Q: What would you say is the value of a project manager's training program like this?
Trunick: As the impact of a sales rep-resentative is getting more and more challenging—particularly in the areas of primary care and
other specialties—we've got to be more creative. We've got to be more dynamic. We've got to be more responsive and more reactive
and/or even creative.
I think there's a lot of people looking back to the marketing departments and saying, "How and what can we possibly do to
get better in this segment?" And they're looking at their talents and realizing they've had minimal or less-than-adequate
development to take on some of the challenges that are in the marketplace right now.
There was status quo in the marketing departments for a long time. It worked. It worked very well. There's been a lot of success
in the pharma markets over the past couple decades, and those markets have continued to be very successful. There hasn't been
a reason to go out on a branch. But now there is.
Q: What is the most important thing you need to implement this kind of program?
Trunick: The support of the people in the marketing departments and above them. It becomes very important to the company to support
its marketing people. There's a lot of off-the-shelf or outside-consultant-type trainings, but it is hard to know what you're
getting because it's not tied back to the company's culture, or the company. If you really want to make a difference in your
company's ability to market, you need to collect the best thinking and the best practices of your marketing teams and shape
them into a format that can be interactive. Then you can begin to model what you want your marketing culture to look like.
Right now, overall, it's fragmented. Some groups are upsizing, some are downsizing, and the entire marketplace is getting
ready to be turned on its ear the next couple of years. You're really going to lay out who and what you want your team to
Barton: It is a competitive advantage for us, too. When new product managers are interviewing with us, we can talk about these types
of programs. It supplies us with a really robust career ladder, along with other development tools. I've been really impressed
with Allergan. There's a tremendous amount of sponsorship that I think speaks volumes.