4 Misconceptions You May Have About Medical Sales Training



Drug and device companies face an interesting problem when training new sales reps. On the one hand, these trainees need the skills of a salesperson, and on the other, they need an in-depth medical and human anatomy knowledge.


It’s not enough to know how to sell medical and health products; they also need to be able to sell them to physicians and surgeons who have spent years studying and practicing medicine. To do this, their medical knowledge as it relates to the product they sell needs to match that of a doctor or surgeon.


This high level of knowledge requires in-depth training when they begin as a sales representative and on-going training throughout their career. They often spend hours in a corporate classroom listening as experts explain human anatomy.


However, passive learning styles like lectures, slide decks, PDFs, and print manuals don’t help these sales representatives create the active pathways their brains will need to access this knowledge when they are out in the field.


What’s more, this type of training is often limited by physical location as sales trainees gather in one place to listen and learn. They then supplement with static materials like PDFs or training manuals to help them as they go out into the field and meet with actual physicians.


Since the products medical device and drug companies sell are often vital to healthcare, doctors, and patients, these sales representatives become the people who help deliver powerful medical technologies to the people who need them. Yet, how they are trained can slow down their ability to do this.  Here are 4 misconceptions that are still perpetuated, even in the 21st century, that make medical sales rep training more difficult for sales

1. Lectures work best.


Lectures have been the traditional way to teach medical information. While lectures can be a useful tool, they should not be the only format for health education and medical sales training.


In university settings, studies have found that when lectures are the only educational format used, students are actually more likely to fail their subjects, in part because the style is too passive and doesn’t engage learners in the subject matter.

How to train more effectively

Supplement lectures with virtual anatomy models that allow learners to discover and explore health information in 3D. Pharmaceutical and medical device sales reps can see anatomical structures as they appear in real life, understand spatial relationships especially as they relate to the devices they sell, and see the effects of a drug on a condition.


2. Training takes place in the classroom.


We attach the idea of learning to a classroom setting because that’s how we’ve learned for centuries. Unfortunately, learning and classrooms are so entwined that it can be difficult to separate the two in our minds.


For drug and device reps who spend the majority of their time with physicians, being able to learn outside the classroom will empower them to continue to become experts in their subject matter and communicate more confidently with prospective customers.

How to train more effectively

Provide sales reps with mobile learning options. The BioDigital Human is accessible anytime, anywhere and allows sales reps to learn through interactive 3D. An added bonus? They can use the virtual anatomy to communicate faster with doctors about the features and benefits of their product.

3. Medical sales reps will struggle to be confident in their medical knowledge.


Medical sales people have to have the same level of knowledge as the surgeons and doctors they are selling to. Many of them never practice medicine or go to medical school, so is it truly possible for them to reach an MD level of knowledge?


While in the past, the answer was yes, the amount of educational content they needed to consume was daunting. Hours of listening to lectures, reading textbooks, and studying static graphics to grasp human anatomy meant that long training periods before they were able to sell confidently.

How to train more effectively

Virtual anatomy models allow life sciences sales professionals to more quickly and confidently grasp complex medical information, which, in turn, can have a direct impact on their sales performance. Their ability to communicate difficult concepts to their prospects can help them build trust and fit their communication into shortened physician meeting times.


4. Uncustomizable 2D graphics and diagrams are the only way to train sales reps.


Traditionally, anatomy has been learned through static 2D visuals. Medical experts didn’t have many other options before and used what they had to communicate their knowledge. This limited learning to one expert per training classroom which made training location and expert dependant.  


Now, however, the advance in technology, and especially the digital era, has ushered in a time when expert knowledge can be virtualized to make training more customizable and scalable.

How to train more effectively

Instead of an expert training with the help of static graphics, help them turn their knowledge into a visual experience. Uncustomizable images pulled from an anatomy atlas can only communicate so much. Virtual anatomy models will help them take their subject matter expertise and turn it into an active learning experience.

Train more confident sales reps.

Medical device sales reps can learn complex information quickly and confidently. When you incorporate 3D visual experiences into sales training, you give them anytime, anywhere access to training content and help them learn in more meaningful ways.


Explore how BioDigital can help in your sales training. Book a demo today with a virtual anatomy strategist today.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: