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Beaconsfield, Bucks, United Kingdom, 2008/04/10 - In Redesigning Pharmaceutical Sales Forces, Leandro Herrero shows that when confronted with the need to rationalise resources, ‘back-of-envelope’ restructuring should be avoided.
Redesigning pharmaceutical sales operations is probably one of the most strategically important things on the table of senior commercial executives in an operating company today. And this redesigning doesn’t only involve the field forces, but also their connections with other HQ functions such as Marketing, Medical or Sales Force Effectiveness groups.
The reasons for this focus of interest are multiple and include (but are by no means limited to): M&A activity forces the issue, new brands are introduced, a sense that simple extrapolation from the current structure may no longer be appropriate for the future, an overall headcount reduction and need to rethink the way people and resources are allocated, etc.
“There are many ways to re-structure sales forces,” Leandro Herrero, author of the white paper says. “One is the design on the back of an envelope, that is, intuitively ‘deciding what’s best’, probably based upon a mixture of conscious or unconscious preferences, experience, fashion or (internal) politically correct trends. Another alternative is the design on the back of an expensive envelope. This is done by some ‘strategy’ or ‘specialised’ consultants who will have ‘a good solution’ based upon judgement made on brands, market sizes, etc. There are other options such as following the ideas of the one who shouts loudest or has ‘more authority’, reversing whatever is in place (centralise sales force if previously decentralised) or even to follow fashion or ‘social proof’ (‘we must have an account management system! Everybody else has one!’). But none of these above options offer any guarantees that those solutions will be right for your company.”
The white paper introduces a methodology that combines strategy with group decision analysis, creating a shared common understanding amongst stakeholders, a common sense of purpose and shared commitment to action. This proven method will enable companies to find their most preferred option that will work.
You can download the full white paper from The Chalfont Project's website's Ideas Lab.
Dr Leandro Herrero practised as a psychiatrist for more than fifteen years before taking up senior management positions in several leading companies, both in the UK and the US. He is founder and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd, an international firm of organisational consultants. Taking advantage of his behavioural sciences background, coupled with his hands-on business experience, he works with organisations of many kinds on structural and behavioural change, leadership and human collaboration. He has published several books, including The Leader with Seven Faces, Viral Change, New Leaders Wanted – Now Hiring! and his most recent Disruptive Ideas.
The Chalfont Project Ltd is an international consulting firm of organisation architects with a long-standing presence in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.