How do you make sure your sales force achieves its financial and strategic objecties in highly competitive markets?
World-class competitors lead with initiative vs. responding to the initiative of others. They don’t wait for the nurse or physician to complain about a prior authorization not going through. Instead, they proactively check to make sure that everything is running smoothly for their brand in every corner of the practice. Like Nike, they “Just do it.” In contrast, middle performers are much more passive and wait for the nurse or reimbursement manager to complain before they act. Competitive salespeople leave nothing to chance and make sure that everything is flowing smoothly for the physician, the patient, and the practice.
Competitive superstars strike the right balance between internal vs. external focus: They see things clearly and objectively. They are authentic, clinically credible, perceptive, and empathetic. They know how the physician and staff as a system-of-care see things, what they are doing now, and why they do it that way. They start each conversation with the HCP’s point of view. But then they pivot to what they want to say and do and compliantly connect the dots between what is important to the customer and what the product will deliver. Once they’ve achieved their goal, they pivot back to the customer, ending the conversation with what’s important to the HCP.
Competitive powerhouses are careful to avoid generalizing from practice to practice. They never go on autopilot and refuse to make assumptions. Instead, they ask productive questions to find out specifically what’s going on with all the key stakeholders in each office, and consistently verify assumptions. Because of this tendency to ask questions and pressure test assumptions, these salespeople learn a lot faster than their middle performing counterparts. They make better decisions, and are more effective when delivering messages and supporting their accounts because they know what’s really controlling product utilization in that office.
“Just as a top performing quarterback has
‘field awareness,’ great competitors have
account and market awareness.”
Competitive rock stars see through the veneer of messages and relationships and deep into the practical details of the office as a system-of-care and all the factors that control product utilization in that account. They work collaboratively with each key stakeholder who touches the patient in order to simplify and improve the total treatment experience for their brand. These are the blocking and tackling of sales force effectiveness. We win by inches, not yards. Top performers make sure everything is working in every corner of the practice for their brand. Their attention to detail is sublime. And the offices they call upon simply love it!
Clinical and practice empathy, perceptiveness, and deep listening are at the heart of competitive excellence. Just as a top performing quarterback has “field awareness,” great competitors have account and market awareness. They consistently ask strategic questions and listen deeply; they are more up to date and in sync with their customers. At all three levels: The market level, the practice level, and at the individual healthcare provider level. This lets them focus and concentrate their actions in much more productive ways. They also are authentic and genuine people. They care deeply about the success of the patient, the physician, and the practice. By being a practice partner, they consistently take action to know what’s important today and tomorrow. As a result they have a much bigger footprint in the practice, interact with more people, and get more face-to-face time on average.
Great competitors know how to compliantly showcase their products’ strengths in a way that creates meaningful differentiation. They are skilled communicators and know how to compliantly shape the context through which the physician and other stakeholders view the treatment decision in order to elevate their brand. They understand how to change perceptions, transform the physician’s treatment paradigm, and achieve meaningful differentiation using PRC-approved materials and messaging, as well as both branded and non-branded materials.
To learn more about how your sales force can simplify competitive selling, contact us at 215-579-0540. You can also download our important whitepaper summarizing Quantum’s research-based approach to selling biopharmaceutical in highly competitive markets.