SHOWCASE FEATURE: Training: A New Way Forward

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Taren Grom, Editor

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Jay Goldman Senior VP Innovation Klick Health Training in the Moment Reps need to be provided with ongoing, in-the-moment training, served up in small bite-sized snippets. These are then put into practice immediately, shortening the time gap ­between learning and execution and reinforcing lessons and resulting retention. Mobile Technology Sales reps need to be equipped with mobile ­devices, such as smartphones and tablets with apps like iConnect. Activated by the rep’s skill level, ­behavior, and geo-location, training reminders and refreshers can be delivered before stepping into an appointment. These devices can also be used to guide presentation details all while keeping up with regulatory guidelines. Leslie Prives Consultant Ogilvy Healthworld ­Marketing Analytics & ­Consulting, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide A Tech-tonic Shift The rapid and far-reaching emergence of iPads and tablets marks the decade’s most significant sales-technology shift. Initially just a new way to ­communicate marketing-driven content, this trend has evolved to include apps for CRM, sales support, video MSL consultation, and training. New m-learning functionality puts targeted training, sales tools, and info at employees’ fingertips when and where they need it, letting them learn and apply ­knowledge as they go for more relevant training, real-time knowledge transfer, and faster skills/ behavior adoption. Dale Tzeng Associate Director Ogilvy Healthworld ­Marketing Analytics & ­Consulting, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide Message Delivered: Improved Outcomes Improved patient outcomes are the ultimate ­business value driver. Proper training allows the rep to effectively deliver the message to the physician, resulting in better — or more informed — use of the product. Furthermore, the more effectively the rep delivers the message to the physician, the ­better prepared the doctor is to communicate product value to the patient. In doing so, patient compliance increases, improving outcomes and ­resulting in stronger adherence — more ­prescriptions — for the brand. Gary O’Grady General Manager Pharmaceutical Institute A Culture for Excellence Performance excellence, ­leadership, innovation, and ­career development cannot be reached without the presence of an aligned workplace culture. Many companies aspire to a culture of excellence, leadership, and ­innovation, but few are willing to make the lasting investments and undergo the changes necessary to achieve cultural alignment. Senior leadership must commit to championing these goals openly, investing training resources toward their ­achievement, and aligning the organizational ­reward system to reinforce them. Preparing for the Best Outcomes To engage providers in the increasingly cost- conscious, outcomes-driven environment ushered in by the ACA, customer-facing teams must be able to discuss appropriate ­product use in the context of both the patient’s care ­continuum and the provider’s evidence-based treatment protocol. ­Effective training will prepare customer-facing roles for the changing nature of the rep-provider ­dialogue and equip them with knowledge of the factors that drive providers’ decisions, such as ­appropriate use, protocols, and provider ­economics. Robert Waite, M.Ed. Training & Development ­Practice TGaS Advisors Mapping Key to Success The key to performance ­excellence is to ensure a well-defined training ­continuum that maps out ­employees’ training and performance expectations throughout the ­different phases of their tenure. The plan needs to have a strong focus on both ­formal and informal learning events, including on-the-job and ­application-based training ­activities support by on-going coaching and ­mentoring. Living in the Real-World We’ve found that the greatest impact on ­performance and behavior change occurs during informal training activities that allow learners to practice, apply, and evaluate their ability to apply knowledge in real-world situations. As a result, many traditional learning structures are being ­reanalyzed and redesigned to accommodate a much broader array of application-based learning, including real-life simulation, verbalization, and ­on-the-job pull-through activities. These activities are likely to have the greatest impact on ­performance, which ultimately has a positive ­impact on patient outcomes. There is a growing movement to more closely align a company’s training initiatives with business goals. Aligning learning goals and outcomes with business performance is changing the way in which high-performing organizations are approaching learning. Furthermore, they are tying that measurement to overall business performance measures. A study by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) found that a strong correlation exists between goal alignment and market performance, as well as a strong correlation between alignment and a learning function that is effective at meeting its own goals and the organization’s goals. ASTD estimates that U.S. organizations spent about $156.2 billion on employee learning in 2011. Of this total direct learning expenditure, 56% ($87.5 billion) was spent internally. The remainder was split between tuition reimbursement, which accounted for 14% ($21.9 billion), and external services comprising 30% ($46.9 billion). According to Doug Harward, CEO and founder of Training Industry Inc., which hosts, a website dedicated to identifying the latest news, articles, case studies, and best practices within the training industry, training represents about 0.5% to 1% of gross revenue for most global 2000 companies. But the reality is that this small investment of dollars can actually impact as much as 40% of operating expenses, which includes salary and compensation dollars, in other words people. “This small investment has the opportunity to have a very large impact to a large number of people,” he says. “The question is are companies spending their money wisely? Are they doing the right type of programs to get the maximum impact? The answer is not always.” Mr. Harward says quite often companies provide training on the wrong content. For example, companies often train on content that has no direct impact on or no direct correlation to the