Evaluation of sales team effectiveness in a South African pharmaceutical company

Grobler, Christa (2002-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Some digitised pages may appear illegible due to the condition of the original hard copy.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A few years ago, pharmaceuticalcompanies were more inclined to look at business from the inside out. The principal focus was on the company's goals, and identifying and selling to customers were the method of achieving those goals. However,today the customer is king and therefore the focus is shifting to accommodatethis change. The road to success - or failure - is now an expressway, and companies must be ready to accelerate,tum, or stop quickly. Flexibilityand manoeuvrabilitymean a great deal in an increasinglycompetitivemarketplace(Gabe & Goldberg, 1999). What makes a sales team effective in today's competitive global market? What are the key drivers of success in pharmaceutical sales team effectiveness? The most prominent trend in the US market is customer focus, and the most prominent issue is the recruitment and retention of top performers. Today's focus on relationship building may have occurred in part because companies found that their relationships were less than ideal. Nearly 60% of US pharmaceutical companies use customersatisfaction results, among other measurements, to determine the effectiveness of their sales force. A sales force that can make the transition from selling the product to selling the solution - which is the essence of customer focus - has a better chance of earning customer confidence and "partnering" (Gabe & Goldberg, 1999). To isolate factors that make a pharmaceutical sales representative effective is not easy. The best pharmaceutical representatives have excellent selling skills and behaviours, exhibit consistent performance, build networks, contribute to their teams, focus on the most profitable accounts, open new accounts, and win customer loyalty. How does one identify top pharmaceutical salespeople? Look for the representatives with the ability to learn continuously from experience, to take full responsibility for professional development, to size up each situation, and to apply the most effective skills for that encounter. Most often, they will be the ones using consultative and adaptive selling dialogue techniques (Snader, 2002). According to the study, it was evident that the following effectiveness criteria or selling task characteristics have a definite impact on sales force effectiveness and in turn should be part of every salesperson's capabilities: territory management, objection handling, business planning, adaptive selling, customer focus, knowledge, service, selling skills and training.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die verlede was farmaseutiese maatskappye geneig om hul besigheid van binne na buite te ontleed. Die belangrikste fokuspunt was die maatskappy se doelwit en die identifisering van, en verkope aan hul kliënte die middel tot die doelom hierdie doelwitte te bereik. Vandag, daarenteen kraai die kliënt koning en die fokuspunt het verskuif om by hierdie verandering aan te pas. Die verskil tussen die sukses en mislukking van 'n maatskappy sal afhang van die buigsaamheid en stuurbaarheid van die maatskappy om gereed te wees vir enige aksie in hierdie toenemend mededingende mark (Gabe & Goldberg, 1999). Wat maak 'n verkoopspan doeltreffend in vandag se mededingende globale mark? Wat is die sleutel eienskappe wat sukses sal waarborg vir 'n farmaseutiese verkoopspan? Die belangrikste neiging in die Amerikaanse mark is kliënte-fokus en die mees prominente kwessie is die werwing en behoud van die top presteerders. Die fokusverskuiwing na die verhouding tussen die verkoopsverteenwoordiger en die kliënt het plaasgevind nadat maatskappye besef het hulle het nie ideale verhoudings met hulle kliënte nie. Nagenoeg 60% van alle Amerikaanse farmaseutiese maatskappye gebruik onder andere ook resultate van kliënte-tevredenheid vraelyste as 'n maatstaf om die doeltreffendheid van hulle verkoopspan te bepaal. 'n Verkoopspan wat in plaas van 'n produk verkoop eerder aan die kliënt 'n oplossing vir sy spesifieke probleem bied - wat die kern van 'n kliënt-gefokusde benadering is - skep vertroue by die kliënt en lei tot 'n suksesvolle vennootskap tussen die partye (Gabe & Goldberg, 1999). Dit is baie moeilik om eienskappe te identifiseer wat 'n farmaseutiese verteenwoordiger se doeltreffendheid verseker. Die beste farmaseutiese verkoopsverteenwoordigers gebruik uitstekende verkoopstegnieke, bou netwerke, is goeie spanlede, fokus op die mees winsgewendste kliënte, wen nuwe kliënte en die lojaliteit van hulle kliënte. Hoe word top farmaseutiese verkoopspersone dan geïdentifiseer? Kyk uit vir die verteenwoordiger wat die vermoeë het om te leer uit ondervinding, wat volle verantwoordelikheid neem vir sy persoonlike ontwikkeling, wat elke situasie ontleed en dan die toepaslike vaardighede gebruik vir die spesifieke situasie. Meestal sal dit die verteenwoordigers wees wat konsulterende en adaptiewe dialoogtegnieke gebruik (Snader, 2002). Volgens die studie was dit duidelik dat die volgende kriteria vir doeltreffende verkope of verkoopseienskappe 'n defnitiewe impak het op 'n verkoopsspan se doeltreffendheid en dus deel moet uitmaak van elke verkoopspersoon se vermoë: Areabestuur, die hantering van objeksies, besigheidsbeplanning, 'n adaptiewe verkoopstyl, 'n kliënt gefokusde benadering, kennis, diens en opleiding.

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