Should I hire a medical technologist to sell for us? (products = laboratory supplies)?

Thinking of transitioning one of your great technical people in to a selling role?  The odds for success are 10-15%.  Out of 10 technical people that make the transition, 1 or 2 will succeed. 

The good news is that if they survive, they often will be top producers in the organization.


Here are a few things they normally struggle with:


The Hypocrisy of Sales

In the technical world that they grew up in, there are absolutes.  Their daily work often revolved around eliminating variables in experiments to guarantee the same outcome each day.  All of the sudden, they are faced with more uncertainty and gray area than absolutes.

The company says,

“We sell solutions not products”.
TRUE, but understand you are expected to sell your product, regardless.
If it provides a solution, great. If not, you need to make your product provide a perceived solution.

 “We are customer driven”
TRUE, as long as where the customers drive you results in them needing/buying your product.

“Our customers are our partners”
TRUE, as long as the partnership involves them buying your stuff.

 The point being, the shift from an advisor/peer role to a sales role is very different on many different levels.  In the technical role, many absolutes.   In a sales role, many variables.  Can you see how that might cause some of your highest caliber technical people to struggle if they are trying to make the transition?


The Grind

I do believe that, “If you do the right things, the right things happen”.  Does that mean that people that are doing the right things never fail?  No, it means that you have no chance at continued success if you don’t do the right things.  If you are doing the right things, the right thing will happen; it just might not happen in the time frame you need.  Best rep, worst territory-the outcome is always the same.  The only variable is time.

The grind is acknowledgement that success in a territory is a long term project with many ups and downs.  How they handle the adversity and constant change will determine their level of success.


·     We shipped the instrument, but it got damaged in shipment.

·     We shipped 3 instruments and all were out of box failures.

·     We shipped 3 instruments and all appear to work within spec but none of them correlate to each other.

·     We promised to install the instrument Monday but had to postpone for a week so we could ship a more important accounts’ instrument first.

·     My customer just got bought and wants to return their instrument.


These types of issues arise daily in the sales rep role and if the person in that role doesn’t understand that success in a territory is normally a long, hard process

with infinite variables, requiring a constant focus, they will probably struggle in the sales role.

This article was written by: Kraig McKee

Written by Peggy McKee - the medical sales recruiter
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2 Responses to “Should I hire a medical technologist to sell for us? (products = laboratory supplies)?”

  1. […] Job Search Expert Leave a comment Go to comments Well, I guess the first question should be:  CAN med techs or other laboratory people transition from a technical role into a sales role?  The answer is:  it depends.  The odds are low, but for those who can beat the odds, they'll […]

  2. ROBERT Pan on October 4th, 2011 11:41 am

    Be content with what you have, for God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” – Hebrews 13:5,6