Sales Manager at J&J Medical Devices
How do you see your job evolving in the future?
Medical Devices is an emerging field in healthcare. With constant advancements this sector is buzzing at all times. Being a first line sales manager, this is an important milestone to take up next level sales and marketing opportunites to ultimately become a business leader.
What role did your educational background play in your career?
My MBA in Pharmaceutical Management gave me a good exposure to the healthcare industry. It helped me to make an informed decision on the pros and cons of being in this space. Truly happy to have made this choice.
Describe a typical day at work for you?
Typically planning happens a week in advance on priority customer meetings, and then a day prior. Meetings typicaly range from customer meetings in their OPD or business meetings with dealers. At times we also need to assist in the operation theatre.
When do you stop pursuing a client?
Persistance is a crucial virtue while being in sales. First meetings are actually an excellent time to gauge customer interest. Always set yourself an internal benchmark on how long you should pursue a client. Each business is of a different nature but typically if you hear the same response for 3 consecutive meetings, i think you need to give it a break and pursue back after a gap.
What are the pros and cons of being a sales professional?
Pros - You become street smart, Life offers a lot of flexibility, gives you a good opportunity to make incentives. Cons - Erratic work hours, high pressures, tough customers who are demanding at odd hours
Does a sales job help with a greater understanding of the market?
Yes, It gives you a complete grass root level experience. It strengthens commercials to a large extent.
What’s worse, not meeting a monthly quota or not having happy customers?
Not having happy customers is worse. Happy customers will anyways ensure that monthly quota is met.
How do you handle customer objections or arguments?
Customers will always have objections. Every organization must always train their employees in objection handling as this is the deal maker or breaker. If the customer raises an objection, thats his main query/concern. Be well prepared. Know your product thoroughly. If its a price objection, always take the conversation away from price, if you are premium player, price will never be your strength. Show them the value for their purchase.
How do you deal with criticism from clients?
Firstly try not
Do you alter your sales strategy according to diverse customers? if so, how?
Absolutely. Each customer has a different need. The biggest job of sales person is to uncover that need. That typically happens with strong customer relationships and probing questions to uncover the need.
How do you research prospects before calling or meeting? What information do you look for?
The customer set that I have are never completely new. They have a background which I discover from other colleagues who have worked longer in the market. Also company distributors are present for long time and they also contribute to provide customer insights.
What was the most challenging moment in your career?
Taking up a people managers role has been the most challenging part of my career. Having to deal with people and their emotions is a very different experience as compared to being an individual contributor.
What motivated you to choose this career?
Being a pharmaceutical management student, i decided to pursue a career in medical devices as I felt that it would be a niche segment and probably a upgrade over Pharma.
How was your experience with your first job?
First Job is always special as it is your first exposure to the industry. I was lucky to have some great managers and peers so I would surely rate it as a great experience which gave me a strong footing in the industry.
How has your job evolved over the years?
I have had multiple challenging role in sales and marketing. From an individual contributor to a people leader, all experiences so far have been enriching. My frontline sales stint taught me to shed all inhibitions, my marketing roles brought out a helicopter view of how businesses run and a people leader sales role now makes me drive the sell and teaches me to take care of my people.
What are the 3 things every successful sales-professionals must-have?
Business Acumen, Analytics and Ability to read people behaviours
What is your biggest concern at your job? How do you manage it?
To ensure that sales team buys in to marketing stategies. This can always be managed by making the team more involved in decision making so that they always remain engaged and commited.
How did you rise in your role as a sales-professionals, what career hacks can you share?
Read, Read and read. Keep yourself updated. My mantra has always been to keep your customer at centre, be meticulous and proactive to serve their needs.
What's the advice you would like to give to an aspiring sales-professionals?
Customer first. Everything else comes later.