Sales Managers: Don’t Gamble With Your Medical Sales Hires!

August 12, 2009 · Posted in For Sales Managers, Medical Sales Recruiting 
Sales Managers:  Hire Top-Performing Medical and Laboratory Sales Reps

Sales Managers: Hire Top-Performing Medical and Laboratory Sales Reps

Sometimes, hiring medical sales reps feels like a roll of the dice.  You hope you get a winner, but you’re never sure you will. 

In “Stop Hiring Poor-Performing Salespeople,”  Brian Jeffrey wrote about 3 specific pitfalls of hiring sales reps you should look out for, and that one way to avoid them and improve your odds of hiring a winner is to use a sales assessment tool.   I think assessment tools are a great idea.  I usually recommend to my clients that they perform personality assessments on their top-performing sales reps to use as a benchmark for potential hires.  Combining that with similarities in background, education, training, and so on gives you a better shot at finding someone who will fit in and do well on your team. 

I’d like to explore the pitfalls he mentions, and add to the discussion:

#1 – Can’t Sell

Essentially, some people talk a good game, but they can’t provide results.  Everybody likes them–you were excited about hiring them, and you like them so much you sometimes can’t bring yourself to let them go, even though they cost your company time and money.  (See The Sales Manager’s Dilemma.)  Benchmark comparisons with your current team, like I described above, make a much better guide to hiring than how well the candidate aced the interview. 

#2 –  Wrong Sales Environment

Just because someone was good at selling in one environment, doesn’t mean he can sell successfully in a new one.  Background is important.  It is true that not everybody can sell everything, and it’s true in medical sales,too, where there’s such a difference in products and services.  Pharmaceutical sales reps often can’t switch to, say, clinical diagnostics sales, or medical device sales reps might have a hard time switching to biotechnology sales.  Not always, but often enough.  However, if the sales process is the same–maybe they both involve a long sales cycle where you have to build a relationship with your customers, or maybe it’s mostly a cold-calling situation–well then, your chances are good.

#3 – Won’t sell

These are the people who should never be in sales, but get hired by a manager desperate to fill a position.  No matter how much potential you think they have, or how much time they take for training, or how many sales meetings you call, they’ll never be good.  Brian says, “Any hiring tool that will help you identify these people before you hire them is worth exploring.”  That’s where I come in.

A medical sales recruiter with 10 years of experience placing top sales force talent into the most prominent healthcare companies in the country is the way to (legally) load your dice.  Why use a recruiter?  A good recruiter will save you and your company time and money by sending you quality candidates hand-picked to improve your sales-force effectivness and benefit your bottom line.  All of a sudden, hiring new sales reps for any area of healthcare sales becomes less of a gamble and more of a sure thing.

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Written by Peggy McKee - the medical sales recruiter
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