The last few years have been hard on every industry, and even sectors like healthcare have seen their ups and downs. For sales representatives, not every office visit has been as successful or lucrative as it once was. Finding ways to push sales incentives has made a big difference for some pharmaceutical and medical supply companies in keeping employees in the game and boosting revenue. This may become even more pressing as forthcoming federal healthcare guidelines increasingly encroach on corporate budgets, making every dollar and acquisition vital to consumers and vendors alike.

A recent study by PHC Consulting, a leading sales research firm, said that offering incentive compensation has been a big part of getting medical reps to do a better job. Career coach Peggy McKee told the source that teaching personnel how to make the best pitch, create excitement around a product and build a rapport with a client are all part of driving out the competition.

Sales coaching needs to be part of that process, McKee stated in regard to a recent review of medical sales representative salaries for 2012. The MedRep site reported that medical device personnel made the highest incomes overall, combining salary with commission pay. IT and software sales people were next in line, with biotechnology rounding out the top three spots in terms of incomes and incentive compensation.

Preparing for the worst
The techniques used in making these positions more profitable will likely become even more important as 2014 brings a new round of federally mandated healthcare cost changes. As BusinessWeek reported, voluntary benefits will take a significant hit next year as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) causes higher deductions for insurance and medical care across the board. While voluntary benefits sales will likely increase next year thanks to lower prices and more employer-backed incentives for these avenues of coverage, getting offices to pick up new medication lines, purchase different devices or change their current vendor partners may be more difficult.

Professionals may benefit from more coaching and sales incentives to help them get motivated and push even the most difficult pitches. While other industries may be cutting their voluntary employee benefits, medical sales companies may want to consider adding more compensation solutions to ensure retention and revenue remain high even after the ACA goes into effect.