Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Essential Skills Checklist

What skills must you master in order to succeed in medical device sales?

I should preface my answer by explaining that most medical device companies focus heavily on product knowledge during the training process. For many reasons, including the fact that the medical device industry is regulated by the FDA, it's crucial for reps to thoroughly understand their products when making suggestions in the operating room.

Since training resources are focused on product knowledge, most medical device companies do not train reps intensively on the fundamentals of the sales process. Reps are expected to come with that knowledge and experience already under their belts.

Here's the list of essential sales skills one needs to succeed.

1. Prospecting- cold calling, getting past the gatekeeper, knowing what questions to ask, finding the decision maker
2. Profiling or Blueprinting Accounts- a systematic way of taking the relevant information gathered (such as competitor products used, budget cycle, details about business or practice) and organizing it into a useful format, and then putting this information to use when targeting and following-up with accounts
3. Pipeline- developing one, tracking deals in process, projecting when and how many deals might close
4. Needs assessment- probing, uncovering pain and buying motivation
5. Closing- different types of closing techniques, handling objections
6. Presentation Skills- developing a targeted, polished presentation

Please feel free to add to the list.

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