Medical Sales and A.I.: A Useful Tool That Won’t Replace You
In the dynamic world of medical sales, the landscape is evolving faster than ever. As technology continues to advance, the arsenal of tools available to medical sales professionals is expanding, and many view these tools as ways to make their jobs easier or even fill in any gaps in their knowledge or experience.
It’s important to remember that while these tools, like AI, are powerful, they won’t replace the essential human touch required for successful selling. Let’s delve into why AI has good potential for medical salespeople but also why it won’t do the selling for you.
Sales Tools Are Only As Effective As The User
When I speak with medical device companies and their sales teams, new sales technology is a common subject. Their excitement suggests that AI and other cutting-edge tools will transform their sales outcomes and help them dominate their industry segment. While these robust technologies can positively impact the salesperson’s role, it’s essential to understand how to apply and leverage them effectively.
Take the example of video conferencing and video messaging, which have gained prominence in recent years. These tools facilitate relationship-building with doctors and other healthcare professionals (HCPs), transcending geographical barriers while attempting to outpace competitors. However, the true magic happens when these tools are seamlessly integrated into your sales process, guided by proficient sales skills. Interestingly, when medical reps proclaim that video calling or video messaging doesn’t work, it’s primarily because the prospect hasn’t been sold on the value of using the technology or the messaging used with it is weak.
The allure of AI in medical sales is undeniable, offering an array of benefits to enhance the salesperson’s role significantly. AI can analyze vast datasets to uncover valuable insights, helping sales reps understand their customers better and tailor their approach accordingly. It can predict trends and preferences, allowing salespeople to be proactive rather than reactive. Moreover, AI can automate routine tasks, liberating salespeople to focus on high-value activities like getting more face time with customers and strategizing.
The Power to Assist, Not Replace
AI’s power lies in its ability to assist, not replace. It can provide salespeople with valuable information but cannot replicate the intricate art of relationship-building and personalized persuasion that comes from human interaction. AI can analyze data but cannot replace the empathetic understanding that comes from truly listening to a customer’s needs. This is where the distinction between tool and seller becomes most apparent.
Personalization, a cornerstone of successful sales, is something AI struggles to replicate fully. A sales professional’s ability to empathize, understand, and address a doctor’s or other HCP’s unique pain points or aspirations is unmatched. AI might recommend products based on data or even create some talking points. Still, it lacks the finesse of tailoring solutions to a customer’s emotional and psychological triggers. Furthermore, the trust that’s built through genuine human connection can’t be replicated by algorithms.
In the complex and multifaceted world of medical sales, there are numerous stages in the sales process. Success hinges on knowing which tools to employ, when to deploy them, and how to seamlessly integrate them into your strategy. The journey involves understanding your customer’s unique needs, providing tailored solutions, and nurturing relationships over time. While AI can provide valuable insights and assistance, it’s the salesperson’s role (using real intelligence!) to translate these insights into meaningful interactions.
Sleep Easy! AI Can’t Completely Replace You
One concern that often emerges is the fear that AI could render salespeople redundant. While it’s true that AI can automate certain aspects of sales, it’s far from capable of entirely supplanting high-touch, highly service-oriented medical sales professionals. The human element remains pivotal. Salespeople have the innate ability to understand each customer’s nuances, establish rapport, and adapt their approach in real time based on the cues they receive (Real-time Relevance-Based Selling™).
The excitement surrounding the potential of AI and other tech tools in medical sales is justified. These tools can optimize processes and revolutionize sales results. However, it’s crucial to understand that tools are enablers, not replacements. The essence of effective sales lies in the human element – the ability to empathize, build trust, and deliver solutions tailored to individual needs.
You don’t represent products and services merely to disseminate data and take orders. Your role is to understand each healthcare customer as an individual, get their attention, and show them how a product you provide can improve their world and the lives of their patients. Then…you follow through with the personal touch. I call that selling! AI, when properly used, will undoubtedly enhance your effectiveness, but it won’t do the selling for you.