Simulations for Selling Success: One Medical Supplies Manufacturer Trains Its Salespeople to Practice What They Preach

Article excerpt

The following story was told by Kevin Glover, vice president of corporate communications, clinical education, and training at B. Braun Medical Inc.; and Connie Murray, director of clinical education and training at B. Braun.

CLIENT>>

B. Braun Medical Inc., a manufacturer of infusion therapy and pain management products

PROBLEM>>

By the end of 2007, the sales of one of B. Braun's flagship products, the Introcan Safety IV catheter, had slowed to 1.5 percent despite a concerted investment of staff and company resources. Additionally, customer trial-to-conversions came in at 25 percent, with retention rates measured at only 40 percent six months post-conversion.

DIAGNOSIS>>

The sales representatives didn't feel that they had the clinical expertise necessary to establish credibility with their customers or correctly set expectations for use of the IV catheter. A learning-style survey showed that the salesforce collectively held a variety of learning styles, which led B. Braun to create a new blended training program.

METHODS>>

B. Braun designed the program to include product training via learning modules, peer coaching, and a teach-back component, followed by hands-on didactic training during live classroom sessions. Then, in September 2010, B. Braun launched a two-day simulation training program. The goal was for reps to repetitively practice placing the IV catheter through scenario-based simulation training so they could understand what clinicians experienced when they used the product.

The simulations component is designed as follows:

Day One: Participants take a pre-test to determine their current knowledge of venipuncture. …