Become a top sales performer by harnessing and developing your skills for maximum success.
Working in pharma sales is a demanding and challenging occupation. Employers in the pharmaceutical industry look for people with very specific skillsets, who can work effectively within a highly regulated environment. Pharma recruiters want people with skills that demonstrate being able to value and follow procedures, while also being able to show initiative and suggest improvements which can be safely implemented.
Greg Higgins, Business Development, PDC Healthcare Ltd., says that business acumen is important in any pharma role, along with influencing skills, the ability to pursue a business goal actively without “annoying” clients, and cooperation and team work.
Those looking to maximise their influencing skills must be able to view a situation from several perspectives to consider and implement the best way to influence, says Greg. “Increasingly there is a need to influence organisational policy and procedure as well as individual customers.” Achieving business goals while keeping clients on side can be accomplished by “making as much useful and constructive contact as possible before and after the interview,” he counsels.
When looking at ways to develop your skills, it’s also important to talk to others who are already working in the role you want and to act on what they say. “Ask people who are successful in a similar role to the one you are applying for or the role of the interviewer for advice,” advises Greg. “Ask for feedback and suggestions for improvement to make the most of every learning opportunity. Acknowledge that you are looking for additional opportunities to develop and demonstrate the skills and how you plan to get those opportunities.”
5 top tips to build your skills
Kirstie Justice; Senior Recruitment Consultant; East & West Midlands; CHASE, presents her top five ways in which sales reps can maximise their skillsets to become top performers:
– 1. Become a valuable resource: Successful reps need to utilise their skills to ensure they are a valuable resource to their customers. Communication skills are vital in finding out what’s on the customer’s agenda and being able to align your own needs to those of the customer.
– 2. Hunt for new opportunities: Utilise your outgoing manner and persistence to continuously seek opportunities for new business. Networking skills are vital in building a strong list of contacts. Attend industry events, build a dependable reputation and maintain regular contact with your current customers.
– 3. Meet with whomever is necessary to drive your business: Sales reps need a flexible approach to working, being able to adapt to change. We suggest you operate as a true key account manager and see whoever you need to see in order to drive your business.
– 4. Map out key customers and accounts: Top performing pharma sales reps will have strong analytical and planning skills; find out everything you need to know about the local area, key stakeholders and their current challenges.
– 5. Have an entrepreneurial mind-set: Use your commercial skills; manage your territory as your own business.