There's no doubt about it: the shift towards having an almost entirely remote sales team in MedTech since the pandemic has remained. But it has been challenging for hiring.
Salespeople and sales leaders now see the benefits of working from home.
But, there is a clear difference between a salesperson who moved to remote-based work due to the pandemic and someone hired afterwards.
Sales teams going remote due to the pandemic already had the relationships, understanding of the business's aims, and expectations of working boundaries, having come from embedded office working environments. So, while many could hit the ground running (once the digital infrastructure was in place) to work remotely relatively efficiently, it also gave Sales leaders a false sense of security when hiring.
Internal Relationships, Communication, and Camaraderie.
These crucial elements are carried through with established sales teams who were more traditionally office-based when they went remote.
But making a new hire into a remote role on occasion has had a different impact.
"I wasn't given the right support or training to succeed" is something I have heard much more from an utterly remote salesperson with little face-to-face time in their first year.
You can't beat face-to-face when building rapport, learning, and having a mission mindset. This rapport only works if you rub shoulders with your teammates, leaders, and trainers. For example, having the confidence on a team's call to raise an issue shortly after starting a role is more difficult for some when they have not built relationships than meeting them face to face.
Every job move for a Sales Professional in MedTech requires new learning in systems, knowledge of products, regulatory boundaries, understanding of the customers and sales cycles, and the right internal and external stakeholders to build relationships. Trying to learn all this remotely can be slower, less interactive, or more creative than someone teaching face-to-face. Problem-solving and an entrepreneurial mindset can also diminish for that person.
Don't get me wrong; I'm pro-remote working and would be a hypocrite to say otherwise. However, a good onboarding process focusing more on initial face-to-face interaction is imperative for building a foundation for success.