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  • Writer's pictureKarsten Schmidt

How to achieve that promotional teams buy into interaction plans and execute flawlessly

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

In my second blog I have written about the process of building customer segments based on the two basic dimensions potential and propensity. From those customer segments the targeting is derived which is the number of planned customer interactions per segment. As mentioned earlier it is ideal to combine the segmentation and targeting exercise with a promotion response analysis in order to ensure that long-term incremental profits are maximised for the portfolio of promoted brands.

When a solid segmentation and targeting plan is built it is important that the sales force is committed to delivering against this promotional plan. Hence, the sales representatives should be involved in the Segmentation & Targeting (S&T) process and have the opportunity of slightly fine-tuning S&T values for the HCPs in their territories. This will increase substantially their buy-in and commitment. Another way to increase sales force commitment is to also incentivize flawless execution of interaction plans for a short period of time (e.g. three months). This can be very helpful especially in those cases where there is a significant deviation from historical interaction plans.

After having planned and captured the interaction frequencies for the individual HCPs in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System it will then become crucial to monitor execution of those plans very closely. This applies for first line sales managers who will review the SFE KPIs related to call execution of their teams. And it also applies for sales representatives who will look at the same KPIs within their individual territories. All promotional team members will want to observe month after month if the number of delivered interactions is as close as possible to the plan. This can either be done within the CRM system directly or in a Business Intelligence solution that extracts the interaction data from the CRM system. A good visualization of planned versus actual interactions is by building frequency distribution charts and plotting the planned number of interactions into the same chart. Ideally a bell distribution curve of actual interactions should be observed around the planned number of interactions like in the illustrative example below.

Illustration of Call frequency distribution of a given customer segment (blue section representing the planned number of interaction of 8)

Another important and closely related KPI is the percentage of targeted health care professionals that have been interacted with the amount of times as stated in the plan. If this percentage goes below a certain threshold it is important to identify the root cause for this to happen. There could be multiple reasons like for example if the sales force productivity is lower than originally expected because sales reps have spent too many days off territory or if actual daily interaction rates during field days are lower in reality. Also there might be too many vacant territories. Another reason which is often observed is that the interaction execution deviates significantly from the plan meaning that many targeted customers have been seen too often or not often enough. Last but not least there might be too many interactions with non-target customers. In such a case eventually the frequency distribution chart will not be a bell-shaped curve with its peak at the number of planned interactions as shown in the illustration example above.

Not paying enough attention to these very import lead indicators and not taking corrective measures early in the process may come at a high price. Because when execution of a well-crafted plan is poor then the likelihood of not achieving the expected sales performance increases significantly. And when the lagging indicators like e.g expected sales evolution turn red then it might already be quite late to take corrective actions.

What can be observed often in practice is that there is a good focus on executional excellence of established action plans which can be considered as a positive trait. But in these cases often the segmentation and targeting process described earlier is not conducted with sufficient scrutiny. The power of flawless execution can only unfold its full power when coupled with a state-of-the-art segmentation and targeting process that has been conducted very thoroughly.

A flawless execution of interactions plans in LifeSciences is key to achieve solid #salesperformance. Gaining #SalesForce commitment to deliver against interaction plans is essential. Important leading #SFEKPIs should be monitored very closely by FLSM and sales representatives.


Xeleratio Consulting Ltd.

We help Life Sciences executives improve sales performance with innovative best-in-class Business Excellence tools and methodologies . Expertise in Business Excellence has been gained with over 12 years of working in different global and regional roles in the Life Sciences industry.


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