For many specialty pharmacies, your sales reps can be your greatest assets. However, 55% of all salespeople don’t have the proper skills to be successful long-term. And for most firms, 80% of sales come from just 20% of their salesforce.
In this episode, Cam Jones, regional business development manager for CSI Specialty Group, discusses the importance of investing in the continuous training and development of your sales teams. As a seasoned healthcare sales and consulting veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the field, Cam has seen firsthand the effect training can have and where many salespeople can falter.
Tune in to Discover:
- The reasons you should provide continuous professional and personal development for your sales reps
- The benefits ongoing training will produce for your organization and your sales teams
- How to commit the necessary resources to attract, develop and retain quality salespeople
- The value of territory management, utilization of a CRM tool and structured routing
About Cam Jones
Cam Jones is a proven business development leader with more than 20 years of dynamic sales, management and consulting experience within a diversity of specialty healthcare markets. He is a specialist within the specialty pharmacy and hospital sales verticals, with a proven history of building customer success strategies and sales training courses. He’s also an avid tennis player and coach.
About CSI Specialty Group
CSI Specialty Group is a globally recognized leadership consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions that continually elevate the specialty pharmacy industry and improve the patient journey. By providing inventive consulting, workforce planning and talent acquisition solutions, we uniquely tailor our service offerings to help clients drive sustainable, accelerated growth.
As the producer of the industry’s first dedicated podcast for specialty pharmacy and the publisher of the Annual State of Specialty Pharmacy Report, CSI is at the forefront of pioneering innovative concepts to meet the changing needs of specialty pharmacy, home infusion, mail order/PBM, health systems and pharma/biotech clients across the USA and throughout Europe.
For more information about CSI Specialty Group, visit www.CSIgroup.net.
About CSI University
CSI University is the industry’s leading online training platform specific to specialty pharmacy sales professionals.
After years of conducting successful on-site training, CSI University’s online sales training course offers groundbreaking, cutting-edge and on-demand training to new and existing sales representatives of specialty pharmacies. The program is built from the ground-up to ensure individuals and entire sales teams are ready and able to take their game to the next level and optimize sales to expand their company’s foundation in the ever-changing marketplace.
Announcer: Welcome to the Specialty Pharmacy Podcast, your prescription for specialty pharmacy success. Now, here’s your host, globally-recognized industry leader and CEO of CSI Specialty Group, Suzette DiMascio.
Cam Jones: This is Cam Jones. This is development manager with CSI Specialty Group. I couldn’t be anymore excited to be with you today as this is my first podcast, and I’m certainly embracing the opportunity. I want to thank anyone who’s tuning in, and I hope you find value in the content. For my first topic, I want to talk on a subject that I’m passionate about, and that’s the critical importance of a sales organization, large or small, to invest and reinvest in continuous sales training programs for their sales reps and further to commit to their personal and professional development as long-term assets.
Cam Jones: To be honest, and it’s my opinion, it was backed up by statistics, the sales industry, generally speaking, has been willfully inadequate in both areas. If you look at the numbers, 13% of America’s workforce, one in eight are engaged in full-time sales jobs. If you look at the spend, $1 trillion annually is spent on developing and building sales forces, so the need is there, the initial commitment from a dollar perspective is there, but the results really are poor. That’s reflected in this statistic: 55% of all sales people don’t have that right skills, don’t have the proper skills to be successful long-term.
Cam Jones: We often talk about the 80/20 rule. 80% of the business comes from 20% of customers. If you apply it to sales people, typically, 80% of production often comes from 20% of your sales force. Well, this is why, what I’m talking about on this podcast is why. It’s inadequate training. Whether it’s sales organizations not investing or reinvesting in their sales people and their asset or whether it’s a individual not seeking to personally grow and professionally grow and challenge themselves and be accountable to their own development, it doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is, our sales people are not prepared. They’re ineffective at large numbers. I mean, you start talking 55% of the sales force, that’s significant, and that’s alarming. That’s the topic, that’s what I want to, I want to dive deeper into that subject in this podcast, but before I do that, I want to give you a little bit of background about myself.
Cam Jones: Over 20 years of sales, sales management, consulting experience within the healthcare industry. Last 15 years was spent especially pharmacy specifically. I’ve had a variety of roles, significant progression of responsibilities throughout my career. I’ve even owned my own specialty pharmacy consulting company. I’ve sold two. Consulted with all segments of healthcare industry, impacting most, if not all stakeholders, including payers, manufacturers, hospitals, health systems, especially pharmacies, of course, physician’s offices, small and large, GPOs, wholesalers, et cetera. I’ve worked for large organizations, McKesson, one of the largest in the world, as well as for small mom-and-pop businesses.
Cam Jones: My experience is vast, my perspective unique on many, many things related to healthcare. In particular, when it comes to this subject of this specific podcast, sales training, I have a certain level of expertise. If you go back and look at my early days, my sales career, in the early days, I was blessed. I was lucky. As they say, “Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity,” but I digress. I was lucky to work with some of the best sales managers, trainers, sales gurus, and motivational speakers in the industry. It was through that experience I really recognized and I recognized early the value of sales training and the knowledge and the value of that knowledge.
Cam Jones: I sought out additional training seminars, workshops, books on selling. Unfortunately, most reps don’t, and the statistics bear that out. 80% of all sales people haven’t attended a selling workshop or even read a book on selling. I don’t even know how that is possible. That’s why companies aren’t fully to blame, sales organizations aren’t fully to blame for their sales reps inadequately trained because reps need to be accountable themselves for their own personal and professional development, their growth, but sales organizations do bear responsibility in developing their sales people as assets longer term.
Cam Jones: You do commit upfront. You bring in sales people with lucrative packages. They’re incentivized through a comp plan, et cetera, but after that, there’s very little that’s done to develop that sales person, so it really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter whose shoulders to blame on this, whether it’s sales organizations, it’s rep individually. Bottom line is the results are poor. Our sales people are, generally speaking, ineffective. What happens?
Cam Jones: Well, it’s a ripple effect throughout the industry. I mean, we’ve all seen this. I mean, a person, typically, if they’re not performing, they’re not making the money, they don’t feel, there’s poor job satisfaction, they wash out. They’ll leave the organization, or if they stay, they typically will get blamed for poor performance, leading to dismissal, or they stay on, poor job satisfaction, and there’s limited production.
Cam Jones: This scenario’s repeated throughout the industry. It’s not a good scenario. It’s something that we need to address as an industry, and I challenge sales leaders, sales organizations to really look at committing additional resources and committing to a longer-term approach in terms of developing our greatest asset, which is our sales people.
Cam Jones: Well, let’s look at a potential opportunity cost. Continuous training, which we know is good, but continuous training over one sales career yields a 50% higher net sales per sales rep. Let me read that to you again. Continuous training over one sales career yields 50% higher net sales per sales rep. I mean, isn’t that the primary objective of a sales rep, to deliver new sales? If you’re getting 50% higher net sales, that’s a good thing. I mean, if you look at the ROI, wouldn’t a 50% increase in net sales be worth more than the cost of nominal sales training expense? Something to consider. I mean, the numbers bear out that the more we invest in our asset, the more we invest in our sales people and develop them, the better they are and the more productive they are. It’s a win-win.
Cam Jones: Let’s look at more statistics that reinforce principles of what I’m saying. 80% of sales require five follow-up calls after a meeting, yet almost 50% of sales reps give up after one follow-up attempt. 91% of customers say they would give a referral, but only 11% of sales reps ask for one. Only 13% of customers believe a sales person understands their needs. I mean, that is incredible to me. I mean, that’s what we do as sales people. We uncover needs. We find pain points. That’s how we’re able to deliver solutions and win business, and yet, 13%, only 13% of customers feel the sales person understands them and/or their needs.
Cam Jones: John Livesay would often say, “A confused mind always says no.” People won’t tell you why they’re confused, so that’s often why you can’t deliver, you can’t close the business, because your customer’s confused. 70% of sales people, they don’t ask for business in general. I mean, why are they not asking? Is it because of the fear of rejection, the fear of failure, the fear of the unknown? These are concepts a good training program addresses.
Cam Jones: Other areas of training lacking: territory management in combination with the CRM system, routing optimization. I’m routinely stunned at the randomness of sales reps’ days who I feel often confuse activity with productivity. Effective messaging. Oftentimes, sales organizations, they don’t train reps in terms of what’s the company’s message, what are you selling. You need to have an effective message. If you can’t explain your product or service simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Cam Jones: Oftentimes, I’ll ask a sales person, “Give me your pitch. Give me your value prop. Give me your elevator pitch,” and they struggle with it. They go on and on and on. These are areas that I feel they’re important enough that I’m going to do a series of future podcast and drill down one each one of these concepts and just provide some insights, best practices, but that’s for another time.
Cam Jones: Here’s a question. How many of you have read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino? It’s written in 1968. It’s still considered a must-read for every sales person, but few have read it. I challenge you guys all go out and pick up The Greatest Salesman in the World and read it and get back to me. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Cam Jones: I recently attended a fantastic workshop by John Livesay who, if you don’t know John, he’s a leading motivational speaker and author on selling excellence. But here I am, 20 years of selling experience, and it was epiphany after epiphany of selling best practices. I learned new sales concepts that were instantly applicable and helped me, as a matter of fact, win new business.
Cam Jones: One of the things he really highlighted was the importance of telling a good story. He likes to say that story tellers rule the world. He often, before he talks in his workshop, he’ll tell you, “I’m going to tell you a quick story, and you won’t believe how it ends.” It’s all about capturing the imagination and the attention of your audience. The statistics bear it out, that it basically says after presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories, only 5% remember stats. Keep that in mind as you’re crafting your message. Tell a story. Great stories sell.
Cam Jones: In summary, I’m just going to summarize it this way: Sales organizations are falling short in adequately training and developing their greatest asset, which is their sales people, so commit the resources, guys. Sales reps fail to invest in themselves when it comes to their own development, so guys, master your craft.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Specialty Pharmacy Podcast. If there’s anything we mentioned in today’s show you missed, don’t worry, we take the show notes for you at csigroup.net/podcast. If you’re not already a subscriber, please consider pressing the subscribe button on our podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes, and if you haven’t given us a rating or a review on iTunes yet, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our specialty pharmacy peers. The Specialty Pharmacy Podcast is a production of CSI Specialty Group, your go-to firm for all things specialty pharmacy. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll catch you next time, doctor’s orders.
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About The Specialty Pharmacy Podcast
Join host Suzette DiMascio, CHE, CMCE, CPC, President and CEO of CSI Specialty Group, as she answers questions, addresses concerns and discusses the news you need to stay on top of the ever evolving world of specialty pharmacy. Tune in every episode to hear real world examples of the good, the bad and the outrageous from the experts at CSI Specialty Group, and to learn about the limitless growth opportunities available in the specialty pharmacy industry.