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Managing the physician liaison
Posted 3.1.2017

Many of you are accustomed to meeting sales people in the office and quite often these folks are joined by their sales manager. Often this manager is quiet through the call but if you follow them out into the hall you can hear them critiquing the meeting with subjects such as "what went wrong or what went right" during their sales meeting with you. The manager might suggest another approach that could have been taken or perhaps recommend value added services from their firm based on the needs expressed by you, the client. They surely will compare this call to the "best practices" of other reps in the field so that your rep can apply what works best from other geographies. Now if you follow them to their next call you should hear them strategizing prior to going into the meeting. They may discuss the reason for this call, where it falls into account prioritization, their strategy for the call, the expected outcome of the meeting, etc.

Ideally this process is repeated for each and every call that the rep makes. This planning and review process should take place both when the manager travels with the rep as well as during weekly telephone coaching sessions with them… and this approach should apply to entry level folks as well as seasoned physician liaisons.

In the corporate world managers of this standing are considered district or regional sales managers depending on the number of reports and geographic size and they generally manage 9-11 reps in the field. They usually gain this position after 8-10 years of experience, training, and high achievement in their respective specialty. This way they know from first hand experience …what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing their firm. They take this first hand experience and share it with each of the 9-11 reps in the field while they also learn "what works best" from those in the field today.

This district manager is also responsible for recruiting, on-boarding, training, disciplining, motivating, and managing each of these reps based upon their experience and the corporate management training they receive from their respective firms.

Managing a remote employee can be especially challenging for those with little or no experience in this approach. The time alone required for pre call planning and follow up can prove prohibitive for many administrators and this employee often gets less and less attention from management simply because they're not in the office…and this leads to increasingly poor performance and ROI.

This is not a job for administrators, doctors, or those with no experience in professional sales. At Practice-Reps our business model gives you a trained rep on a part time basis. This rep may have 2-3 clients and they are managed daily by a district sales manager. With 2-3 clients she earns a full time salary and you get the benefit of a well paid rep and manager on a part time affordable basis.

As Jim Collins said in the award winning book, Good to Great, "put the right people… in the right seats… on the right bus".


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