Medtronic Inside Sales teams herald a new era in medical sales supported by SPIN Selling

Written by Huthwaite International


Build customer confidence in the Remote Sales team for the future provision of high level remote support to healthcare providers.


Adapt the SPIN methodology, used by sales teams who meet face to face with their clients, for use on the telephone.


Customer confidence in Medtronic reached through trust that the Inside Sales team were able to build by thoroughly exploring and responding to client needs.

Medtronic is keen to address the changing needs of the healthcare sector by providing faster and easier access to medical supplies. In response to this, they launched Remote Sales – an Inside Sales organisation providing sales support by telephone to healthcare providers.

Despite advancements in communication technology that have allowed the sales process in other sectors to become more efficient and convenient, supporting medical organisations has continued with the traditional face to face sales environment. Though more and more, clients want to interact on their own terms, the high level of customer confidence required to provide this service in the healthcare sector has delayed its introduction.

"A new team, new clients and a new sales channel has proved a challenge. Huthwaite has supported us with their extensive experience of inside sales models within organisations to successfully adapt to the new markets and win acceptance from our clients and colleagues."

Mabel Mené Castellón, Sales Manager, Remote Sales, Cardiac & Vascular Group

Creating this customer confidence through an Inside Sales team that were also confident in the value they could offer, was the key to the success of Remote Sales. Introducing a new sales methodology is more serious and demanding in a sector where sales errors can potentially put lives at risk. Because Medtronic was successfully using SPIN Selling to help the sales teams who meet face to face with their clients build value for the products and services, they wanted to use the same methodology within Remote Sales.

Using SPIN Selling, the Remote Sales team are able to uncover client needs, create meaningful sales conversations and develop a complete understanding of their client’s situation. This allows the team to propose best fit solutions, build client confidence at every step of the sales process and ultimately increase patient satisfaction.

The Huthwaite SPIN Selling methodology for Inside Sales is built on Huthwaite’s rigorous behavioural research into what the worlds very best salespeople do differently. The full learning journey that was implemented at Medtronic, ensures the sustainable delivery of behaviour change through the following stages:

  • acquire knowledge – online learning– to be completed before the classroom workshop

  • practise skills – classroom workshop

  • workplace transfer – applying the principles and skills to actual sales opportunities

  • coaching support – managers who have attended related workshops gain the knowledge and skills to coach effectively, together with Huthwaite experts.

Key outcomes

  • Sales skill improvements made straight away, so pipelines are built up earlier, resulting in overall improved sales figures

  • a common sales methodology improved sales teamwork overall, particularly team motivation and confidence levels

  • knowledge and skill competence levels can be benchmarked allowing individual feedback for each team member

  • diagnosing performance issues to identify skills gaps so that the most appropriate training and coaching is provided which speeds up sales behaviour change and improves sales results

  • an independent and unbiased opinion from a professional Huthwaite consultant and sales coach offers an objective view, with the added advantage of knowing the Medtronic business and industry in depth.

"It’s fantastic to see how the SPIN methodology helps to quickly develop a close relationship with the clients. The Sales Executives, using these techniques can rapidly integrate Remote Sales into the client’s purchasing organisation."

Antonio Torrejón, Sales Manager IBERIA, Remote Sales, RMS

"SPIN helps us better understand the client’s needs and know how to resolve their problems, especially with clients where we don’t have a close relationship, so that we can influence their real needs."

Sales Executive, Remote Sales, Medtronic Spain

Medtronic and Huthwaite International

Medtronic has worked alongside Huthwaite for several years, embedding SPIN Selling skills as the shared high-performance standards for sales and services in Europe. In a very competitive and price focused market, investment in a core sales training methodology has been key to their business growth, together with shorter sales cycles, delighted customers and a positive, focused and motivated sales team.

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