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  • Writer's pictureKarsten Schmidt

How to genuinely convert network experiences into successful network activities



Beginning of 2019 I started my own consulting company and it has been an exciting journey with plenty of learnings along the way of which I would like to share some with you. At first I focussed more on reaching out to my existing network contacts and former colleagues offering my services and starting my first projects in Commercial/Business Excellence. I quickly realized that it would not suffice to only stick to the already existing setup but that I would need to expand it globally, quite a successful action. It became clear to me that people appreciated when relevant content and information had been shared with them in the fields focussed on. This positive experience gave birth to the idea of publishing short articles on LinkedIn in a monthly rhythm to cover areas like e.g.

  •  multi-channel resource allocation optimization

  •  field force performance measurements

  •  territory alignments and 

  •  segmentation and targeting improvements

One could argue that these are very fundamental and well known Sales Force Effectiveness (SFE) topics. But thanks to the chance of many talks with an increasing number of interested participants within the growing network, it became evident that definitely there still is a lot of room for introducing innovative methodologies and tools in many Life Sciences companies. Consequently, these dialogues prepared the ground for a number of additional projects also giving the reinsurance that an ample range of specific consulting services in this particular field can lead to the right track to further important SFE progress. 

Considering that the spending for field force and non-field force activities represents one of the biggest items in the overall Sales & Marketing budgets, the SFE fundamentals evidently have to be truly mastered in order to drive incremental business as effectively and efficiently as possible.


Illustration of SFE fundamentals to drive sales force performance

The many talks with General Managers, Business Units and Commercial/Business Excellence Directors have been mutually beneficial as they helped to understand current pain points and challenges in Business Excellence and how these can eventually be tackled moving forward by trying novel approaches. 

Feedback from the network on those published articles also made me cover topics which so far, I hadn't considered. There was for example the suggestion to go beyond value-based segmentation which was done by writing about behavioural segmentation and customer journey mapping with a former colleague of mine. Hence, I recognize that there are plenty of other topics suitable for a teamwork approach. Resulting conclusions when published can lead to helpful insights to the benefit of the network community. Interestingly, I also received a couple of questions which went beyond my area of expertise but I noticed that with the power of an enhanced professional network on LinkedIn experts could easily be identified capable to either tackle those topics by themselves or to recommend other participants who dispose of the required knowledge. It definitely requires an open mindset to engage with at first unknown people on LinkedIn taking into account eventual doubts as to what value it might bring adding them to a network and to engage in professional dialogue. Experience shows that the best answer to this query is: Give it a try! Should a dialogue not bring any value, a way can easily be found to politely draw consequences followed eventually by a total discontinuation should that contact turn out to be useless. I feel we should not underestimate that new connections can often help resolve some burning issues. Obviously, daily operations keep us from investing a lot of time on expanding our professional network. But doesn’t it make sense to spend a little bit of time regularly and check how such activity could help us find solutions to challenging tasks? For me all the interesting professional dialogues have been a very gratifying experience and were well the efforts I put in network expansion. And it is also exciting that there are still many contacts I am easily in touch with without having had the opportunity yet of a personal interchange. So, I am very much looking forward to an enriching year 2020 with many more interesting swapping of ideas in this vast area. If you are not yet connected with me on Linkedin and would like to do so, please feel free to send me an invite here. And those people whom I did not have the chance to talk to yet and think the time has come for it right now, please drop me a LinkedIn message or send us an email at info@xeleratio.com. We will be delighted to plan an introductory call. Happy holiday season to all of you and a very prosperous (also BusinessExcellence-wise!), healthy and happy New Year!

 

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.


 

Please feel free to reach out and request a free strategy session whenever convenient.



 

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