Life Scientists’ Perspectives: Beyond Basic Sales Support

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

~ Zig Ziglar

With the upsurge in fact-finding and purchasing options on the Internet, are life science sales reps at risk of turning into the Maytag Repair Man?  (You remember him, right?  The loneliest guy in town?)  While the Death of a (stodgy) Salesman is certain, the evolving model of today’s life science sales rep is one which presents value propositions that solve problems, make jobs easier and provide a personal touch that creates relationship with the customer.  Anything but lonely.

No longer satisfied with the traditional role of the sales rep, scientists are increasingly favoring suppliers whose reps can present solutions tailored specifically to their research needs.  Going beyond basic types of sales support (providing information on new products, for example), superior sales assistance is exemplified by the sales rep who can instruct the scientist on how to use new products and who can help trouble-shoot product problems.  That said, we found in our 2007 report, Improving Sales Reps Performance:  Life Scientists’ Perspectives, that scientists express low satisfaction levels with most sales reps’ actual ability to help out with the trouble-shooting, which presents an opportunity for the technically savvy sales rep to stand out.

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