Once in a Lifetime - Pharmaceutical Executive


Once in a Lifetime
It's not only possible to top last year—it's a mandate.

Pharma Meetings

Training While training is serious business at Beckton Dickinson (BD) and Company, a medical technology company based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, the company likes to send its troops to off-site training in sunny climes. In March, Shannon Smoot, a sales consultant in the BD Pre-Analytical Systems division, was sent to Arizona to a Foundations of Negotiations seminar, conducted by an outside company. "My manager and I choose two or three of these seminars for me to attend each year," she says.

Smoot admits these seminars entail a certain time commitment, but she says it's refreshing to get out of the office to exchange ideas with peers in a new setting.

"While the annual incentive trip is still an important part of recognition, it's usually based on sales production," says Dave Caldwell, vice president, pharmaceutical sales for Maritz McGettigan. "Some companies, however, have added different criteria for those to qualify for the trip, such as successful completion of training. This helps the reps better train the doctor and prepares account planning and other business tools," he says.

"When companies take the time to plan training in a resort setting, for example, it's saying to the troops, 'You're worth it, you earned this,'" says Dick Gaeta, president of Premier Incentives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has put together training meetings in conjunction with travel programs. "Bringing people together in a more relaxed setting gets them to share ideas on different topics, or different problems they've seen crop up," he says.

Product Launch Rick Dunaj, vice president of global sales for RPMC, and organizer of the Grammy event extraordinaire, began the event with a top-secret product launch. In addition, the program had two components: sales volume and market share. "Because this company wanted to take market share away from a competitor, the top twenty percent sales reps with the highest market share in six months won the top-tier award. We also had awards for anyone who achieved a stretch goal, anything above six percent, say, won a Tier 2 award, which was slightly less than a Tier 1," Dunaj says.

RPMC also managed the online communications, marketing and merchandising of the program. With a private password, participants could log on to the RPMC site to discover program details, from contest rules to the vast array of awards. Winners could forgo the Grammys in favor of the SuperBowl or ski or spa travel packages.

Incentives la Carte "The definition of incentive travel has definitely evolved over the years," says VIKTOR's Bondy. With more and more individual choices, corporations often select their desired incentive menu items la carte to encompass many specific goals."

How else can a sales rep get to launch a rocket from the deck of an aircraft carrier ?
Michelle Croil, event manager for Venue West Conference Services, Vancouver, BC, certainly had her work cut out for her when she was enlisted by an international pharmaceutical company to bring together the company's 60 top international sales reps. Her mandate was to first reward these top achievers, then provide team building activities and an environment where counterparts—most of whom had known each other for years, but only by phone and e-mail—could network, strategize, and work together. Two days of intense meetings were scheduled for after the rewards and team building.


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