The role of the medical sales representative is changing. Hospital consolidation means fewer accounts with more buying power. Hospitals no longer need sales representatives as the sole point of contact to provide product information, conduct in-services or quote prices. Product knowledge can be obtained instantaneously via the web without the need to sit through a PowerPoint presentation; in-services can be done by a company’s clinical specialists and product pricing can be obtained through GPOs, IDNs, RPCs and organizations like MD Buyline.

Today’s healthcare environment demands a new type of sales professional to meet the ever-changing industry challenges. Hospital professionals want “account managers” who are business literate and can navigate through the new normal. These individuals must have a working knowledge of the function and operation of a hospital, and thrive and grow in a world of uncertainty. Account managers must have keen insight and the ability to articulate how their product and/or service provide measurable results to support the clinical and financial proposition to the key buying influences.

These business skills are recognized by hospital professionals when a salesperson demonstrates four (4) key competencies:

The sales professional of today needs to stand out as a trusted advisor or risk being seen as a commodity that provides no value. Sales professionals with business acumen are able to elevate their discussions to business issues and they stay far away from features and benefits.

As business confidants they are informative when describing to value analysis committees how their product positively affects patient outcomes, collaborative when negotiating with Supply Chain Managers and comfortable in discussions of ROI, NPV, TCO and other financial metrics with the CFO. They are experts at ensuring that their value proposition is sound with each stakeholder in the buying process.

When asked to present their solution they are comfortable with clinicians, committees, the C-Suite or the Governing Board.

How competent is your sales organization in understanding the roles and function of a hospital? Read our next blog and take our self assessment to find out!