We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Mark Hood, MEd is a Senior Sales Consultant at SPI and manages large life sciences accounts.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly building strategic account management capabilities for selling to independent delivery networks. This new approach is very different from old methods that required reps to detail drugs to physicians in the hope of influencing them to write more scripts.
What is causing this trend?
There are additional stakeholders involved in the treatment decision-making process. IDN stakeholders have many different value drivers for the decisions they make. The new healthcare business model exposes critical competencies associated with account management that is lacking in today’s sales teams. Unfortunately, the talent pool is short on sales professionals that embody the characteristics of a successful account manager. As a result, sales leaders are finding that they must shift their development plans to include account management competencies to be successful in the healthcare market.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Life Sciences companies that align the way they sell to the way their customers buy will be successful, and those that don’t will get beaten in the market. Times are changing fast, and they need to change to keep pace.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
First, accept that this change is happening and that the change will be permanent. Talk to your customers to understand how they are required to buy, who is involved in the decision-making process, and why they prefer one provider over another. Then, align your go-to-market strategy with your customer requirements and preferences, identify the sales organization and roles you need, and define the essential competencies for those positions. Finally, assess your people to determine job fit and skill gaps, and provide ongoing development and coaching to close the gaps.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!