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Amid the debate over rep counts, specialty focus, and adoption of new technologies, the salesforce’s central mission remains constant: to achieve a meaningful face-to-face engagement with prescribing physicians. “By continuing to focus on understanding our customers’ needs and objectives and adapting to a changing landscape, we create strong partnerships that ultimately better serve the patient.” Carolyn Gretton Developing an Effective Hospital Salesforce The U.S. hospital marketplace is made up of multiple market segments that each has its own organizational and decision-making structure for formulary decisions. Indeed, hospital formulary decisions are not only influenced by medical professionals focused on efficacy and safety, but by administrative personnel focused on operational efficiency and cost. To successfully serve the U.S. hospital marketplace, pharmaceutical salesforces have to understand the nuances inherent in each hospital type to navigate the path to successful formulary placement. Findings from the Best Practices study, Sales Force Effectiveness: Uncovering How Pharmaceutical Companies Serve the U.S. Hospital Marketplace, reaffirm that pharmaceutical salesforces cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to serving the U.S. hospital marketplace. For instance, within the community hospital segment, the traditional sales rep model remains preferred, whereas within the network segments (i.e., integrated delivery networks) and VA hospitals, the account executive model is used most often. For more information, visit best-in-class.com. Source: Cutting Edge Information, Health Outcomes Liaisons: Managing a Field-Based Team that Speaks the Payer’ Language. For more information, visit cuttingedgeinfo.com. “Companies will always need reps with clinical expertise and acumen, but it is just as important for today’s rep to understand the business of healthcare.” Percentage of Companies Whose HOLs and MSLs Call on the Same Clients Experts Kim Catania-Mishuck. Senior Director, Commercial Training, Acorda Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing therapies that restore function and improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions. For more information, visit acorda.com. Ellie Eckhoff. Senior Director, Sales Training and Development, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company dedicated to discovering, developing, and commercializing therapeutic products that advance the science of medicine in the central nervous system and respiratory disease areas. For more information, visit sunovion.com. Brian Groves. Deputy Director, Sales Training & Development, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., the U.S.-based specialty pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Germany’s Bayer AG. For more information, visit pharma.bayer.com. Michelle Lynch. Senior Director, Sales Learning & Development, Janssen Biotech Inc., one of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. For more information, visit janssenbiotech.com. Catherine Tak Piech. VP, Health Economics & Outcomes Research, Janssen Scientific Affairs LLC, one of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies committed to delivering medically sound and accurate medical information that achieves the goal of improved outcomes for patients and their families and caregivers. For more information, visit janssenmedicalinformation.com. Matthew Rowland. Director, Customer Relationship Management, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson that provides medicines for health concerns in a wide range of therapeutic areas. For more information, visit janssenpharmaceuticalsinc.com. Tim Ryan. Executive Director, Prescription Medicine Training and Development, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corp. and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies headquartered in Germany. For more information, visit us.boehringer-ingelheim.com. Developing Strong Health Outcomes Liaisons Teams With health outcomes liaisons (HOLs) in high demand, life-sciences companies must offer a competitive salary package and a career map to attract and retain effective HOLs, according to recent research from Cutting Edge Information. The study, Health Outcomes Liaisons: Managing a Field-Based Team that Speaks the Payer’s Language, shows the financial benefit of increased experience. While salary increases at some companies are gradual, at one company, an entry-level HOL can start at $85,000 and progress to almost $200,000 after five years. HOL staffing poses a special challenge because although the position is in high demand, it also calls for individuals with difficult-to-find assets: knowledge in health economics, experience in clinical research operations, strong interpersonal and presentation skills, and a willingness to travel regularly. Without a competitive salary package, companies will find it difficult to fill HOL positions, the study cautions. Beyond salary packages, Cutting Edge Information says companies must also develop pathways for professional advancement to keep liaisons engaged in their work. Given that HOLs