09 Jun 2020

Industry Predictions from 330+ Medical Sales Representatives

We surveyed more than 330 medical sales representatives to learn more about their perspectives on the industry's future.


What Will the Future of Medical Sales Look Like?

Many sales representatives are anticipating significant changes shortly--changes that may well continue long after the effects of the pandemic cease across other industries. They anticipate:

Decreased Access to Hospitals and Other Medical Care Facilities

Many sales representatives are concerned that in-person sales meetings, especially cold calls, and visits, maybe a thing of the past. While some feel they will still be able to access these areas as long as they wear appropriate protective gear, others fear that they will not be able to get into hospitals without an appointment. 

This may mean far less flexibility in the average sales representative's day: instead of being able to walk into a hospital or care facility when it's convenient for them, they'll need to find the right person to speak with ahead of time, then make an appointment for a specific meeting. This may ultimately reduce their ability to connect with potential customers. 

More Virtual Connections

"Telemedicine," notes one respondent, "is here and will be improved. This is the future." Not only is telemedicine likely to become increasingly important for patients seen in these hospitals every day, but it's also likely to become more critical for medical supply companies. 

In the immediate future, there will be an increased demand for devices enabling patients to monitor their health from home and provide doctors with increased information--even if they can't visit patients in person.

Also, many salespeople feel more likely to make connections via Zoom meetings and other virtual methods rather than connecting directly with those care providers in person. This may lead to enhanced product demonstrations since salespeople can take the time to manage virtual reports and visits. Still, it may also make it more difficult to drop off samples or to allow doctors to interact with products directly. 

Previously, many salespeople agreed that virtual sales were not well-received by potential buyers. They wanted those in-person connections. Now, however, virtual meetings have become a necessity--and as a result, they've become much better received. 

The decision-makers in hospitals and medical care facilities are no longer looking for face-to-face meetings--and in fact, many salespeople believe that access to those decision-makers will be more severely limited. Instead, they're more interested in virtual options: Zoom meetings, online connections, and virtual demonstrations, for example.

Increased Safety Measures (Including Limited Travel)

As travel restrictions have spread across the country due to COVID-19, it has changed how many sales representatives handle meetings with their customers--and some sales reps feel that those changes are here to stay. Instead of regular travel around the region, they feel their travel will be more limited. They also feel that they may be required to take more safety measures when visiting with practice, including:

  • Wearing a mask and/or gloves

  • Undergoing the same temperature and wellness checks required of patients or members of staff

  • Increased protective gear

  • More handwashing

These safety measures may well become standard and expected across the board--and it's a modification that many sales representatives may be reminded to make ahead of time. 

Changes in Financial Capacity/Buying Habits

Many sales representatives also believe that the changes related to COVID-19 will include buying power for many hospitals and medical facilities. Around the country, while some facilities have struggled with high numbers of patients and increased workload--even shifting many doctors and nurses into COVID-care areas instead of keeping them in their normal departments--others, especially those in areas with few or mild cases, have suffered during this period. 

Many hospitals have temporarily furloughed employees to reduce costs. Patients have put off non-emergent care, including surgeries and well visits, leading to decreased profits for doctors and hospitals.

As a result, buying power and financial capacity may change in many facilities. Those facilities may also shift the types of items they're interested in buying. 

Many medical care providers have made extensive changes in light of COVID-19 related concerns, and it has significantly impacted how salespeople deal with their daily responsibilities. If you're interested in learning more about hiring in uncertain times and the future of the medical sales industry following COVID-19...



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