Like many other businesses, medical sales companies are losing high-performing employees to the war for talent. This major – and costly – issue is the top concern for 66 percent of recruiters, according to a 2017 LinkedIn report.

Recruiting for medical sales reps during a talent shortage is even more challenging than recruiting for most positions under the same conditions. You’re looking for someone with the right experience, skill set, knowledge, and emotional intelligence. Beyond all of these requirements, you also need someone with the passion and drive to take your products to the next level.

When your team is struggling to find and keep talented sales reps, it’s important to remember one crucial point: Stop reinventing the wheel.

Your company is jam-packed with dedicated employees who are already passionate about the company’s mission, values, and products. Having a solid internal mobility program will push your medical sales team beyond its current limits. Here’s how:

Passion for Your Product

No matter the department from which you’re hiring, internal mobility gives you employees with a strong passion for – and knowledge about – your products. Team members who are already in the company don’t require extensive onboarding, and thanks to their familiarity with your company, they’ll be more comfortable speaking on its behalf to customers.

Medical sales jobs rely heavily on reps’ abilities to communicate the value of a product. Look within your current staff for someone with the same values as the company. Some signs that a team member shares the organization’s values include:

  1. The team member readily offers their opinion to help better the company.
  2. The team member is always asking questions and pursuing new knowledge to better themselves.
  3. The member is excited about company news, even when it extends beyond their department.

Get to know your current staff by hosting employee mixers. Ask your sales team to attend these mixers and network with team members from outside the department. The more you know about and keep in touch with your internal team, the better equipped you’ll be to move people into sales positions when needed.

Strengthen Your Values and Culture

One of the greatest misconceptions in medical sales recruiting is that experience is the most important candidate requirement. Experience is certainly an important factor when searching for the best talent, but a sales rep’s ability to connect to the company’s values and culture is what convinces a person to stay. In fact, the previously mentioned LinkedIn report found that employees weigh culture and values more heavily than salary when considering new employers.

Internal mobility does more than simply fill your sales team with employees who are already familiar with your culture and values; it improves your team’s opinion of the company as a whole.

When a medical sales team grows due to internal mobility, it is filled with more grateful and motivated reps. Employees who feel the company is dedicated to their future success will work even harder to stay and excel in their positions.

Show employees you’re dedicated to their futures. Set office hours for employees to come speak with you about sales positions. If possible, give employees from outsider the department the opportunity to spend a day or two on the sales floor – or even out on the road. This will give employees a chance to discover their passion for sales – and it will help them feel more connected to the company’s culture and values.

Decrease Initial Training Costs

Training is a must – even when hiring internally. New medical sales reps will need to learn in-depth knowledge about products, understand the basics of sales, and know what’s expected of them. However, your HR team can skip onboarding procedures and policy overviews when you make an internal hire.

Why does that matter to your sales team? Because you’ll have new reps on the road and ready to sell in a shorter amount of time. When too much time lapses between reps, clients can get restless. They may even doubt the company’s ability to hold onto employees.

Internal mobility gives medical sales reps the opportunity to show their new team members the ropes immediately. Match the new rep with a few mentors to get them out on the road, offer tips on dealing with clients, and give training on sales technology. The more mentors a new rep has, the faster they’ll find their own style of and approach to selling.

Karyn Mullins is president of Connect with Karyn on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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