are a relatively new function — the average age of HOL groups in the study was only five years — career mapping is a step that only a few companies have fully developed. Without tracks for HOLs to follow as they gain experience and expertise, they may become restless and begin looking elsewhere for responsibility. For more information, visit cuttingedgeinfo.com. Q: Which hospital market segments does your hospital sales group service? Source: Best Practices, Sales Force Effectiveness: Uncovering How Pharmaceutical Companies Serve the U.S. Hospital Marketplace. For more information, visit best-in-class.com. VIEWPOINTS Philip McCrea CEO Clearpoint Learning Objectives: Priority One With the surge in digital health education programs delivered both internally and externally, pharmaceutical companies have a great opportunity to drive changes in attitude, behavior, and skills in real time. However, without clearly defined learning objectives and an understanding of the environment in which the programs will be consumed, too many well-intentioned investments fail to deliver tangible results. Analytics driven by surveys, assessments, and educational games are critical to long-term success as they allow modifications and enhancements throughout the life cycle of a program. Michelle O’Connor President and CEO CMR Institute Knowledge is Power Expanding representatives’ knowledge base is absolutely essential to adding value to the rep/physician relationship. Representatives who understand the complex issues affecting healthcare and the way physicians practice bring more value and credibility to the relationship. Take, for example, treatment pathways. Since a growing number of physicians are relying on these pathways to guide their decisions, representatives who understand how these pathways are influencing their customers will be better able to position their products appropriately in discussions with clinicians. Outcomes Expectations The challenge for companies is knowing how to ensure that representatives will relate patient outcomes information in an appropriate, compliant, and ethical way. And this is where training and simulations become so important. One strategy might center on enhancing the representatives’ ability to use clinical reprints that demonstrate cost-effectiveness. Another approach is to expand training in evidence-based medicine and planning evidence-based sales calls. So while representatives should have a thorough understanding of outcomes measurements, they must also know their limitations. Ellen Leinfuss Senior VP, Life Science EduNeering, a UL Company Reach and Timeliness Adding a Web-based technology to a healthcare practitioner (HCP) program improves reach and timeliness by delivering a continuing learning process tailored to an individual’s role or knowledge level, rather than a one-and-done class. Additionally, Web-based HCP educational programs deliver a better consultative experience, demonstrated in improved KPIs. Relevant and timely educational content is pushed to HCPs based on demographics and other prescribing data. Valuable HCP feedback is collected, analyzed, and shared with sales reps. Fred Marshall CEO and Founder Quantum Learning Practical Practice Solutions A physician’s practice is really a system of diagnosis, prior authorization, and treatment and the way to become a value-added partner is to provide practical resources that help that system work better for your product. Most brand teams focus their reach and frequency efforts on the treatment decision. Instead they should focus on the end-to-end treatment process by providing stakeholder-specific tools that reduce or eliminate barriers to the appropriate use of your products. iRevolution The new iPad could play a revolutionary role, but most companies will simply push the same old difficult-to-use territory reports and the same boring voice-over-text learning modules through the iPad with little or no improvement in outcome. The best companies are increasing their training and IT budgets to fully leverage the powerful iPad interface and use new tools such as iBooks to dramatically improve learning, action planning, and face-to-face impact. Celeste Mosby Regional VP, Life Sciences Wilson Learning Corp. Real-Time Feedback Physicians’ needs when caring for patients can be very different, so representatives who want to build deeper face-to-face and virtual value-based relationships need to understand the importance of giving real-time guidance that can be immediately applied to increase patient outcomes. Because of the increased use of social media, patients are now becoming more informed about their healthcare so representatives can differentiate themselves by providing physicians with a valuable stream of continual information and tools that support the demanding and fast-changing healthcare environment. This information must be of a product- and non-product-specific nature and should be customized to the needs of a physician’s patient population. Representatives who leverage and communicate with physicians by developing a strategic partner approach will add value to every customer interaction, while fostering continual brand growth.