I have been involved with medical device sales job slightly over 3 years. That makes my total experience in this industry spans slightly over 12 years; with the rest are spent in pharmaceutical sales. In a glance, there probably is nothing different between these two segments of the industry but my experience tells me otherwise. There is no guarantee that a success in one segment is enough to catapult a person to stellar success in the other.
And that is the reason why I am writing this article. I am going to show you the single most important success factor for medical devices sales reps.
Before I can tell you that, allow me to tell you the main difference between pharmaceutical and device selling; based on a decade of experience. It can be summarized with this sentence: the sale for device sales reps starts when the customer says YES! The actual selling took place after a purchase is made. Unlike pharmaceutical sales, once a deal is consummated, there is a little that reps need to do.
That brings us to the main point: the most important success factor for medical devices sales jobs is after sales services. They come in the form of troubleshooting, maintenance advice and continuous training. These become more critical in institutional set-up compared to individual user.
Let me put you through an example:
When a customer agrees to rent or purchase a chemistry analyzer, for example, it is the rep job with the help of service engineer to install and make sure the machine runs properly. They need to make the necessary arrangement and preparation to bring in the analyzer. For that matter, they need to renovate the customers place or make some modifications before installing the hardware.
Right after that, the rep needs to coordinate with company's application specialist to set the program to the customer needs. When everything has been set, then users need to be trained on how to operate it accordingly. This can takes a few days or weeks, depending on the complexity of the machine.
And the real job starts right after that. When customers get their hands on the device, there are bound to be problems. More often than not, the area that requires the usage of the machine is the busiest area and it could not wait longer than a few hours to get everything back to working condition or in their words; short 'turn around time'.
Can you guess who is in the front line for such task? Ask any pharmaceutical reps whether they have been called to the front line if the healthcare provider wrongly dispensed their product. Hardly!
Twist it however you like but after sales service is the most important success factor for medical devices sales reps. I can testify to that.