Sales Force Effectiveness

“Sales Force Effectiveness” is the buzz phrase sprouting from the lips of many pharmaceutical industry senior executives, who have been busy attending a recent series of seminars and useful workshops.

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The Eye for Pharma team staged another excellent seminar in February featuring dynamic speakers and cutting-edge information. Eularis is also conducting workshops teaching the latest techniques, strategies and analysis approaches for RX Sales.

Achieving more with less appears to be the theme for many of the top executives. The success of the IMS consulting business is also testament to of the growing importance of getting the message right for the launch and managing the marketing as the product matures, industry insiders say.

Takeda has long proved it is possible to build a very effective sales force through strategic hiring, innovative training, quality products and building a reputable brand name. The company’s MRs are ranked top in the industry, according to several surveys carried out by medical journals and private research organizations. However, I have discovered that pharmaceutical companies are now striving to market more strategically rather than simply having more MRs.

We were recently asked to search for a brand manager who had excellent presentation skills, good KOL contacts, MR experience and proven product management achievements. We presented a solid candidate but my client’s comment took me by surprise.

“He looks exactly like the marketers we already have,” the client said. “We are looking for someone who is dynamic, strategic, and can shake things up a little.”

Finally, the company hired a recent Duke MBA graduate with no pharmaceutical experience but with 10 years marketing experience at Asahi Breweries.

Today’s companies are seeking to clarify their marketing goals and the mood is clarity, synergy and singleness of purpose.

The industry’s best Marketing minds have shared with me their 12 steps to Marketing Success and here they are:

  1. Embracing passion, enthusiasm and commitment.

  2. Establishing a clear company goal. Often sales, marketing, R&D and the global branch have differences.

  3. Better understand the needs of all stakeholders within the company. To be effective you need to have a “buy in” or commitment from sales, marketing, R&D and global.

  4. Knowing that “Sales Force Effectiveness” is the same all over the world with cultural differences. Understand and adapt.

  5. Build a marketing team able to convey to the sales team a clear strategy: The most effective MRs are masters of mirroring, targeting and building deep relationships. These abilities are important ingredients in building a successful sales team.

  6. Create a performance culture. Provide incentives for MRs and sales teams.

  7. Develop a comprehensive understanding of the needs of physicians and perfect your segmentation and targeting strategies.

  8. Strive for strategic empowerment to tackle limitations in physician/customer base access.

  9. Know the optimal mix of resource allocation needed for your organization.

  10. Adopt better integrated communication channels between marketing and sales teams to achieve greater profitability.

  11. Deliver superior ROI on marketing channels through synergizing business plans with sales force activities.

  12. Partner with key stakeholders building integrated relationships with pharmacists, doctors and local authorities for improved success.

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