I interviewed 2 great candidates who are currently in medical device sales. It made me think about some of the differences between medical device sales and a typical B2B sales position. When you move into medical device sales, it is definitely a step up in many ways- in responsibility, complexity and commitment
Both candidates talked about their efforts to convert surgeons from competitive products. Their success resulted from ferocious determination, research and a sophisticated level of clinical knowledge about their own and competitors’ products. In one case, there were 8-10 competitive plating systems on the market, and yet the rep was able to identify 5 competitive differentiators in his product.
A good product? Sounds like it. A rep who does his homework? Definitely. When you are a medical device rep you need to be as fluent as a surgeon on surgical techniques, clinical data and anatomy, and even more so on the options available on the market.
The other candidate talked about how there is zero room for error in medical device sales. Have to fidget with a copier or mailing machine that doesn’t work quite as expected during a demo? You can probably recover from that. Don’t have option C or D if needed in the OR? It might be the last time you’ll ever work with that customer.
“You can’t make mistakes. #1 there is a patient on the table. #2 there are too many competitors,” the rep said. To avoid any errors, he double, triple and quadruple checks his instruments and implants the day before the strategy. If he has to drive 8 hours from his rural territory to retrieve a missing instrument in the middle of the night before a case, oh well, he does it. Without question. “If there is a mistake, you better catch it far in advance, long before the customer ever knows.”
Although medical device sales is sexy and exciting, you need to seriously consider if you are prepared to make this level of commitment. Many successful sales representatives consider medical device sales not simply a job, not only a profession- but a lifestyle. That is how complete and total the commitment must be in order for you to maximize your success in this field.
Are you ready for it?
I realized today it has been about 3 years since I started this blog. My first post was in November 2006.
While I am not one of the prolific most bloggers, I try to make my posts useful and interesting. I hope that there has been some beneficial information shared here, for both those looking to break into medical device sales, as well as industry veterans. Thank you to those of you who have taken time to comment and contribute your perspectives.
Here are some of my favorite posts (if I may say so)…
1. How to Get Experience When You Don’t Have Any 3/17/08
2. Becoming A Sales Associate – Fast Track Opportunity for Growth 10/23/08
3. A Day in the Life of an Electrosurgery Rep 7/15/09
1. Ten Truths from Rookie of the Year 4/26/07
2. Pocket Guide to the O.R. 3/12/08
3. 212 Club 8/08/08
1. Sonny Crockett’s Great Year 12/14/07
2. Athletes in Medical Device Sales 5/30/07
If you have a favorite, or something you’d like me to consider writing about, let me know!