How to Train Your Sales Force
on Medical Practice Marketing
November 29, 2016
Make your pharma or medical device sales team more effective with medical practice marketing tips.
When you’ve put together a good pitch for your sales force on your marketing partner and their services for medical practices, you have to get the word out just like you would with a new product.
Practice marketing isn’t like the products salespeople normally sell, so they will need more guidance and training than usual. That said, sales forces are often spread out throughout the country, and you aren’t going to be able to get them all together just to train them on marketing services.
In my experience, these are some of the training strategies that I’ve seen work for other medical device and pharma companies.
1. Annual Meetings and Branch Meetings
During annual meetings, you’ll have all (or most) of the sales force together in one place. This is a great opportunity to train the sales force on a larger scale. Branch meetings are another way to train large groups of your sales force at once. Salespeople will already be present to hear about other developments within the company, so you can make sure that everyone has information about “selling” practice marketing as well.
However, if the sales department doesn’t have any annual or branch meetings coming up soon, waiting until the next big meeting could delay your process in rolling this plan out to the company. If you want to get started sooner, you may need to look for other ways to train your sales force.
2. Piggyback on Product Launches
The sales force also meets when there are new product launches, especially for highly-anticipated products. This may be a good time to train them on marketing services for physicians and surgeons, since you already have a captive audience. You may even be able to talk about marketing strategies to help physicians and surgeons promote their use of the new product, should they decide to use it. Then, your sales force will be armed with information about how the new product can help patients, and they can talk to physicians and surgeons about how they can market the product in their practice to bring in more patients.
3. Train By Team
If you can’t wait until the next big meeting to train the sales force on marketing services for physicians, you might try splitting up the training by team. It will be easier to get groups of salespeople together by team to train them than it would be to get everyone together at once. Smaller groups might also allow you to answer more questions and get more feedback and input from the sales department than you would by training larger groups.
4. Case Studies
Case studies are a great way to show the sales team how physician marketing has ultimately helped to sell more devices. A good way to develop case studies is to start with a beta program before rolling out marketing. A beta program will help you fine-tune the sales pitch to practices, and the resulting case studies will make it easier to get the rest of the sales team on board.
Choose a select group of salespeople who are more marketing-savvy and understand the concept of reaching the patient via the practice. Have them work with their key clients who could benefit from the different marketing services offered by your marketing partner. They’ll just need to get their clients on board with the idea of marketing and select the clients who can clearly benefit from marketing.
The practices would still pay for their own marketing services at fair market value. Then, once marketing strategies have been implemented, you can start to gather data on how marketing helped practices get more of the right patients, and in turn link that data to more device sales. Once you have gathered all of that information, you can write up case studies for the sales department to show how this strategy can be a win for everyone--the physicians, the sales team, the company, and most importantly, the patients.
Has your company tried any other training strategies? I’d love to hear more about what worked for you and what didn’t. Leave a comment or send me a message if you’d like to chat.
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