91% of dental company top executives have told me that they feel they are both overspending on salary (reps and management) and that sales (organic growth) should be better. They feel a bit “trapped” and “frustrated” as to how to make progress in “fixing” these challenges.
I’ve spent a great deal of time in the last few years closely studying how “things are done” in regards to how dental manufacturers in particular are “layered” corporately and how they hire, train, sell, and market to achieve the growth they need and desire.
Here are my top 12 conclusions:
- There is a high % of employee turnover occurring (inside/outside reps and management). And..related, there is a great deal of “recycling” of people within the industry.
- The philosophy and process in which companies hire (especially sales reps) are very similar.
- Most of the (content) of the training and orientation of new salespeople from company to company is “product/company/competition heavy” and is missing key components. The sales concepts initially taught are based on “outdated” principles. Role playing exercises are unrealistic and impractical out in the field. Then, very little additional training is offered. There is much emphasis on “managing” and “documenting” and yet sales are not meeting projections.
- Most companies are not getting what they expect/want out of their marketing/advertising efforts. And, In most cases, the marketing and sales divisions of companies are not in synch, and don’t communicate with one another regularly.
- Most companies don’t have a powerful social media presence, and “discourage” (or even prohibit) reps from networking online and using those platforms to gain new business.
- Inside reps are being asked to only focus on quantity of calls rather than quality.
- There are many people reporting to multiple people (too many layers). The communication between layers is becoming increasingly difficult to control, manage, and be efficient. In fact, instead of it resulting in organization and empowerment, it is becoming frustrating and disempowering for many company employees when documenting and conversing with their superiors.
- Trade show sales has decreased significantly, but few changes have been made to adjust to the new “buying environment”
- CEO’s are “putting out fires” and “babysitting” rather than focusing on positive ways to expand, build, and grow the company
- The trends and "demographics" of dentistry, especially who is now graduating from schools and "how" they will practice, will have a great impact on the sales and business strategy that manufacturers and dealers will have, and yet little has been done to adjust and adapt to what will be occurring in the next 3-5 years.
- Consolidation of companies, through Mergers & Acquisitions, is occurring at a high rate, and is, in fact, necessary. Should you be acquiring 1-2 companies, or can you truly adjust your strategy and structure to be able to grow organically? Most companies should be doing BOTH!
- The DSO/group practice movement will have the LARGEST impact on whether manufacturers (both direct and through distribution) and dealers will continue to thrive. Many companies still don't have a dedicated SPECIAL MARKETS person or department. Even those that do, where did they come from? How does this affect the rest of your sales team structure and budgeting, marketing plans, etc.?
Yet…we continue to “fill the openings” and keep titles, territories, structure, and training the same and hope the “next wave” will “get it”! We are paying managers, directors, recruiters, KOL’s, and ‘guest speakers’ way too much and getting way too little in return. Agree?
Are YOU open to start thinking “outside the box”?
you could create a new structure and strategic plan as per below that allowed your company to truly grow at a rate much higher than the industry norm?
- Saved you tens or HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars annually while streamlining/simplifying your layers of employees
- Stayed AHEAD of the trends/demographics
- "Re-defined" your marketing efforts from A-Z (content, messaging, social media presence) and adjusted your trade show spending and strategy appropriately
- Put your company at a competitive advantage, and properly “positioned,” within the “new” dental industry, including getting business within the emerging DSO's/groups.
- Have a proactive acquisition strategy -- Determine who to target and how to approach them.
"How to (REALLY) Grow Your Dental Company in 2016 and Beyond”: It’s time to “ADJUST & ADAPT!”
GO TO THE PAGE ON THIS WEBSITE CALLED: eWorkbook: Dental Company Growth