objectives of the business. “These are educational programs; they may be fun and nice to do, but they don’t really have anything to do with the core mission of the business,” he explains. “The focus of a company’s expenditure should be on those programs that we call mission critical training. These are programs that have a direct alignment or strategic alignment to the core mission of the business. This where companies get the greatest impact from their training resources.” Best Practices According to Tris Brown, president and CEO of LSA Global, the best companies realize that only through effectively and continuously developing and training their employees can they acquire the core competencies needed for competitive advantage and flexibility. In addition, these companies are realizing the benefits of self-development by encouraging a work habit of reflection and learning. In these companies, learning is built around action rather than theory. Instead of learning about strategic planning or marketing, participants develop a strategic plan or a marketing proposal for their own department. Stacey Bendele, associate director, training and development at ReSearch Pharmaceuticals Services (RPS), says training not only educates, but also confirms and refines existing knowledge, which can build and enhance confidence. “When employees are confident with their skill set, they can excel at their jobs and aspire for leadership and make innovative contributions to their teams,” she says. “Training fosters career development by providing ongoing opportunities for employees to expand their knowledge, exposure, and experiences, which generate the confidence to seek opportunities and ultimately achieve their professional potential.” In a six-year study conducted by Training Industry among 1,200 companies, the No. 1 area of focus for great training organizations is on strategic alignment. “This means they are designing and developing learning interventions that are strategically aligned to the core mission of the business,” Mr. Harward says. “There is a major shift in corporations to move to what we call business-centric training from learner-centric training. This means focusing on what the business needs. Once it’s understood what the business needs are then it’s possible to create the interventions and programs where the learner becomes the benefactor of the effort instead of the primary focus.” Mr. Harward says this is a philosophical shift away from everything being about meeting the needs of the student to meeting the needs of the business. As part of the survey, Mr. Harward says he and his company identified 47 best practices organized around eight capability areas: strategic alignment; content development; delivery; diagnostics; reporting and analysis; adminstration services; technology integration; and portfolio management. Mr. Harward says to adapt to the new training ecosystem identified by these criteria, the No. 1 thing training leaders need to do is create better relationships at the senior levels of their organization. “They can’t go off into their own world and just do their own thing and measure themselves based by how many students have attended their programs and then send reports back up the ladder and use this as rationalization or justification for success,” he says. “They have to focus on the relationships at the top of the business so that they can start learning what the real business objectives are and bringing those insights back to their programs.” Training leaders also have to learn how to speak the language of business leaders. “Too often, we see learning leaders trying to speak the language of academia to business leaders and this doesn’t sync with them,” Mr. Harward explains. “Training leaders need to speak their customer’s language, which includes understanding what the business requirements are, what the business needs, what the return on investment is, and so on.” Mr. Harward also suggests that training leaders learn to create what he calls short, mission critical training programs. “They need to use subject matter experts to create programs that have a very short shelf life,” he says. “They need to create programs that do not have to be made into courses and make these available to the audience through easy-to-access learning portals. Learning leaders need to recognize that learners want access to information in real time. They don’t want to have to wait two months for a course to get what they need. The greatest disruptive technology to the training profession has been the search engine. Now, learners can search for content to solve their problem.” Ms. Bendele says virtual learning environments are critical to the upcoming generations of learners and the need for economic efficiencies. “Face-to-face classroom environments are no longer consistently feasible,” she says. “There is not only one learning solution, and luckily blended approaches have many options. The capability of joining a virtual learning environment from a Smartphone is great progress if we look back a decade. A New Way Forward by Taren Grom “The greatest disruptive technology to the training profession has been the search engine.” Training Value Sales representatives are the face of a company and a key channel from which important product and corporate information is relayed to customers. The training of reps is critical to ensuring they have broad clinical knowledge and credibility. And it’s a two-way street — the more informed reps are the more likely they are to have productive conversations that glean customer insights and impact the bottom line. 2012 SPBT Industry Landscape Study The 2012 SPBT Industry Landscape Study ­surveyed 43 different pharmaceutical, biotech, device, and diagnostic companies, representing 42,000+ sales people and 180+ salesforces. » On average newly hired sales reps receive about 30 days of clinical training, broken down as follows: u For primary care physicians: 33.1 u For hospital physicians: 29.4 u For oncology physicians: 30.4 u For specialty physicians: 29.6 u For medical device physicians: 26.4 u For diagnostic physicians: 28.6 » 94% of companies offer sales reps compliance training u About 9 hours of new rep training is dedicated to compliance. » 94% of companies offer sales reps disease state knowledge training { For more information or to purchase the study contact Miki St. Clair at

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