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Medical device sales: The rocket that crashed into the moon

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 10:11am
Mass Device

Lessons from the front lines of medical device sales from the former vice president of sales at United States Surgical Corp.   

From 1989 to 1997 I had a front row seat on the rocketship called U.S. Surgical Corp.

My ticket for the ride was punched in 1982, when I started as a sales rep at U.S. Surgical. I was fortunate enough to work through the ranks to senior director of sales and later became a VP of sales, responsible for half of the U.S. Over my more than 15 years with the firm, we went from just over $100 million in annual sales to $1.4 billion by 1997, the year before Tyco Healthcare acquired us for $3.3 billion.

In a series of posts in the coming weeks here at MassDevice.com (where I'm a founding investor), I'd like to talk about the medical device company that shaped my professional career. (I'm no longer affiliated with U.S. Surgical or its eventual parent, Covidien. Anything I write about has long since passed.)

In hindsight, the U.S. Surgical story seems to me to be a textbook case study about the strength of innovation and the power of a dynamic and aggressive sales force.

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