Explaining Medical Sales: Part I

I receive several calls every week from people asking about the difference between sales opportunities in the medical sales field, and which personalities might fit best.  So, to address these questions, here is the first part of a 3-part series explaining different types of medical sales. 

There are two basic types of sales that occur in all areas of medical sales, which includes clinical diagnostics sales, laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, imaging sales, DNA products sales, cellular/molecular products sales, medical equipment sales, surgical supplies sales, hospital equipment sales, pathology sales, or biotechnology sales.  Today’s video will explain Capital Sales, as opposed to Consumable Sales. 

My favorite way to explain this is to talk about the difference between buying a car (capital sales) vs. shampoo (non-capital, or consumable sales).  Buying a car requires research, consultation with your spouse, test-driving, maybe a loan, and a major outlay of cash.  It takes a while. 

A consumable sale is the shampoo.  Much easier decision, because the consequences are less.  Not as much commitment, (partly because there’s a lot less cash required), and it’s easy to change vendors.  So, the relationship isn’t as solid. 

Capital sales in the medical field usually mean things like software (hospital information systems, laboratory info system, workflow software, billing or recruiting software) or equipment.  These affect many departments… there’s lots of outlay, many decision makers, and it typically has to be budgeted.  The customer needs a really good reason to switch from what they were doing/using.  Medical equipment means tangible products…everything from thermometers to imaging equipment, laboratory equipment, or beds, even.



Written by Peggy McKee - the medical sales recruiter
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Comments

24 Responses to “Explaining Medical Sales: Part I”

  1. [...] my previous post (Explaining Lab Sales – Part I), I said you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  2. [...] my previous post (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I), I told you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  3. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining Medical [...]

  4. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Laboratory Revenue – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  5. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  6. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  7. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Clinical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining Pharma [...]

  8. [...] my previous post (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I), I said you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  9. [...] my previous post (Explaining Clinical Sales – Part I), I told you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  10. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Laboratory Revenue – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  11. [...] my previous post (Explaining Laboratory Sales – Part I), I told you about the difference between capital sales and consumable revenue, mainly [...]

  12. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Clinical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital revenue, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  13. [...] my previous post (Explaining Clinical Sales – Part I), I said you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  14. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Clinical Revenue – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining Medical [...]

  15. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Clinical laboratory Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  16. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Medical laboratory Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  17. [...] whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Clinical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining [...]

  18. [...] my previous post (Explaining Pharmaceutical Sales – Part I), I told you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  19. [...] my previous post (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I), I told you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  20. [...] my previous post (Explaining Medical Revenue – Part I), I said you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  21. [...] my previous post (Explaining Pharmaceutical Sales – Part I), I said you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating [...]

  22. [...] While I’m at it, I have three posts that explain different types of medical revenue– Part I, Part II, and Part III, as well as posts on pharma sales vs. clinical device sales, and how [...]

  23. [...] While I’m at it, I have 3 posts that explain different types of pharmaceutical sales– Part I, Part II, and Part III, as well as posts on pharma revenue vs. medical device sales, and how pharma [...]

  24. John on September 8th, 2009 5:01 pm

    I had this experience talking to the sales recruiter for a surgical device company.

    The recruiter asked if I had capital sales experience. I said yes but it turned out we were using a bit different definitions.

    To this individual, the big idea about capital sales was that it’s a sale were I understood that actual business processes involved from the clients point of view. Sounds right so far if you think about it. However, implicitly even selling shampoo one usually has a good idea of the clients perspective.

    So in this case the key really was experience in OR and surgical procedures. Besides surgeons and OR nurses, that “capital” OR sales experience could obtained from larger companies that train entry level candidates but not from this company.

    Also, I think the issue is that this companies technology is new and different from the usual approaches. So really knowing more about these processes is needed to understand how the device would fit into a surgical procedure and make a big difference is a big deal. It’s the issues of selling “disruptive technologies.”

    Anyway, that’s what capital sales meant to this person.