Aug 10, 2010

Sales Reps and Customer Relationships

A recent news item in Medical Marketing and Media pointed out that GlaxoSmithKline will reward its sales reps for the relationships they forge with doctors, and is developing tools for these evaluations.

There are already several approaches to evaluating a company's sales force, such as the Scott-Levin survey of sales rep performance. However, this new approach by GSK is geared toward evaluating individual representatatives. There may be several methods to the tactical measurement:

* The first that comes to mind is a direct survey to a represenative's called on physicians, asking about that rep's performance and added value. It could be conducted online, via phone, email, or even within the sales rep tablet after calls. One challenge may be the busy nature of the physicians' day, which can impact expected completion rates of the surveys.

* An alternative can be development of business plans by sales representatives for their key accounts, including insititutions and group practices. The business plans are scored at year end by achievement of valuable activities with these customers, perhaps correlated with sales figures.

* The more fundamental question is "what is customer satsifaction" for healthcare professionals? The same types of questions come up in developemnt of PRM: often this means helping the professionals grow their practice, handle bureaucracy, manage their time, and better educate their patients.

This taxonomy of healthcare professional needs is a good place to start, whatever the evaluation tool and channel may be.