Saturday, March 7, 2009



The basic purpose of business organizations is SALES AND PROFITS. When these two are not there, the identity and verily the existence of the business organization ceases. It is very evident in these times of recession! The above two are the basics of any business organization.

Needs, wants, desires, GREED, and FEAR drive the consumption of goods and services. It is human nature to continuously upgrade (his/her) requirements. A family that purchases a two bedroom flat, after a short time of satiety, starts dreaming of upgrading to a three bedroom one... and so on. When a marketer fills the information search void of a such a prospect who is seeking answers for his requirements, the marketer gets a 'sales kill'.

The above reflections are true of healthcare and pharmaceutical business too.

Where there are buyers and sellers there are people

Business is about transactions between buyers and sellers, generating profits and customer delight. People make up an organization. And where there are people, there is 'PEOPLE MANAGEMENT'. The key dimensions of people are their KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ATTITUDE. Training implies processes and activities that enhance knowledge, skills, and attitude of people to improve job efficiency & effectiveness, and business results.

For eg., when a company plans to launch a biosimilar product, there should be knowledge of this concept among the field personnel. The skill to talk about the biosimilar brand is an important trait, and the attitude is also very vital.

Let us say, there is an excellent MR, with a good grounding of knowledge, and above average detailing and negotiating skills; however, if this guy just does not move about in the target market - the issue obviously here is about attitude. All the three aspects are important for business results.


Here obviously, KSA refers to Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude.

Dribbling the ball

How did Pele become a living legend footballer? The answer is practice - dribbling the ball in practice sessions, simulation training, and strategic activities. The learner is at the centre of the training universe in sports. The trainees do not sit and listen to long lectures or captivating presentations, they are, for most of the time, practicing with the ball. Such practice sessions are arduous, however, they are effective in producing Peles or sales champions.

In pharmaceutical training it is more often than not trainer centred sessions. The trainer puts in a lot of effort to provide captivating presentations, in a bid to motivate the trainees AND BUILD CONFIDENCE. The trainer gives exhaustive lectures on the complexities of the product too. While these are valuable inputs, putting the emphasis on dribbling the ball too is important. It is only when the person practices with concentration that real training gets done.


Being a role model is very vital for effective training. When a trainer demonstrates the use of a detailing aid or implementation of a strategy, a lot of learning is imparted to the trainee.

I remember a MR who reported to me when I was a first line manager. This guy was quite experienced and full of zeal. However, during my first joint field working I found a quaint habit - after every few words of detailing he would make a funny PSSST sound. Probably the doctors had got used to this so no eyebrows were raised. I understood that this was a habit to seek sympathy and time. I did not comment. During subsequent doctor calls I requested him to permit me to detail - and I did it for all the remaining calls and remaining days of joint field working.

He used to keenly observe my detailing style in the clinic. Actually, detailing with a visual aid is tricky - one has to modulate the content and extent of detailing depending on the doctor's profile and his mood.

The next month I was in for a pleasant surprise. This guy would detail in every clinic in the same style that I would and his PSSST sound was no more there! I was happy.

Whenever any new visual aid would be given, he would wait for me to use it during the field working, and during the next joint field working he would handle the detailing himself, having picked up the delicate points during my demonstration.

Today, it is good to know he is a second line manager in a good company.


ULTIMATELY BUSINESS RESULTS DEPEND ON THE KSA LEVELS OF THE FIELD PERSONNEL. The KSA levels are developed through continuous training inputs - through mailers, classroom training sessions, meetings, and other formats & tools.

KSA of an organization is very important. The result of the sum of the individual KSAs of employees is greater than the additive sum. That is there is a synergistic effect. 1 + 1 > 2.

KSA is developed in line with the organizational culture and objectives through three techniques:

One has to repeat, persuade, coax, and sometimes even cause tactful dissonance so that KSA levels are in line with company requirements. This ultimately creates sales, profits, and a sustainable competitive edge in the marketplace.

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