Today’s medical or pharmaceutical sales representative face many challenges in the current competitive marketplace. Managed care, generics and a host of other factors contribute to the daily roadblocks, which may stand in the way of increasing market share. So what must the successful representative do to try and control their destiny? —Organize and plan.
I’ve heard it said many times at various meetings, “Plan your work and work your plan.” Also, how many times have you heard, “control what you can control.” Well, sometimes representatives feel that they can control very little, right? Agreeably there are many things outside the control of a representative. However, organization is not one of them. Gaining insight and organizational focus of your territory will make the difference between you and the plethora of other representatives in a commodity driven market.
Most sales representatives in the medical field are faced with similar obstacles at one time or another, so pulling together a game plan is in order. Representatives are asked for documentation and 90-day action plans based upon what they thought management was requiring. Let me challenge you today to plan your territory based upon YOUR knowledge of the turf and work WITH your manager. Trying to simply appease your manager with mundane territory plans, rarely works long term. Challenge their knowledge, that’s part of their job. Before you do, develop your plan with workable substance and understand your turf. Remember, your goals and your manager’s goals are mutual in that in the end you will both want something workable that achieves results quickly.
I talk to many representatives each day and rarely do I get through a day without someone accusing their current or previous manager of being a “micro-manager.” Before making this accusation, some representatives may want to reflect upon what is being asked of them. Many times management is simply asking for a level of detail that a representative cannot produce. And by the way, they have the absolute right as your employer to ask for this information and these detailed territory plans.
So go out and “dig in” to your territory. Probe for information from medical professionals that will help position your product(s). Involve other personnel in office that can help facilitate your role and your relationships. You’ll be amazed at the additional “depth” of knowledge you’ll gain in your territory in just 90 days.