Local innovator spruiks winning sales formula on international stage

A local mastermind of the perfect sales call is winning international acclaim for his highly-innovative and proven pharma sales approach that focuses on quality, rather than quantity.

Asia-Pacific Sales and Marketing Manager for Warner Chilcott and head of the company’s pharmaceutical sales team (WCRx), Mr Rob Dickerson, is receiving a plethora of international invitations to reveal his winning sales formula after securing world-wide recognition from sales force experts for leading one of the world’s most successful pharmaceutical sales teams. His proven formula for achieving, measuring and maintaining call quality is being lauded as the “Holy Grail” to securing pharmaceutical sales in emerging markets.

Presenting at the ninth annual Sales Force Effectiveness Eyeforpharma conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, in March 2011, Mr Dickerson highlighted the role call quality, rather than quantity, plays in achieving successful pharmaceutical brand commercialisation.

According to Mr Dickerson, integral to the WCRx team’s success has been a cutting-edge approach based on building relationships and enhancing quality interactions with doctors and sales representatives, rather than traditional call metrics.

“Call quality is the biggest lead indicator for sales success for pharmaceutical companies,” Mr Dickerson said.

“The industry is changing, and time-poor doctors demand sales representatives who appreciate quality interactions.

“While call metrics are important, there is no real benefit to a doctor or the pharmaceutical company without a thorough understanding of high-level call quality.”

Abandoning traditional call metrics measures, Mr Dickerson’s highly-successful call quality measure is based on behavioural descriptors and interactions between doctors and sales representatives. This innovative measure focuses on building relationships with doctors and increasing call performance, placing greater emphasis on doctor and patient needs.

“Doctors want to interact with an authentic individual, and call quality measures ensure that this is happening,” Mr Dickerson said.

“There is increasing enthusiasm and curiosity by international pharma sales directors for call quality, and how it can be tailored to sales teams specialising in different disease states and product lifecycles, especially in European markets.”

At the Dusseldorf conference, Mr Dickerson presented his sales team’s award-winning approach to more than 1000 senior pharma sales officials, including sales force effectiveness directors, and pharma sales and marketing leaders, which led to his team winning the coveted 2010 PRIME Award for Sales Team of the Year.

Spearheading the innovative WCRx team initiative since 2006, Mr Dickerson has consistently clinched industry recognition through independent ranking measures. His WCRx team is currently ranked among the top two industry-wide by Cegedim Strategic Data for call quality, and sixth by IMS Health in sales effectiveness, placing the team in a highly enviable position among some of the industry’s largest stakeholders.

The WCRx team has successfully promoted Actonel® (risedronate) for the treatment of osteoporosis during six of the 10 years that it has been available in the Australian marketplace, and has achieved brand market leadership for a ‘second to market’ product.

Warner Chilcott’s pharma sales success is attributed to Mr Dickerson’s innovative strategies and leadership. His sales team at Warner Chilcott is delivered through contract services by leading pharmaceutical commercialisation services company, Invida.

“This is the right time for call quality and there is nothing preventing Warner Chilcott from achieving even higher levels on the call quality scale,” Mr Dickerson said.

“We have taken operational excellence as far as we can; call quality is the next step for the whole industry.”