Who says you need to recruit entry-level people for entry-level jobs? I love this article. It’s an extreme example of a common problem involving a company that hired experienced sales representatives for entry-level positions over several years which resulted in truly massive turnover rates because of basic job (and salary) dissatisfaction. I understand why companies want to hire sales reps with some experience–less training involved and more hope of quick sales success–but my companies with entry-level sales postions with entry-level salaries in pharmaceutical sales or pathology and clinical diagnostics sales (although not quite as low as the ones in this article) that try to hire medical sales representatives with experience become caught in a vicious cycle of turnover. Meanwhile, companies that embrace entry-level candidates for entry-level jobs get pleasant suprises–like lower turnover, higher job satisfaction and greater productivity as a whole. Another example of why it pays to work with a medical sales recruiter to ensure that you find the right person for the job.
Penelope Trunk has an article on 5 ways hiring practices are about to change because of the current and looming worker shortage caused by retiring baby boomers and smaller-than-expected-for-various-reasons pools of Gen X and Gen Y workers. This applies to medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, pathology sales, laboratory sales and diagnostic and device sales in part because the whole medical field is such a growing industry. I just pointed out on Sept. 11 that CNNmoney.com has listed pharmaceutical sales representatives in the top 20 jobs for growth over the next few years. This kind of growth will affect how companies operate. Penelope says:
1) Companies will make recruiting young employees a top priority. Again, because of retiring baby boomers.
2) Candidates will drive the hiring process rather than employers. It’s a supply-and-demand thing.
3) Companies will stop writing stupid ads. Vague ads, as they are usually written, don’t get top-quality candidates to apply.
4) The quality match will take center stage. It takes a lot of money and time investment to find the right candidate, and workers are more in demand, so it becomes even more important for companies to find the right person the first time.
5) The workplace will get great [for workers].
Yes, these are all important steps to take, but hiring managers should already be doing these things to attract top talent. Of course, here is where a manager could maximize his or her time by using a recruiter to locate a good match for their company –especially in #3 and #4. Recruiters are excellent at communicating realistic job requirements and have a huge pool of qualified candidates ready to market them to…also, since companies are investing so much time and money in finding the right candidate, using a recruiter is the most cost-effective and efficient way to locate and hire a top-quality candidate.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…to be a top salesperson in pharmaceutical sales, laboratory sales, pathology or clinical diagnostics sales, medical device sales, or biotech sales, you need to read great books on how to sell. My favorite sales book is SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham…I can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s an excellent distillation of how great sales people are successful. It does a good job of explaining how different size sales require different processes. There’s also a SPIN Selling Fieldbook available… I also like Harvey MacKay‘s books on selling and networking. Zig Ziglar has been around for a while, but his advice is very current. I think any candidate for a sales position that has not sold should read all three of these authors to gain more of an understanding of what they are getting themselves into……
Hey, I ran across Ethos3 online…they are an amazing company with the ability to distill lots of information into an easy-to-understand format (for presentations). I wanted to introduce you to them:
Ethos3 Communications (www.ethos3.com), a presentation design and training company, is changing the way presentations are done today. In fact, their ability to tell a story in a visually compelling way is changing the presentation landscape. According to the founders of SlideShare, Ethos3’s presentation Meet Henry slide deck that won second place in The World’s Best Presentation Contest, has officially reached cult status. You can read the SlideShare blog post here.
If you are like most people there are several great books you would love to read – if you had the time. Here is a tip that might help you get into those books sooner than you had imagined. An online service called audible.com sells audio versions of many popular books ranging from personal development to news, analysis and fiction. Many great sales books are available via the service. You can buy full versions of the books and in some cases, abridged versions which are much shorter. These can be downloaded and played on your favorite mp3 or mobile device, in my case an iPod. I have an adaptor in my car which allows me to play my iPod while I commute, so I get to listen to several audiobooks a month. I have a preference for abridged books from which I can get plenty of good ideas and concepts and still leave lots of time for making calls while I travel. And here is another tip – most audio devices will allow you to listen to recordings at various speeds and I have discovered that you can listen to most audiobooks at accelerated speed and catch every detail – even faster! Perfect if you have a short commute.
