Sales managers, it’s up to you to ensure an ROI on sales meetings and seminars that your medical reps attend!

Managers and distributors send their salespeople off to sales meetings and training seminars “hoping” that the salesperson learns something that will translate into more sales.  The quote, “Hope is not a plan” comes to mind, but many managers don’t pay attention.

Salespeople are like your customers–they don’t like change.  My job when I speak at a national sales meeting or deliver a workshop is to get your salespeople to change, and while they often understand the benefit, they don’t like it.  They would like to be able to implement the information and strategies they learn, but when they return to their territories, human nature kicks in.  Change takes work, and salespeople need some motivation to invest the time it takes to make changes that make more sales.

This is where managers can drastically change the ROI on meetings.  As a manager, your job starts BEFORE the sales meeting.  If you define very clear expectations, you’re going to get more cooperation from your sales reps.

Do you have a sales meeting coming up or are some of your salespeople going to a seminar?  Have a one-on-one conversation with each of them.  Using a written synopsis of the meeting if it’s available, ask them the following questions:

  • What do you hope to learn at the meeting?
  • How will use the knowledge to help you grow your business?
  • What information would you like to learn at the meeting, whether it’s covered or not…and if it’s not covered, how will you get that information?

And here is what will make it work…schedule a date before the meeting to follow-up right after they return from the meeting to review a sales plan based on what they learned.  This is an effective way to say, “Pay attention at the meeting…I’ll be watching!”

The plan must be very specific with account and customer names and action steps as to how they are going to approach the customer using the new strategies and techniques.  And then, schedule another review in 30 days, either by phone or in person if possible.

Salespeople will always take the path of least resistance, which is, sticking with old habits, whether those habits are working for them or not.   Medical salespeople want to succeed–it puts money in their pockets and secures their futures.  They will do more if they know you’re watching and holding them accountable than they would do on their own.

Want a better ROI on sales meetings and seminars?  Let your salespeople know what you expect and then follow through. You’re investing good money on good information.  Don’t waste it.