Raising standards for your clinic sales people

We’re all familiar with the concept of the bell curve. And whether you buy into it or not, it’s likely that some of your clinical people suck at sales.

It’s not that they’re bad people. They just suck at sales. It’s OK. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Some really want to succeed and just need the right healthcare sales training – usually with training, they perform at the higher levels. And, there are those who have received the right training, but sometimes they’re up and sometimes they’re down. And finally, there are those who, regardless of the training they receive, are simply not willing to bring the effort that is required to bring in the numbers consistently.

Defining a minimum acceptable net conversion rate will provide the added motivation to keep up the sales effort.

“If you don’t set baseline standards for what you’ll accept in your life… you’ll find it easy to slip into behaviours and attitudes and a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve”

As a health business owner, you invest considerable time and money in order to provide your salespeople (counselors, nurses, technicians, etc.) with potential new patients in the form of enquiries. In order to remain profitable, it is essential that each seller perform their role by producing sales.

It is therefore imperative, therefore, that sellers meet or exceed a Minimum Acceptable Net Conversion Rate on a monthly basis. Sales performance should be reviewed on a monthly basis according to a conversion rate report, which includes only sales made in the reporting period and picks up on treatments sold between the date of sales and the date the report is run. I suggest making the minimum conversion rate the current average conversion rate, and observing how sellers perform over 3 months. This is the middle of the red curve.

A seller that fails to maintain the required performance criteria for any month should be reviewed to determine the cause and, on a case-by-case basis, you can determine the appropriate remedial action plan to improve performance to an acceptable level.

Remedial action plans may include retraining, riding with the seller (observing their sales interactions with patients), and continued coaching. A remedial action plan should include specific remedial performance criteria for the coming month or months. The remedial performance criteria should be set on a case-by-case basis. Failure to follow the remedial action plan or attain the remedial performance criteria likely results in termination of employment.

Often, the bell curve cuts a familiar line. On the one hand there is your top 1/3rd – the consistent top performers; and on the other hand there is your bottom 1/3rd – the ones that cost you money.

One sales organisation I worked in routinely cleansed out its bottom 1/3rd. This kept the average conversion rate up for the team as a whole and kept the middle 1/3rd on their toes. In this way, the would consistently move their bell curve to the right – or in the image above – from the red to yellow.

But here is the question – are you prepared to make the tough decisions to do what’s right for your business? And while you ponder that question, here’s another: if you don’t do it, who will? I know, it isn’t easy, contact us if you need help.

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Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

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Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK