Three ways to keep your sales force engaged during and after Covid

Updated: May 7

(This will take no more than five minutes to read)

What we know

Many medtech businesses have had to deploy a smaller salesforce, and with limited access to hospitals, sales interactions have had to switch primarily to online channels. Now it’s largely about remote digital engagement, Zoom calls and working from home. The traditional modus operandi of the salesforce is behind us, not forever maybe, but certainly for the foreseeable future.

Your salesforce is likely to need support so they can remain positive and engaged

We also know that your salesforce is likely to need support so they can remain positive and engaged in this new world where we all need to be braver and embrace digital channels. One aspect of this support is to make sure that those colleagues still visiting hospitals feel as safe and secure as possible. They must have access to the PPE they require to deliver what you ask of them. They also need the knowledge to use it correctly and know the appropriate clinical practices when attending a hospital or theatre. Once everyone has clarity about these fundamental hygiene factors, you’re ready to move on.

Here are our top suggestions.

# One – Creating passion and excitement about the future

Offering training for digital tools is a great starting point. It’s unfair to assume that every member of your team is Zoom or MS Teams proficient. Therefore setting up a process on how to use these tools will be extremely helpful. Once everyone is comfortable, productivity will be higher and there will be more time to have fun with interactive events and celebrate achievements.

Bringing in a little bit of normality with branded items normally received at the annual sales meeting is a nice way to keep people feeling in-touch and part of the team. There are many new and unique items available online right now that can be personalised. Or why not surprise them with something different, like an online cookery lesson? Perhaps a box of arts and crafts that can be transformed into something weird or wonderful…

You’ll think of ideas, which better suit the individuals in your team, but through such simple devices, you can help people keep in touch, stay positive and feel more confident about using digital media.

# Two – Market changes

As well as making sure your sales team is prepared with all the necessary PPE for any hospital visits and aware of revised hospital access policies, the team also need to be briefed about changing local and NHS priorities – priorities that you need to align with to be able to create win:win situations.

Also bring colleagues up to speed on your competitors, (eg their new campaigns, product launches and key messaging).

These are critical, must-do activities for your marketing team.

Make sure your messaging is consistent with what you are trying to achieve

# Three – Key messaging

We encourage clients to ask themselves whether their key messaging is still fit for purpose. Make sure it’s consistent with what you are trying to achieve and most importantly still relevant to your audience.

External messaging

In particular, ask yourself whether your messaging still aligns with the revised key objectives of the NHS. Alignment is now more important than ever. Clinical efficacy remains important, but with a growing waiting list for surgery, clinical efficiency is key. Will your implant or other device save operating time or reduce inpatient occupancy, for example? If so, highlight these benefits in your messaging.

Internal messaging

Now is an excellent time to remind your sales team about your core values and business objectives – remembering that actions speak louder than words. Now is also the moment to be clear about what you expect from your sales team in terms of performance goals, and how they are expected to go about their work, as well as your focus on their health, safety and welfare.

Marketing remains crucial – perhaps even more crucial today than yesterday. As someone once said: “you can’t cut your way out of a recession.” But if you do need to save money, investing in digital technology can help cut costs and make companies more agile.

Key take-aways

  • Refresh your key messaging to all your customers, from clinicians to business managers, ensuring alignment

  • Think about how you could engage the salesforce in the creative process and upskill for the digital world

  • Think about crunching your sales messages down – shortening messages into bullet points is a great way to hold people’s attention

  • Push your marketing effort, if not the marketing spend

If you need support engaging your salesforce using any of the tactics discussed in this blog, please contact us to book a consultation.

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About Podymos Podymos is dedicated to proactively sharing relevant medical device marketing knowledge to expand our clients’ capabilities. 

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