3 ways to build a better sales rep through better business acumen
As the healthcare environment becomes more complex, sales leaders must quickly move beyond traditional selling models. They must find new ways to create ongoing sales growth.
Recently, Persuasion Consultants, LLC commissioned a study on business acumen: Business Acumen Training for Life Sciences. Our goal was to identify reps currently displaying a high degree of business acumen, identify their key behaviors, and transfer their skills to others. Our research found that top reps are already using business acumen to accelerate sales growth. We identified three key behaviors:
Reps with business acumen take a systems approach to selling
Top reps understand that sales growth can no longer be achieved by focusing exclusively on the physician. This is why, when you observe top reps in the field, you are immediately impressed by their expanded circle of influence. While average reps continue to pound away at physicians with a one-dimensional product approach, top performers take a systems approach. They involve multiple players within each office to achieve product fulfillment.
Reps with business acumen go beyond dashboard data
During our research, we asked one talented rep, “If you receive data on two physicians—but your dashboard report reveals similar potential in terms of patient and managed care mix—how do you decide where to spend more time?” The rep quickly answered, “You have to ask yourself questions: ‘How often can I access the physician? How does the physician think about this class of product? Does the physician prescribe branded products? Does the product make financial sense for the office?’” Notice how the rep’s mindset goes beyond data. This is typical of reps with business acumen skills. They understand how to leverage multiple variables to create ongoing sales growth.
Reps with business acumen focus on the ability to motivate
Reps with business acumen skills realize that education is only one aspect of their job. Getting people to take action is the other. As one rep stated, “Almost any rep can educate the reimbursement nurse, but can the rep persuade the nurse? Has the rep convinced the nurse that the product is worth spending an extra 15 minutes on the phone to navigate the prior authorization process?” Reps with business acumen skills know how to educate, but they realize nothing happens unless people take action. They are master motivators.
Most sales representatives are stuck in the outdated rep-to-physician selling model. Reps with business acumen skills have expanded their circle of influence. Top reps influence multiple channels to achieve prescription fulfillment. When training business acumen skills, companies must help representatives understand reimbursement pathways. However, understanding is not enough. The most successful business acumen programs will strive to create action. These programs will help reps motivate key players and achieve ongoing prescription pull through.
Scott Moldenhauer is president of Persuasion Consultants, LLC, a pharmaceutical training and consulting firm.
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