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Post-Pandemic, Medical Sales Training Must Keep Evolving

If face-to-face access to decision-makers remains elusive, sales reps will need to be educated in new themes and tactics in order to succeed.

With the marketing and sales functions of medical-device firms deeply intertwined, it’s wise for planners of medical-sales training events to understand the objectives and rationale of their marketing colleagues.

Case in point: In a recent article by MM&M (formerly Medical Marketing & Media), medical-device marketers discuss the themes and approaches to customer education and sales that will remain long after the pandemic. In turn, these elements must be incorporated into sales-training programs so that reps can perform in new ways and meet their revenue goals.

Six key points from the article:

• “Even prior to the pandemic, some hospitals and health systems offered limited access to company representatives in clinical environments. But when the Covid restrictions on admittance kicked in, device marketers had to pivot to digital outreach.”

• “Device marketers are focused on making sure they’re digitally enabled in a way that allows them to nurture leads without relying on face-to-face communication. [But] enhanced website experiences, including virtual-product tours and trade shows, have prompted varying degrees of customer engagement.”

• “Like many other device makers, Medtronic has evolved its customer approach [towards digital] amid the pandemic. However, one of the company’s marketing executives stresses the importance of adaptability in an uncertain climate: ‘Many other companies are pivoting to online campaigns, which are flooding inboxes and social-media platforms. So we are complementing this approach with focused one-to-one virtual conversations to remain attuned to our customers’ needs.’”

• “To engage potential buyers, device makers are focusing [their messages] less on the specifics of the product itself and more on the broad value the product can bring. While this requires assets that are digitally delivered, the message is as important as the means. ‘It can’t just be about tech,’ says one device-marketing executive. ‘It has to be about how the technology transforms care models.’”

• “'[Purchasing] decisions aren’t being made by a physician anymore; they’re being made by a CFO or by a whole team,’ explains a device-marketing executive. ‘You have to align your value proposition to the C-suite’s strategic objectives. A lot of med-tech companies are failing to do that. You must sell care transformation and a better patient outcome enabled by your technology.’”

• “As for physician-owned practices, it requires investment and continuous connection and dialogue with those customers. It also requires an emphasis less on product orientation and more toward making a business or ROI case.”

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