Sales & Marketing

Does Your Pharma Sales Model Need a Booster Shot?

The pharmaceutical marketplace is evolving in fundamental ways – perhaps at a pace more rapid than any other B2B industry. In our work with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, we’re seeing the transformation first hand.

What’s changing? Business models, decision-makers, reimbursement models, access to information, buyer profiles… the list is long. So long, in fact, that I’d venture to say it’s much simpler to list what’s NOT changing: your mission to help doctors deliver innovative solutions and better service, leading to improved patient outcomes.

You just need to go about it in a different way.

Not surprisingly, the sales model you’ve relied on in the past no longer delivers the results you need. In fact, you aren’t even sure you need sales reps anymore – but trust me, you do. The key is to reinvent the pharma sales rep role in a way that embraces obstacles as opportunities and changes as renewed chances for success.


Case in Point

A major pharmaceutical company recently reached out to Blueline Simulations for help in revamping its sales model to better meet evolving market conditions and customer expectations.

Building on the company’s market research that clearly showed most customers still value pharmaceutical sales reps but don’t value the industry’s standard sales approach, we used our Voice of the Business (VoB) process to identify what was needed in a new sales model.

Using our VoB process, we culled our client’s research for insights and identified best practices in existing pockets of success. Then, drawing on our decades of sales training experience, we worked with our client to map out a new customer-focused sales model, define the core skills and competencies required to execute the new model and identify key triggers we could use to engage and inspire the sales reps.

Of course, designing a new sales model is only the beginning. The real key to results is driving adoption in the field – getting the sales reps to understand and embrace their new customer-centric roles. The company designated three states to test the new approach and partnered with Blueline to create the rollout strategy.

The training design utilized a custom Blueline Blueprint Learning Visual as the central element in a three-day meeting where sales reps were introduced to the new sales model. We used the Blueprint as a launch point for a broad range of sales manager-led practice and coaching activities – to provide practice and allow time to address questions and concerns.

The six-month test was a success. Based on learnings from the initial pilot, the sales model was further refined and then rolled out across the United States and eventually, with adjustments for local markets, applied across the world.

Pharmaceutical companies are in a position to literally redefine the sales rep role… to replace traditional sales models with models that put service and solutions at the forefront… to create models that ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes. That’s where Blueline comes in.

Contact us today! Together we can explore and implement proven solutions that will give your pharma sales model a shot in the arm and get you back on the fast track to results.

How does the optional PeopleSIM™ Supportive Selling simulation extend the learning beyond the classroom?

Using the PeopleSIMTM platform, our team of engineers has endeavored to create a sales blueline-q&a4experience that feels so real that your sales people will swear that they are interacting with a live customer via web conference technology. Imagine giving your learners the opportunity to hone their sales skills anytime, anywhere through simulation technology perfected through projects with the U.S. Military – technology that combines voice recognition and a gaming engine that distributes the equivalent of four, feature-length films.

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How does pairing a Blueline Blueprint™ Learning Visual with the latest tablet technology enhance the Supportive Selling Training System?

It’s a game changer. It delivers a fun, highly competitive immersive classroom-based blueline-q&a experience. Imagine a room full of tables with four or five learners each, sitting around dramatic 36” X 50” graphics that quickly engage each learner’s unique learning style by inviting them to dig deep into rich visual metaphors and data, trade personal experiences, and challenge each other’s assumptions about sales. Couple that with innovative tablet computer technology that leads learners through a series of activities including a simulation made up of a series of situational dilemmas that follow a realistic storyline. The use of tablet computer technology makes it possible to track scores in realtime on a leaderboard, incorporate chance events, and create time pressures.

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How does Supportive Selling relate to needs-based sales models?

blueline-q&aTell us a little bit about the Supportive Selling sales process. Most sales organizations have already embraced a needs-based selling framework like SPIN. How does Supportive Selling relate to other needs-based sales models?

The standard for needs-based selling was set by Neil Rackham in the groundbreaking research that led to the SPIN Selling framework. Dr. Dale Olsen extends the work done by Rackham and others by overlaying Motivational Interviewing techniques on top of proven needs-based selling behaviors. At first I was skeptical of this. But after taking the time to learn about simple, amplified and double-sided reflections, I realized that Dr. Olsen and his team had identified a breakthrough that had the potential to transform the interaction between buyer and seller. They had created something totally unique that would give the sales professionals that used a combination of needs-based selling and Motivational Interviewing techniques a competitive advantage.

Questions about the learning innovations that are shaping 2015?  Blueline has the answers. 

New technologies are making it possible to create incredibly immersive learning solutions at a price point that wasn’t imaginable just a few years ago. For example, a Fortune 100 wireless carrier needed an immersive simulation with integrated social media to onboard and encourage networking among new Sales Representatives. Because retail and wireless change so often and so fast, the solution needed to be easy and cost effective to update and maintain. Learn how Blueline partnered with our client to design a 3D “Level 4” simulation that could influence your learning organization’s vision for the future.