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How to improve your leadership skills in Medical Sales

Posted on: 15 Apr

Working as a Medical Sales Representative can be tough, especially for Sales Team leaders. The pharma industry is growing rapidly, and the job is becoming much more complex as new regulations continue to be introduced. Today, the patient is key and patient centricity is one of the top trends we can expect to rise in the medical sales industry. So Sales Representatives need to embrace and learn a new set of skills if they want to thrive in the changing market. Alongside increased flexibility, today’s sales reps need to be team players, adept at managing multiple accounts, and show an eagerness to manage multiple stakeholders at the same time.

One trait you should be looking to invest time into as a Medical Sales Rep is leadership. Strong leadership skills are essential if you want to progress in the industry. They will help you to encourage and inspire your team to be better, as well as giving them the guidance they need to improve and upskill within their role- all whilst hitting your sales targets and closing deals. 

Whether you’re looking to flesh out your skillset or for ways to motivate your team, here’s what you should be doing. 

Be open

The best way you can inspire loyalty within your team is by providing them with the chance to use you as a sounding board. Managers often spend a quarter of their working hours managing people, so you need to put that time to good use. Conduct regular reviews and team meetings to touch base with your Medical Sales Representatives, and check in with them on a regular basis to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly. A recent survey found that in the space of two years there was a sizeable 89% increase in the number of employees who want formal performance conversations a minimum of once a month. So take the time to listen, and your team will reward you with higher levels of trust and engagement. 

Be inspirational

Working as a Medical Sales Representative can take its toll on you, even if you love the job. With representatives spending more and more time on admin related tasks, it's important they have someone who can inspire them. A good leader understands what makes people tick, and what motivates them to do better: whether it’s by hiring well, encouraging a good work-life balance or challenging them over time to raise the bar in their work you can create a positive cycle in your team that sees continuous improvement. 

You should also make sure that you give praise where it’s due, and while it might sound a little stranger, being a great sales manager is about being caring. After all, there’s nothing that will increase job satisfaction and employee loyalty by showing that you appreciate the efforts and achievements of your colleagues.

Be a coach

Medical Sales is changing, and you need to make sure that your team changes with it. Effective coaching is a keystone of leadership, as it’s your responsibility to make sure that your team is equipped to make great sales, whatever the state of the market. 

Whether it’s coaching your team on closing a deal or educating them on more obscure disease areas and healthcare to add value to sales calls, great leaders work on their team’s weaknesses and enhance their strengths. They understand that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all when it comes to Sales skills, so they will adapt their coaching style in order to suit their team. One survey found that when sales reps consistently have three hours of training a week, they exceed their selling goals by 7%, boost revenue by 25%, and see a 70% increase on their close rate.

Lead by example

Great leaders don't just delegate, although having a good head for numbers and a vision to lead your team is important. They'll also lead by example, working with the sales representatives to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly. How is a certain account doing? Is there anything that can be done to get that deal over the line? Managers should know what’s going on within their sales pipelines, so they can adjust their targets, work with people who need extra support and speak up for their team if there are any problems: for instance, if they need new technologies or equipment to do their job more efficiently. 

Create a supportive environment

Being a successful Medical Sales Representative is about relationship building, and that's not just with prospects. You should aim to create a supportive environment where every person puts time into the relationships around them.

Take the next step in your career with IQVIA

We know the challenges and rewards that go hand in hand with being a great leader. It’s time to take the next step in your career. Browse our Medical Sales Representative jobs to see where you could take your career next.