Say No to
Strategic Selling

If you’re like me, you believe deeply in the principles of SPIN Selling and Integrity Selling. You may even think it’s heresy to question them. But hear me out and answer me this:

  • Should we teach reps to be strategic medical device marketers?
  • Should we ask them to find customer pain points and create value propositions (or a needs-payoff in SPIN Selling) that solve them?
  • Isn’t that marketing’s job?


SPIN Selling and Integrity Selling caught on by necessity and are staples of medical device marketing organizations. Traditional product marketing models simply provided features, functions, and benefits. Reps had to create their own marketing strategies. The best reps were very good at it, but most reps weren’t. When I worked for Stryker, we were given a week of training and lots of product brochures, and then told to “go hunt.” By the time you figured out the right value proposition for each target and for each product, you were likely about to be fired because you’d missed your quota. Is this really how we want our sales reps to operate?

Stop medical device product marketing
It doesn’t work. Instead, adopt solution marketing, which is very, very strategic. Follow the checklist below to make sure that what you create adds maximum value in the field.

Strategic marketing checklist:

  • Conduct market research to find the unmet needs of each target audience
  • Craft a medical device value proposition contoured to each
  • Map the buying journey
  • Marry sales messages to each target at each stage of the journey
  • Create sales collateral appropriate for each stage

Sales reps are not strategic marketers

I can’t tell you how many frustrated medical device marketers ask us how they can stop reacting to their sales forces and start leading them. Begin by recognizing that sales reps are not marketers. You are. Their job is to execute the marketing strategy. Your job is to give it to them. Don’t abdicate your role as a strategic marketer. Stop training sales reps to be strategic marketers with SPIN and Integrity Selling.

Shifting your model from sales support marketing to strategic marketing can be done. And partnering with VIVO, a medical device marketing agency, can make it simpler. With VIVO helping power your next launch, your sales force will be engaging with more confidence than ever before.

Give VIVO a call and see the difference strategic marketing can make!

Tom Dudnyk
Written by: Tom Dudnyk
August 12, 2019

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