How to: Use Sales Best Practices to Establish Effective Sales Leadership Organizations (Part 1)


In the world of Sales Training, changes are ever-occurring. In order to encourage Sales Training excellence, it is beneficial to be aware of the current best practices in the biopharmaceutical sales function. Provided below is a checklist of how to build the most effective sales function based on benchmarked research from some of the leading Sales Training Organizations in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

☑  Be aware of your organizational structure

Do you know who training heads in your company report to? While this varies depending on company, we found that the majority (2/3 of respondents) report up to vice presidents. Training facilities are also usually in close proximity to the company’s marketing department. Becoming aware of your organization’s framework & key factors about your organization’s structure are a sales best practice, and is the first essential step in building an effective sales training function.

☑ Pay close attention to your allotted resources / budget

From a recent benchmarked study, Best Practices found that the average training budgets for sales is $5.87 million (USD) per fiscal year (the median being $3.35 million). Respondents also confirmed that 36% of their budgets are allotted to training new hires, with around 32 days of training taking place during the trainees first year on the job. Leaders should also plan to spend a significant amount of their budget on training existing sales reps in order to constantly encourage learning & success. Unfortunately, the majority of benchmarked companies expect their budgets to decrease in coming fiscal years. Due to this, it is now even more important to determine how to tackle the challenge of cutting training costs while still maintaining or even increasing efficiency.

☑  Identify the best approaches for development & delivery of the training

Determining the appropriate delivery method for training may be a company specific decision. Despite this, there are sales practices that have been proven to enhance efficiency. From our recent benchmarked study, we asked our participants to classify which topics have been most effective for them when delivering new material to employees. Mobile device delivery (iPad, smartphone, etc.) ranked as the most efficient, with using a Learning Management system with an e-learning portal came in a close second. Although social media can be extremely useful for marketing & other functions, most respondents listed using a social media platform for learning as least effective. Determining how to deliver your training is one of the most critical factors in determining whether or not your function will be effective.

Clearly, there are many factors that go into the delivery & development of sales training. By becoming aware of the best practices associated with the sales training function, leaders can save time, as well as significantly improve the quality of their training. Stay tuned for part 2 on Sales Leadership!

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