We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.

Brad Ansley is SPI’s life sciences practice leader.

What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
In 2018 the shift from volume to value-based healthcare will accelerate and continue to impact both the business and practice models in healthcare. This shift, in turn, drives changes in the expectations that healthcare buyers have of sales representatives.

What is causing this trend?
Of the myriad of regulatory actions taken in the US, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is a key driver in the acceleration from volume to value. MACRA provides “multiple pathways with varying levels of risk and reward for providers to tie more of their payments to value” and reward them for working together to improve care and lower cost. As a result, more physician compensation will be at risk and tied to quality for their Medicare patient population.

What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
With more of the healthcare provider reimbursement tied to the quality of their work and collaborative care, it is easy to see that the winners will be those organizations that can adapt to the new normal. As changes to the business and practice models continue to cascade, they will impact the expectations that their customers have of sales representatives. Successful organizations will be the ones that adapt and align the way they sell to meet these changing expectations. This new normal changes the mix and proficiency level of competencies needed by sellers to succeed. The opportunity here is for sales organizations to adapt to new customer expectations by ramping up the competency proficiency in the areas of consultative dialogues, evidence-based medicine, account management, and business acumen.

In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
To shift from volume to value-based healthcare, start by conducting knowledge and behavior assessments based on strategic sales competencies to understand gaps in proficiency level. Then, enable sales teams to follow a buyer aligned sales process that matches the expectations of the customer. Finally, establish continual learning plans that drive sales representative competency proficiency in those areas needed to align with customer expectations.

Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!


Carrie Brown
Carrie Brown, Marketing & Demand Generation Consultant

Carrie Brown works with SPI as a marketing and demand generation consultant. With experience in copywriting, graphic design, and web development, Carrie uses her skill set to create and implement effective marketing strategies and campaigns for clients.

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