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Managers: Measure what really matters - results


Pharmaceutical Representative

A business plan and achievement log can help.

When it comes down to it, results are what really matter. The best way to measure results is through a formal measurment process with multiple goals.

•Â To recognize achievement from a macro perspective.

•Â To recognize achievement from a micro perspective.

•Â To identify progress being made with a customer or account.

•Â To award variable compensation.

•Â To distinguish the Account Specialist of the Year.

A performance evaluation program operates on two levels. The first seeks to create long-term business opportunities, and the second drives short-term business results. With this dual perspective, it is important that the methods you use to measure success reflect both dimensions and awards performance accordingly. The two primary measurement tools used in an evaluation program weigh long-term performance through initiatives that are designed to impact a broad audience and measure the short-term effectiveness of working one-on-one with your clinical customers. These approaches were born out of need to accurately measure results with a managed care customer that provides no end user data.

The business plan

The first yardstick is the business plan, which is designed, created and carried out both individually and through sub-teams within the larger account specialist team. As the team members assess their customer base and its needs, along with resources available through your company or other interdependent partners, they have the opportunity to craft specific strategies and tactics that advance both their company's business objectives and their customers'.

Generally, the initiatives are targeted at complimenting an educational gap that exists for the customer, which, if filled, would also create opportunities for increased access to decision makers to sell your products, as well as physician education that would assist in more product being utilized. As mentioned above, these initiatives can often take six months to a year to be fully completed, especially if the establishment of a program must be initiated by a number of individuals scattered across various discrete departments. The basic outline for such initiatives is to gain agreement with the customer on:

•Â The initiative parameters and desired outcome.

•Â Constituents involved.

•Â Success criteria.

•Â Measurement vehicles utilized.

Once these tactics have been completed, the account specialist outlines the various steps towards accomplishment of the project or program, the culmination of which measures the satisfaction of the customer and attempts to quantify the benefit to your company for those expenses incurred.

An achievement log

The team's second measurement tool is an achievement log maintained by each account specialist. The achievement log is not a journal of activities, but a journal of results. This format was established out of the belief that results generate revenue, and activity generates overhead. The tool's primary purpose is to track short-term wins.

One example might be the doctor that attended a program, but still has objections regarding the use of the product until the account specialist intervenes to address those objections. The measure of success here is some kind of acknowledgment on the part of the clinician that the intervention resulted in a change of behavior leading to trial, continued use or expanded use (for a new indication) of your company's product.

Perhaps the most important benefit of the achievement log is its utility in keeping team members focused on the essence of success: gaining first-hand confirmation that your programs and messages are resulting in a change in the physician's prescribing habits.

Entries in the achievement log should be succinct and address six key areas of the customer intervention:

•Â When did it occur?

•Â Where (what site) did it occur?

•Â What clinician(s) were involved?

•Â What was the vehicle (in-service, one-on-one detail) utilized?

•Â What was the message that caused the change in behavior or the continued support of your product?

•Â What was the specific outcome from the call (continued use, trial, agreement to use the product for a new indication)?

Through these performance measures your company can look forward to exceeding your business results year after year. PR

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