a healthcare professional (HCP) before you start having the conversation that you want to have. Before this point, it’s a case of understanding if the HCP has any unmet medical needs and figuring out if there’s an opportunity for you to make a sale.

Having a long-term goal in mind will give you a sense that every pitch, sales call and networking event is edging you closer to achieving your target. Meeting sales targets is one of the top challenges medical sales reps face, but having these smaller targets will give you direction and make sure you hit your ultimate goal.

Have a clear call objective

Every call will pan out differently. Some will get off to a great start, and you’ll notice yourself immediately gaining the HCP’s trust. Others will be slow burners, and it will become clear that this is a relationship that will develop over time. Despite the inevitable uncertainty, you can still plan for a call so that you're able to put your best sales skills into practice.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you hope to achieve from this call?
  • How does it fit in with your long-term goal?
  • If it goes as planned, how will you leave the call?

The last question is perhaps the most important because when you’re ending a call, you want to make it clear what the next step is. Are you going to set up another call with them to talk through more of their pain points? After all, HCPs aren’t necessarily looking for products, they’re after solutions to their problems. Alternatively, the next step might be closing the sale. In that case, there are a few things that every pharma sales rep needs to know to close.

Listen back to your sales calls

Chances are, if you work in sales, you won’t be a stranger to listening back to calls. Possibly you spent a lot of time during training hearing your co-worker's tactics for progressing prospects through the pipeline and dealing with tricky questions. But how often do you record your own calls and play them back?

There’s a reason that professional sports players record their games and watch them back. Not only do they help identify strengths in their game, but these recordings will also show where they could have performed better. Similarly, replaying a sales call will help you understand why one conversation was such a success and where it went wrong on another call. Could it be that you didn’t spend enough time actively listening to your customers? Whatever you find out from listening to the recording, you can use this information to improve your sales skills and make sure the next call is an even greater success.

Flex your sales skills with a medical sales rep job with us

If you’re ready to get out there and put these techniques into practice, why not check out our latest roles?

At IQVIA, our work is important to us. So we’re looking for more people who will share our passion to help healthcare clients make better, more insightful decisions. Browse medical sales rep jobs and find out more about how we’ll help you progress your career.

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