Why do you keep spending money on sales training? Every year you invest in programs to improve your reps’ skills but over and over again you see diminished returns. Will you be budgeting the same amount of dollars as you did last year?
The annual planning process is the time of year when pharmaceutical sales executives are asked to justify the cost of their sales force. In light of lost revenue with products going off patent, changes in formulary coverage, and evolving decision makers, sales executives are tasked with difficult decisions.
For most pharmaceutical companies the sales force is still their most expensive promotional resource. I have to agree with IMS when they stated that “Although the majority of senior executives recognise the need to change their commercial models, many are struggling with how to do so”.
Yes, you read it correctly, 85% – as Dave Stein highlighted in his recent post – Promoting Your Best Salesrep to Manager? Not So Fast…
I have said it often enough, but it worth repeating – the single most common mistake that organizations make is promoting their number one salesperson into the role of sales manager, thereby depriving themselves in a single stroke of their best producer and hamstringing their sales force with an ineffective manager.
The skills required for managing, mentoring and developing a sales team are totally different from those required for selling.
Paul Smith is the Sales Director of a leading pharmaceutical company. He has been in the industry for the last 10 years and has been a star in his various sales and marketing roles. His recent promotion, finds him managing managers. His leadership style has always been one of pace setting and leading by example. Having just gone through a sales force downsizing Paul has adopted an inspirational leadership style.
What if a call center worked just as well as hundreds of sales reps on the street? That’s the question raised by BNet Pharma after AstraZeneca disbanded almost all of its in-person sales force for the stomach drug Nexium and replaced it with telephone support.
Let’s face it. Hiring a new sales rep is less than a perfect art or science. And many sales people simply don’t work out or perform as expected. This is largely due to the fact that many sales managers make a variety of mistakes when hiring sales reps. Here are 15 of the most common mistakes sales managers make when hiring new sales reps.
As you begin a new year many of you have made decisions to reduce the number of sales reps and employees in your respective organizations. Congratulations, you have cut out some of the fat from your organization. The bean counters and stock markets should probably be happy with you.
The past year was very challenging for many sales managers and we need to look ahead. Have you increased your sales targets? How will you ensure that your team delivers the goods?
A few years back, in a piece in the Harvard Business Review, it was stated that an 8% improvement in the productivity of your existing sales team will result in the same sales growth as if you were to add 27% more reps. I am sure the numbers may have changed in the three years since it was published, the underlying reality has not. In fact what has changed is the ability of organizations and managers to add headcount, in the post-Lehman Brothers-era, cost restraint is the overriding mantra. So with the added stress and demands on the average sales rep and team, the question becomes how to achieve this productivity without distracting the team or breaking the camel’s back.