Medical Branding & Marketing Blog

Lessons from Medical Device Panel on Effective Marketing-Sales Training Partnerships 0

Posted in the Category 'Medical Device Marketing'

Ashley Libby
Brand & Marketing Strategist | Principal & Founder, The Anca Group


I was invited to join a speaker panel at the inaugural MEDICAL DEVICE & DIAGNOSTICS TRAINERS SUMMIT 2012 in Princeton, NJ this week. The meeting, an event of THE SOCIETY OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOTECH TRAINERS (SPBT), was a forum for sales trainers, learning and development professionals, and product managers to learn and discuss effective methods of developing medical device and diagnostics sales reps.

Having spent years in marketing with medical device companies like DePuy Orthopaedics, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy, MicroAire Surgical Instruments, and Spine Wave and organizing, developing, conducting and working with sales training, I was asked to add my perspective to the panel discussion entitled “In It Together: Strategies for a Successful Training-Marketing Partnership.”

Together with sales training and marketing professionals from BioVentus, B. Braun Medical, St. Jude Medical, and TGaS Advisors, we tackled the issues such as organizational charts and where sales training reports, the physical proximity and working relationships of sales training and marketing, and how sales training can demonstrate its value to marketing.

The conversation was more charged than expected, fueled by questions and comments from the audience and perhaps a result of the frustrations that can arise from working in corporate environments. It seems there is disconnect and discord between marketing, sales, and sales training all too often in organizations.

Here, in my own words, are several of the key takeaways from our panel discussion and audience participation: 

+ Sales training and marketing need to spend more time working together directly, through face-to-face interactions.

+ Regardless of where sales training reports in the organization, marketing, sales, and sales training must find common goals, develop a structured plan to achieve those goals, identify responsibilities of each party, and work together to achieve their goals.

+ Task forces comprised of sales, sales training, and marketing can be a particularly effective way to develop effective, productive working relationships if the groups need to come together better – in general or for a particular assignment or goal.

+ Sales training can not only get its seat at the table with sales and marketing, but also add tremendous value and get its share of the conversation and recognition, by spending time in the field with customers to learn how sales representatives can be more effective in the field.

What is your experience with the sales training-marketing relationship? What have you found to be effective approaches to developing a successful partnership? 



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