How Pharmaceutical Sales Organizations Can Jumpstart Performance

October 2017 | By Danielle Hochstein, Ph.D.

how-pharmaceutical-sales-organizations-can-jumpstart-performance.jpgEstablishing high-performing pharmaceutical sales organizations takes time.

But, there are several things you can do today to ensure change does happen reliably and sustainably. It all starts with an open mind towards new ideas and the willingness to consistently apply best practices across your pharmaceutical sales organization.

Priorities for Sales Performance Optimization

One key to jumpstarting pharmaceutical sales performance is to focus on a small set of clearly articulated, strategically important priorities. Focusing on too many priorities at once often translates to not being focused at all.

Once your strategic priorities are established, there are three factors that high-performing organizations focus on for sustained pharmaceutical sales success:

  1. Frequently communicating priorities
  2. Aligning leadership around priorities
  3. Demonstrating discipline and constancy of purpose

Data-Related Sales Focus

Not all Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are created equal. That’s why high-performing pharmaceutical sales organizations follow some core best practices about the use of KPIs to ensure maximum performance benefits. As you read through the list below, ask yourself to what extent your organization applies these practices:

  • Focus on the KPIs that have the biggest impact on performance
  • Put equal focus on leading indicators (sales-related behaviors) and lagging indicators (outcomes)
  • KPI progress discussions are geared towards taking meaningful action to close gaps

Coaching Sales Managers & Sales Reps

Performance coaching is a critical responsibility for pharmaceutical sales leaders and managers. To maximize sales coaching impact, high-performing sales organizations ensure the following best practices:

  • One primary coaching model is used. Sales leaders must demonstrate effective balance and use of positive and constructive feedback with their employees.
  • Core sales behaviors are observed regularly and meaningful feedback is provided.
  • There is a robust top-down and upward feedback chain in place for both sales team member performance and leadership practices.

Eliminate Performance Barriers

Some pharmaceutical sales performance barriers are internal; some are external. Some are in your control, others are not. High-performing sales organizations try to detect potential barriers to performance early, and take swift action to mitigate the situation. For example, an employee that discusses a potential barrier with management should not be punished for bringing it up. In fact, he or she should be encouraged to speak openly and honestly.

How does your pharmaceutical sales organization measure-up? Take the DCOM® Mini-Assessment to discover your biggest areas of opportunity to becoming a high-performing sales organization.

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Topics: Operational Excellence, Pharmaceutical Sales