I originally heard this phrase – “culture as work” – many years ago when I was a college student living abroad in Paris. In French, it is “culture comme boulot,” which sounds better (as most things do) when spoken in French.
It means the effort of creating and refining a culture. It’s a challenging thing to do on a massive societal scale. Even within a company it is hard, but essential, work.
Last week I was able to take part in the national sales meeting for one of the company’s divisions, and I think I caught a glimpse of a sales culture evolving.
I sat in on a meeting with the sales managers, early in the week, before everyone else arrived. A consultant, who also happens to be an exceptional sales trainer, was coaching us on the use of an assessment used during the hiring process. The discussion was intertwined with lessons on the selling methodology used by this division.
As the conversation progressed, I noticed how the selling methodology provided a common language for the sales managers to discuss and compare issues. It offered a set of expectations and desired behaviors to reference when figuring out how to coach reps. Reflecting upon this, it made me think about how adopting a common sales methodology is critical for any company hoping to develop an effective sales culture.
There are a number of sales systems to choose from, and many of them could effectively form the basis of common understanding in a sales organization. The hard part of the culture-building is the continual learning and reinforcement that it takes for everyone in the organization to buy-in and become fluent in the chosen method.
What was exciting to observe last week is that all the sales managers seemed to have reached a high level of fluency in this method. With the skills they’ve mastered, they are capable of coaching and leading their sales representatives to greater success.
Perhaps because sales requires a good measure of leadership, and leadership is in many ways involves selling (or at least a healthy dose of persuasion), that it makes sense that a sales culture can and should arise from a chosen sales methodology. Like anything worthwhile, a sales culture isn’t built overnight. It takes time and dedication to a certain set of beliefs before they take hold. But in the end, this challenging, incremental, culture-building work is essential for any sales organization that wants to thrive.
In December, ConMed Electrosurgery received FDA approval for the Altrus Tissue Fusion System.
What that means… I am about to find out! Tomorrow, Wednesday January 18th, I will be tweeting live from the national sales meeting about this exciting new growth product.
Visit my LinkedIn page for a download of the press release at http://www.linkedin.com/in/lisamcmedicalsalesrecruiter While you are there, feel free to send me an invite if you’d like to be the first to know of new ConMed Electrosurgery sales openings in your area.
Tune in at http://twitter.com/#!/MyJobScope
It should be interesting and lots of fun. Can’t wait!
I apparently chose pneumonia.
I thought it was the flu. When I could not get out of bed long enough to pack my bags for my trip to Orlando for Linvatec’s National Sales Meeting, I had to cancel my flight.
Two days later, despite lots of Gatorade and Tylenol, I spent most of Saturday knotted in a fetal position on my couch, feverish and sweating. My sister, who is a nurse in the emergency department of Denver’s level one trauma hospital, checked in on me throughout the day while she was working. I texted details of my symptoms to her and she consulted with her colleagues.
Finally, she called and said, “You’ve done everything you can for yourself. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to go to the emergency room.” I didn’t want to, but I had to admit I wasn’t getting any better after 3 days. Probably worse.
When I arrived at the local hospital, the nurse in triage asked me a series of questions and took my pulse. It was the same hospital that Raquel and I had visited last summer, in fact. As I drooped in my chair, the nurse called back to the ER. I heard her tell someone I was tachycardic and she deemed me a “yellow”.
Tacychardia was one of the new medical terms I picked up while at the hospital. It meant my heart was racing; in my case, at about 130 beats per minute.
In short order, she escorted me down the hall and coaxed me toward a wheelchair. “It’s no trouble, really,” she said. Pride was rather useless at that point, so I sank into the chair. She whisked me back to a room in the ER, where a doctor and nurse teamed up to evaluate my condition.
Some questions, tests and an x-ray or two later, they told me I had pneumonia. I was also told that my white blood count was through the roof.
The doctor showed me a cloudy mass in my right lung on the x-ray. “That should not be there,” she said. “You are not exactly circling the drain, but my nurse tells me he thinks you are looking rather puny. I don’t contradict my staff. I think we should at least keep you overnight for observation.”
