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The first Thursday of December is traditionally International Sales Day, started by the AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals) as a way to show appreciation and recognition for the millions of sales reps around the world. Being in sales is a true calling, for it combines many skills such as communication, agenda management, team spirit and a can-do attitude. When you take a step back and think about it, sales reps are the very life-blood of the organizations they work for. Companies would not be able to sustain themselves without the sales reps and sales support functions. As we are celebrating International Sales Day at Modis Life Sciences, we interviewed three sales colleagues on their sales careers and background.
Sharon (35 years old)
“I have been a sales representative since august 2011,” says Sharon, a sales representative from our Sales & Marketing department. “Sales for me is about sharing my knowledge, convincing clients, but also independence and autonomy. Manage my portfolio as I want and as if it were my business. The fact that you can be independent,” highlights Sharon. According to her, a sales person is flexible, number-oriented and has the power of persuasion and empathy while maintaining autonomy combined with team spirit.
Ira (38 years old)
“For me, I have been in sales since 2007, almost 13 years now. Wow, reality check! Time flies when you are having fun,” confesses Ira, a sales representative from our Sales & Marketing department. “What I like most about sales is the variety of the job, every day is different, even during the day you need to adapt to different situations, your planning can change every minute, it sure is not a steady routine,” mentions Ira. What qualities make a great sales representative? That’s easy, according to Ira, “It’s being flexible, adaptive to the customer, being a great listener and an expert in body language (aka nonverbal communication). Also, it’s about being able to obtain much information in a short time and the ability to ‘read’ and interpret the market.”
Sophie (36 years old)
“I’ve been a Business Development Manager (BDM) for almost three years now. I started as a consultant at Modis and I received the opportunity to grow and become a BDM, says Sophie. “The most interesting part of my job is the contact I have with the sector, market and clients. I like to stay up to date with the trends in the market, the evolution of the sector on short term and long term and with the clients. A signed contract for example, gives me a huge feeling of satisfaction”, revealed Sophie. “A great BDM should be passionate about his/her expertise sector. For this job, life long learning is really applicable”, laughs Sophie. “You have to be persuasive, social, dedicated and be a real entrepreneur. The client’s issue has to be your priority.”
The three ladies above, have accumulated +25 years of sales experience amongst them. What an opportunity to gather so much sales knowledge in one interview! As we are always eager to focus on successes and achievements, we couldn’t wait to ask questions to our dear colleagues to get to know their routines and to ask advice.
Q: How do you divide your time in a week to the various responsibilities of your job?
Sharon: “In descending order: sales and prospecting in the field, administrative, team meeting.”
Ira : “During the day I focus on my clients, preparing my calls with doctors and checking how my territory is doing. I usually do my admin at the end of the day or at lunch.”
Sophie: “I organize my work based on my priorities. I create time blocks for prospection, administrative tasks, etc next to the client visits and meetings. My calendar is the best tool to achieve my objectives!”
Q: How did you land your most successful sale?
Sharon: “All sales are a success. Sometimes it is the culmination of a long journey. The key is to be yourself and find common ground between what the client wants and my goal and what is achievable. Find solutions, listen to the customer’s needs.”
Ira : “By being prepared for every situation that can happen. If you anticipate on various answers in your mind, you won’t be surprised.”
Sophie: “I kept contact with the client on a regular basis. We negotiated until we found the best solutions together and signed the contract.”
Q: What advice would you have for someone just starting the job as a sales representative/BDM?
Sharon : “Be organized: prepare your days in advance, know your products. Be the master of the discussion: do not let the customer take the lead, it is the sales rep who leads the way. Always have your achievable goal in mind. Be flexible and have a team spirit: exchange as much as possible with colleagues, whether negative or positive. Share. Do not stay alone in your car because the routine sets in very quickly.”
Ira : “Relax…it’s all gonna work out! Give yourself time to get to know your customers and market. Ask a lot of questions to colleagues, you can learn a lot from each other. Have fun at your job… if you are enthusiastic, so will your clients be.”
Sophie: “Never give up! The hard work is always rewarded; but sometimes you have to be patient. Listen to the client and try to find a solution together. Don’t lose yourself in the sales world…”
How did Modis Life Sciences help you to grow in your job as a sales representative/BDM?
Sharon : “By giving me confidence to support myself in any situation. Modis Life Sciences is a company that feels like one big family and that wants to be close and attentive to its employees.”
Ira : “They helped me figure out what I am good at, not everyone likes pharmaceutical sales for example, but the recruitment colleagues listened to me and together we came to a matching opportunity.”
Sophie: “I received the opportunity to follow several trainings like sales trainings, negotiation techniques, mindset and soft skills, etc. I was coached by a colleague BDM when I started and my direct manager supported me to become a senior BDM. Also, my fantastic team helped me to stay focused and motivated when needed. In conclusion, at Modis I received the opportunity to grow in my professional and private life and I appreciate it a lot. Modis rocks!”
Did you know we have a Sales & Marketing department at Modis Life Sciences who specializes in sales and marketing profiles within the pharmaceutical market? We specialize in following profiles: Business Unit Manager; Digital Marketing Expert; District Manager; Hybride Representative; International Sales; Key Accountmanager; Marketeer; Marketing Manager; Medical Representative; Pharmaceutical Representative; Product/Brand Manager; Sales Assistant Pharma; Sales Manager; Sales Trainer/Coach Pharma and Tender specialist.