I love this! I have listened to audio books while traveling and can say that it is a great use of time. Also, I love the idea that listening at an accelerated speed can get it done faster! Thanks for the tip, Eliot! There are several books I would recommend to anyone in medical, pharmaceutical, or laboratory sales….I will have a list of some great ones in my next post.
This is the easiest piece of the plan – in your discussions with the recruiter that you are working with (we are PHC CONSULTING) and the manager and any other company contact that you have had, you should know what their training program looks like…..for example – do they have a 4 week training session at their HQ or a week of home study and then 2 weeks in the corporate office. So this is the bulk of your 30 day plan – attending training, mastering product knowledge, learning the corporate systems like email, intranet, CRM, etc. Typically, quality companies train their sales staff extensively (either pharmaceutical sales positions, biotech sales jobs, clinical and research laboratory sales opportunities, laboratory service sales or medical device sales). Check out this link for an example of the first 30 day part of the 30/60/90 day plan.
If you want a plan that is proven, get it here: 30/60/90-Day Sales Plan
What is a 30 day/60 day/90 day plan? And why is it important? and how do I create one? I am going to have a series of posts on this blog that are going to be about these fantastic documents that will solidify you as a candidate in your next job search and will help you be a better performer in the position that you do this type of analysis on…..So to start with…The 30/60/90-day plan is a short 1-3 page document that you create that states in as little or as much detail as you prefer what you will do in the position that you are interviewing for…..Why should you do this? Well, to do one correctly you have to take the time to think out the position and your goals and the company’s goals. This exercise alone will set you apart from other jobseekers. You would not believe how many candidates that are interviewing for sales opportunities (either pharmaceutical sales positions, biotech sales jobs, clinical and research laboratory sales opportunities, laboratory service sales or medical device sales) have not thought through the potential job to this extent. So the exercise alone is very valuable, but the end document could be the tipping point for your potential employer. So get ready – the next post will be about the 30 day piece……..and I will give you an example.
CNNmoney.com posted their list of top 20 jobs for the young and restless in America, and pharmaceutical sales rep placed number 16 with a median pay of $93,700 (bumped up considerably by the top 10%, granted) and job growth projected at 14% over the next ten years. (general sales representative placed number 19). Others think medical sales reps have great jobs…the proof is in the great numbers of people coming into the field, one of the things that makes it a competitive and demanding place to be. But as great as pharma sales is (see pharma sales Q&A), laboratory diagnostics is a better place to be. Job stability is better because you are providing a product for patients (and healthcare is not normally as affected by the economy), you get a little more respect because it is a consultative sale, and there are fewer successful clinical diagnostics and research reps so you stand out a little more (in pharma you compete with thousands of other reps whose resumes look just like yours). Why be one of the many, when you can be one of the few???
Penelope Trunk‘s article Your Career Path Starts in College is getting a little bashed in her comment section, but she has some great advice here…my favorite is learn your strengths, and the sooner the better. It takes certain personality traits to be good at a demanding and sometimes rejection-filled job like pharma sales or laboratory diagnostics sales or medical device sales. I thought it was interesting and very accurate that she pointed out that cheerleaders make great salespeople. You don’t have to leap into doctors’ offices or research labs with pom-poms flying (hmmm…) but an extroverted personality is almost a requirement. She also recommended reading Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I have heard good things about the book and I will be reading it soon.
A big thank you to Eliot Burdett and all the folks at Peak Sales Recruiting for being a guest blogger on our site today with this great post on characteristics of top salespeople:
We have spent our whole lives working with great salespeople and carefully studied the traits of top sellers. Team leading sales people have what we call the DNA of Peak Performers and that’s the type of sales people we find for our customers. What defines a Peak Performer sales professional? Here are the key traits we look for:
1. Inquisitive nature and seek to understand as much as possible about customers, their business and how they make the decisions;
2. Disciplined and follow a system to find, develop and close business;
3. Positive in the face of adversity and don’t let rejection deter them from their goals;
4. Focused on business impact and results with customers rather than selling activities;
5. Act with a sense of urgency and persistent and dogged in pursuing opportunities; and
6. Competitive and a high desire to achieve their goals and be at the head of the pack.
All of this translates into someone who earns a lot of money and makes their employers a lot of profit.
If this describes you and you are interested in medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, laboratory diagnostics sales, or biotech sales, contact PHC Consulting with your resume today.
Thank you again to Peak Sales Recruiting, and we hope to have another post from them soon.