Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 32

LEADERSHIP/MANAGEMENTDEVELOPMENT

Business Acumen and the New Sales Leader
I By Scott Moldenhauer and Bruce Mathewson s the challenges of managed care, physician access and healthcare reform mount, sales leaders must quickly move beyond traditional selling methods. ey must nd new ways to achieve ongoing sales growth. One term generating buzz within pharma and biotech is business acumen. Business acumen models abound, but nding models that create continuous sales growth remains an elusive task.

A

Systems Approach to Selling
Sales leaders understand that sales growth can no longer be achieved by focusing exclusively on the physician. While average representatives continue to pound away at physicians with a one-dimensional product approach, top performers take a “systems” approach to selling. ey have learned to expand their circle of in uence. Best-in-class representatives intuitively understand the need to tailor their approach and messages to meet the needs of each stakeholder within the physician’s o ce. But how do sales leaders pass the talent of their top-performing representatives to their more average-performing sales representatives? Part of the solution resides with sales leaders and their desire to be keenly aware of messages that resonate with each stakeholder group. Frontline managers observe hundreds of interactions every year. Patterns emerge from these observations. ey know which messages work best with each stakeholder group — including reimbursement coordinators, nurses, gatekeepers and o ce managers.

is is not to say that representatives with business acumen skills have abandoned traditional selling skills. On the contrary, best-in-class representatives continue to capture the physician's attention, present with professionalism and move the physician to the next level of prescribing. ese representatives are typically more talented when utilizing new resources (e.g., co-pay reduction programs) and better at selling through managed care objections. Moreover, the old-school product focus has been replaced by a focus on product bene ts from the perspective of the physician, the patient and the overall healthcare system. Consequently, messages are more credible and compelling.

Training Business Acumen
Business acumen represents a promising new way of creating sales results, but how do you train business acumen? If only a handful of representatives intuitively understand business acumen skills, how do you transfer their skills to others? Perhaps the rst step to training business acumen program is to de ne what “business acumen” means to you and your organization. To date, most out-of-the-box business acumen programs take one of two formats — follow the healthcare dollar or strategic planning. Representatives who have the ability to follow the healthcare dollar will better understand reimbursement realities, but it will do little to drive sales. Similarly, representatives with strategic planning skills will be better equipped to identify priority accounts, but the ner points of business acumen (e.g., advanced messaging skills) will be overlooked. We have found principles within both organizational and social psychology to help teach the more subtle components of business acumen. ese disciplines provide research-based strategies for bringing the abstract For more information, concept of “busiscan/capture the ness acumen” into QR code with your a concrete and smartphone. teachable format. I

Advanced Messaging Skills
Representatives with business acumen have developed more complex messaging skills. For every sales leader who complains of stagnate sales, the same leader can readily identify pockets of exceptional growth. ese bright spots are typically occupied by representatives who have learned to overcome the multitude of new selling challenges by becoming more persuasive during face-to-face customer interactions.

Scott Moldenhauer is president of Persuasion Consultants, LLC. Email Scott at scott@persuasionconsultants.com. Bruce Mathewson is manager of eld development at Medtronic. Email Bruce at bruce.mathewson@medtronic.com.

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Focus Magazine - Spring 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Focus Magazine - Spring 2012

From the President: Why Build Bridges Through Networking?
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Onboarding New Trainers
Wrapping Up the Day
Allergan: Training on a Continuum
Building a Career Advancement Program
8 Steps to Effective Communication Skills
Driving Learner Engagement through Dynamic Technology Experiences
Identifying and Sharing Information on Clinical Product Differences
Business Acumen and the New Sales Leader
New Skills for a New World Order
Tailoring Sales Training to Medical Device Representatives
Virtual How
Company News
People News
Ad Index
Focus Contacts
5 Questions with…Erika Andersen
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Cover1
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Cover2
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 3
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 4
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 5
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 6
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - From the President: Why Build Bridges Through Networking?
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 8
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Table of Contents
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 10
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Table of Contents
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 12
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Guest Editor: Onboarding New Trainers
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 14
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Wrapping Up the Day
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 16
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Allergan: Training on a Continuum
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 18
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 19
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Building a Career Advancement Program
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 21
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 22
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 8 Steps to Effective Communication Skills
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 24
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 25
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Driving Learner Engagement through Dynamic Technology Experiences
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 27
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 28
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Identifying and Sharing Information on Clinical Product Differences
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 30
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 31
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Business Acumen and the New Sales Leader
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 33
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - New Skills for a New World Order
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 35
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Tailoring Sales Training to Medical Device Representatives
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Virtual How
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Company News
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - People News
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Ad Index
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Focus Contacts
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - 5 Questions with…Erika Andersen
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Cover3
Focus Magazine - Spring 2012 - Cover4
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