Medical device sales: The rocket that crashed into the moon
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.