At Ethicon, a Somerville-based manufacturer of surgical technologies, and a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, sales reps manage product portfolios consisting of hundreds of devices. And they need to know them all cold when face-to-face with a busy surgeon. “They practically have to be medical dictionaries,” says Christy Monoian, Ethicon’s field sales learning manager.
Although reps are given plenty of reading material and classroom training on the devices, as well as in human anatomy, “It’s not uncommon to feel stressed and not very confident,” says Executive Sales Rep Fred Argo, who’s been selling in Ethicon’s Arkansas territory for two decades. But, he points out, that was before Ethicon “Axonified” its approach to training.