July 26, 2016

What To Do When the Game Changes

Have you watched a basketball game lately? The game has certainly changed.  The center position is almost obsolete and players actually run to the corners on fast breaks to take 3’s instead of driving to the hoop.  Teams have had to adapt to this new environment and NBA scouts now must look for a different type of player that they did 10 years ago. The same applies to pharmaceutical sales environments… the game has changed.  Gone are the glory days of unlimited access and social outings.  Today’s reps have to navigate compliance, access, and reimbursement issues that didn’t exist before. Companies need to recruit a different type of talent that will excel in this new environment.

The pharmaceutical sales rep of today must be able to do what has always been asked: develop relationships with doctors and be experts on the product. Now, however, they must also be well versed in patient outcomes, value-based reimbursement, and positively impact the cost of care. Accenture, naming this “The Rebirth of the Pharmaceutical Sales Force,” writes, “Leaders will reinvent their sales teams to be more responsive and relevant to today’s customers and influencers. Customer-centricity will no longer be an optional strategy; it will be mandatory.”  The reps must bring value to the office they are visiting.

Identifying those salespeople who have adapted to the changing environment is becoming more and more difficult. What type of talent will succeed? Individuals with strong B2B sales skills who are able to identify and create new opportunities will outperform their peers. Accenture Strategy writes  “key account managers need to be able to connect conversations across a non-linear, networked sales environment.” Do you have a plan to recruit and assess the talent you need to move the needle forward?

In pharmaceutical sales, like in the NBA, there is not a war for just any talent; there is, however, a war for the best talent. Culture and sales environments are unique to each organization. It’s important to define the profile of the ideal rep and stick to recruiting this profile. Hiring a specialized partner skilled in assessing and recruiting sales talent can help with this. Just like a NBA team will hire a scout to seek out the best talent, a strong partner with expertise in building sales teams can accelerate your success and reduce sales rep turnover. The game has changed and strategic and precise selection of sales reps for your team is more important now than ever before.

Tags: RPO, sports, recruiting, employer brand

Author
Mike Gamble

Mike doesn’t fit the typical “sales guy” mold. At first blush he might be the last person you’d expect but he’s the best person to lead business development. With a background in science, he knows the industry and our clients’ business from the inside. With a quiet demeanor he’s a great listener, capable of really hearing and understanding the problem that needs to be solved. Plus, like his deep-seated passion for his sports teams, Mike has an unyielding loyalty to the relationships he’s built over the years, always staying in touch and connected.

Mike’s extensive staffing background and even his sense of humor help him infuse different ways of looking at situations, welcomed by clients and colleagues looking for a creative, collaborative solution.

Mike has nearly 20 years of experience designing comprehensive talent acquisition solutions for leading healthcare and life science focused organizations. In his role, he is responsible for leading the sales effort across TSP’s full suite of offerings. Prior to TSP, Mike worked for Yoh, a leading staffing and workforce solutions organization where he held various leadership and sales executive positions. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Ursinus College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University.

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