It has only been a month or so since I took up the role as UK Sales Director here at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) but already I have been hugely impressed with the passion and enthusiasm of my colleagues.
BI is going through some of the most significant changes in its long and illustrious history but there is great optimism for the future. It was crystal clear at our national sales conference last month that our teams are up for the challenges thrown up by the changing customer landscape and as one colleague told me, “the buzz is back in BI”.
However we cannot rest on our laurels – we need to make sure that BI is at the forefront of the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to the evolution of our customer-facing models. As such, we need to look within our own organisation and outside for people who have a deep understanding of the emerging multi-stakeholder environment, as well as clinical expertise.
Of vital importance to BI are our therapy area specialists (TAS) who can deal with our customers on a peer-to-peer level. Key to their role is an ability to guide clinical customers so they can have more meaningful discussions with payers, equipping them with insightful local data that will change behaviours and benefit patients in improving access to our innovative medicines.
We are looking to expand our TAS force and want to talk to people who have got a strong track record working in hospitals who can offer great clinical credibility. If they have had some interactions with payers, that is great too, but not essential.
Candidates’ expertise does not have to be in the therapy areas where we are already market leaders, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory. Also, as well as having a past to be proud of, BI offers much to the new generation and we are always on the lookout for fresh graduates who are ‘tech-savvy’ and have good personal skills.
What BI wants is people who are receptive to learning and developing new skills, people who understand these new customer relationships and can speak their language. People who can listen to our customers and are interested (not just interesting); we want people who can apply their expertise to offering compelling propositions and outcomes for the benefit of patients and our company.
It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us at BI to be part of something great. What gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that we are playing a critical part in providing better patient care and outcomes.