Within MedTech sales every sales professional manages a myriad of sales opportunities. Each of these is at different stages of the buying process within their “sales funnel.” It is good practice to review the most important opportunities with your manager. Best in class sales organizations do these reviews with a finite schedule, when key changes occur and upon the sales representative’s request. If you are a sales professional these questions will help you prepare for an opportunity review. Before you forecast the sale you should be able to answer all of these questions. If you are a sales manager these questions are the ones that should be asked at a minimum. This is part 2 of our blog. If you missed part 1, you can access it here.

7. Who is the final yes? Who is the last person that says “yes” it’s OK to release the funds and buy this product, service or solution? Identifying this individual early and positioning your solution with them is critical to success.

8. If you were our competitor what would you do to take this sale away from us? If you are positioned to win, a competitor may feel that they have nothing to lose by offering free goods, a different bundling of goods and services and/or a lower price. Think through what strategies the competitor could employ and develop specific responses to mitigate them. It’s not uncommon for a competitor to quote a lower price when they know they have no chance of winning the sale. They do this to make you match their price so that if you still win the sale you do it at a greatly reduced gross margin. Be able to articulate and defend your pricing and strategy if this happens to you.

9. How comfortable are you with the Close Date? Early in the selling process the close date is the date that we would like the order. Usually it is our date. As the buying process proceeds the close date gets more realistic and it is the date the prospective customer wants, or needs to place the order. Oftentimes, there is a big difference between our “desired’ close date and the prospective customer’s. It is important to understand why the prospective customer wants to place the order by the close date specified. Their date is the only one that matters.

10. What is the Pathway to the PO? The pathway to the PO is the timeline, procession and information required to approve and release the funds and then place the purchase order. Savvy sellers know this information and have verified it with the prospective client. Don’t assume you understand it. The pathway can change due to changes in economic conditions, the hospitals financial situation, new organizational structures, with new products, new part-numbers and new personnel to name but a few. Ask, define, verify and re-verify are activities in today’s MedTech selling climate.

11. Who sees risk in buying your solution and how will you mitigate it? Buying a product, service or solution always involves some level of risk for each buying influence. Identifying the type of risk and then mitigating it is critical to prevent the status quo or no decision. Keep in mind there are ten (10) different types of risk. Are any of these potential risks an areas of concern for your opportunity? Please click here to see our previous post on the (10) different types of risk.

12. What are the next steps? Based on your analysis of where each buying influence is in their buying process what is the best set of activities that you can do to move the sale forward? Be sure these are measurable and specific. Describe the activity, when it will be done and who will do it. Be specific. This is not busy work; it is moving the sale forward.

13. What help do you need? A good manager will always ask how they can help you win the opportunity either through their direct involvement or by providing other company resources. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help in a complex sale. Best in class sales representatives initiate opportunity reviews with their manager and others. Their focus is on winning.

Parting Thoughts

Selling is a team sport. As sales professionals it’s our job to win opportunities. Participation in a complex opportunity review with your manager and others should be a welcomed event. Collaboration fosters new insights and ideas. When you get ready to participate in an opportunity review be sure that you are prepared to answer each of these questions in detail. Good selling!
1. Parmar, Arundhati: Activists take fight to obtain hip, knee product warranties to AAOS. Will they succeed? Orthopedics: March 12, 2014.