A deceivingly simple premise for sales organizations is to align around buying points. But what happens when the same buying point, for example a doctor, is the funnel for multiple products, services, capital and consumables? Should you create a Santa Clause-style gift bag full of products for a single sales representative or ask multiple specialist salespeople to sell to the same doctor? Deploy a clinical specialist and “junior rep” in addition to the core sales representative? And how many products should the core sales representative carry? In other words, how much specialization is too much?

The challenge applies to all industries, but healthcare sales leaders should consider these three factors when determining how to effectively specialize sales roles.

Clinician preferences

It is unlikely you’ll find a doctor who willingly meets with more sales representatives. But in many cases, role specialization can be a benefit to the doctor. I recently witnessed a medical device sales representative act as an advisor to the doctor during surgery. The doctor regularly asked for input on how to apply a device’s specific components. The salesperson’s specialization and expertise with this particular product was a huge benefit to the doctor, i.e., the doctor was glad to deal with the extra salesperson.

Do you have the right level of specialization to meet clinicians’ needs?

Revenue opportunity density

The population of the Chicago metro area is 9.5 million people; the population of Fargo, ND metro area is 0.2 million people. Revenue opportunity for nearly all healthcare companies is closely correlated to population. Obviously, it is hard to find a reasonable ROI for specialized sales resources in areas where opportunity is more dispersed.

Are you effectively adapting your sales coverage model based on opportunity concentration?

Unique selling motions

Selling motions are the activities and messages required to successfully sell a product or service. Fulfillment, Advocacy and Innovation sales motions carry varying degrees of value-add selling. Some products require less complex Fulfillment sales motions (e.g., many consumable products). Others require more advanced Innovation sales motions (e.g., connected products). A variance in selling motions often drives the need for role specialization–like Olympic sports, humans do not typically excel at all sales motions.

Are you differentiating roles by sales motions?

Balancing specialization and complexity in your go-to-customer model is critical to capturing market share in the healthcare industry. Ready to reevaluate your GTC model? Reach out to our Healthcare practice leaders.
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