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Turning 33000 Employees Into an Agile Pharma Start Up

An agile sales process is necessary for companies entering a rapidly changing industry such as healthcare. Digital is changing almost every aspect of healthcare including pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution. A recent Business of Healthcare interview explored the impact of digital transformation on product development and commercialization.

“I think a lot of pharmaceutical companies should be watching out for digital therapeutics,” says Daniel J. Gandor, Director of Digital Innovation for Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. Gandor leads digital innovation for Takeda. Takeda has been aggressive in adapting its culture to change.

“Our CEO wants us to act like a 33,000-person startup and sometimes the best way to learn is to work with people who are start-ups. By doing that it has helped imbue a sentiment of agility and experimentation and willingness to try that I think has really grown and flourished over the last several years,” says Gandor

Brad Ansley, Director of SPI Health, points to digital trends like these that are dramatically changing how pharma sales works. “One of the challenges we see is being able to assimilate all that information and be able to put it into a dialogue that helps solve a critical business issues as opposed to sell the product.” SPI Health is Sales Performance International’s dedicated life sciences practice.

“I think the challenge is the ‘That’s how we’ve always done it’ syndrome,” adds Ansley. “Getting the commercial side of the sales team to actually change behavior is a tough thing.” SPI Health helps some of the world’s leading life sciences companies overcome the change, challenge, and disruption that’s going on in the marketplace today by creating a flexible, scalable, adaptable sales process centered on creating genuine value propositions.

As new capabilities become available, suppliers must change their approach to sales to build an agile sales process. Ansley says, “Trying to adjust to the changes in expectations of the healthcare marketplace requires new competencies and proficiency levels of each sales competency. We end up with a skyline competency model we use to measure and close those competency and proficiency gaps.” Few industries have changed so rapidly as healthcare has. With large companies attempting to adapt to this swiftly moving change, their sales process must focus more closely on adaptability and agility to overcome new challenges. An agile sales process creates an agile start-up or moves an established company in a more agile direction. Embracing change drives progress and adapting to that change requires agility, no matter the company’s size.

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