The staff doctor who came to visit me next was more stern. “You have raging pneumonia in your right lung. Expect to be here for several days.”
I was just relieved to know the cause of my suffering.
After the doctors left, I laid there, quiet and exhausted, as the nurse began to rehydrate me through an IV and dose me with antibiotics. I was fortunate to have several great nurses looking over me that night.
By the next morning, I was not completely well, of course. However, I was amazed at how much better I felt than the night before. I had arrived at the hospital sick, miserable and rather frightened. Twelve hours later, I was relatively comfortable and on the mend. The turnaround was pretty miraculous.
I am truly grateful, for my return to health and for the great care I received while I was at the hospital. The staff throughout my stay was terrific in every way.
I sometimes interview people who are motivated to get into healthcare sales, because they or one of their loved ones have received great care through a trying illness or injury. My own appreciation for the great things that our healthcare providers do has grown immensely as a result of my own experience.
Last night, I had the pleasure and honor of attending the Electrosurgery awards banquet. It was fantastic for me to meet in person many of people I’ve spoken to over the phone numerous times, both recruits and managers.
I sat next to one of the President’s Club winners, who will be enjoying a trip to Palm Springs. You’ve heard the expression about selling ice to Eskimos? Well, I am pretty sure she can do that, and would drive through a blizzard to make the sale.
Another table-mate insisted on closing a sale between labor contractions. Her exasperated ob-gyn was heard to say, “For heaven’s sake, you are having a baby- put the phone down!” She made President’s Club too, despite being out on maternity leave for 2 months.
Being successful in 2009 required a lot of grit and determination from salespeople everywhere, and Electrosurgery was no exception. The theme of digging deep to come up with that little something extra- one more call, one more prospect, one more sale- kept resurfacing throughout the night.
The top three reps each shared what they felt had contributed to their success.
3- Don’t be discouraged by where your territory is today. Any territory has the potential to be great, based on hardwork and determination. Learn from the best. Seek out top performers in your company- ask them how they do it and implement it in your own territory.
2- Build strong relationships with your surgeons and they will come through for you.
1- Stick to your plan and to the process, every day, day in and day out. Stay positive and focused.
The margin between the top three reps in the company was extremely small. Between #1 and #2: only .05%! Among the three top reps, they had some tremendous wins this past year, but also many small, ordinary ones along the way. Their success resulted from unwavering commitment, discipline and tenacity. No rocket science, no black magic- just a whole lot of hard work. Their advice was humble, simple… and in the end, it means their success is repeatable and attainable by everyone who was in the room.
Here’s to a great year in 2010! Make it great.
When the meeting began yesterday, someone told me that they’d heard the number of surgeons attending the AAOS was down significantly. Today it was a different story.
Due to the climate of economic uncertainty, many companies scaled back the number of representatives they sent to the AAOS this year. The result is that the people who are there staffing the booths are very, very busy.
Mid-day today, the report from the Linvatec booth was that it was busy. All the surgeon stations, where the doctors can try out the new products, were full and had been all morning. Linvatec’s power products were garnering a lot of attention, in particular the MPower system and the React blades. The MVP- Most Versatile Suture Passer – continues to grow in popularity. Interest was genuine and leads are strong.
The annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is taking place this year in Las Vegas. Linvatec sales reps were given an opportunity to “win their way” to Las Vegas this year by selling a targeted amount of products in different categories.
If you are going to be at the AAOS next week and would like to learn more about opportunities with our company, please let me know right away. You can reach me at LMcCallister@Linvatec.com
I would be happy to send you more information and arrange a “meet up” with someone on our team. Here are a few of the immediate opportunities we are currently hiring for….
Regional Sales Managers in Dallas, Baltimore/DC and the Carolinas.
Direct Sales Representatives in the same areas.
Product Managers in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Power.
Even if you are not actively seeking a new position, but are interested in networking, please let me know.