The Programme

Acumen was commissioned to deliver a bespoke programme of 1-2-1 coaching for new and experienced Medical epresentatives for Sankyo (now Daiichi-Sankyo), a young and ambitious pharmaceutical company. The level of experience includes a few months and a first role in Pharma to 8-10 years experience in the industry including hospital working. Medical Representatives require a broad range of skills and a high level of technical knowledge to effectively manage their primary and secondary care customers and accounts. Hospitals is a major part of their business and is the most demanding of skills and knowledge, as well as account management techniques. This aspect often receives the least attention in training and development of an individual. The result often is minimalist effectiveness of the individual in each hospital account, which means little sales impact, few KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) developed to influence primary care (GPs) and technical/clinical knowledge remains at very basic level.

The Approach

A self-assessment questionnaire/discussion is carried out with the Representative to assess areas of need and focus. A brief from the Manager is also obtained to ensure regional team and company objectives/priorities are included in the implantation of the programme. Duration of the coaching varied from 1 day to 4 days. Four days is the ideal to ensure full coverage of skills and knowledge and practice in situ. Coaching is in the actual hospitals of the individual’s territory to ensure real-life learning, and an evaluation of the coaching impact is made after each coaching day to assess development and focus on needs.

The coaching covers many different aspects of working hospitals, such as: Understanding the role of hospitals and influence on territory business; Gaining Information and Access; Networking; Influencing Hospital Formulary; Product and Clinical knowledge; Organisational skills/territory planning; Selling Skills; Account Management; KOL development; Information Management, etc. Regular feedback is provided to the managers, as well as end of coaching evaluation report to continue development of the individual.


Results have been truly outstanding. Analysis from up to 20 individuals coached show improvements in skills and knowledge (and confidence!) from baseline from as little as 48% to an amazing 197%. Often these dramatic improvements are see in as little as 1-2 days. Feedback from individuals is included in the Testimonials page. These dramatic improvements demonstrate a significant saving in training and development costs, with a return on investment (ROI) equivalent to six months salary. That is learning and development is achieved in 3-4 days which would in normal situations without such intervention take 6-9 months. There are few training courses that can deliver that kind of impact in a few days and significant value for money.


“In respect of the recent support you have given me with hospital training I would like to offer some brief top line feedback in terms of its value to myself and my team. Firstly as a manager in Todays Pharma industry I find myself with an increasing array of tasks placing more and more burden upon my time, deciding which is the most important to do when I have virtually no field based coaching support is always outweighed by that most important role of spending quality time coaching my team. To be able to identify a team need in this case hospital working, agree specific goals I needed to achieve and agree days needed by individual was fantastic.

The outcome to the exercise is that I was able to concentrate on developing some key projects and customers I needed to work with while having the reassurance may team were receiving quality training on an area of weakness.
The exercise has proved extremely valuable with noticeable changes not only in skills and knowledge but confidence and therefore attitude to hospital working. Clearly the exercise was not a one off, it needs careful and co-ordinated follow up from myself and has certainly demonstrated to me that very real benefits of pulsed coaching which I will hope to take advantage of again very soon.

I have already recommended that my colleagues look at the report we have pulled together and have agreed to feedback to them at our next managers meeting this month. Thanks again”

–Jay Hamilton ABM Daiichi-Sankyo

If you’re interested in running this coaching programme within your company, feel free to get in touch for an informal discussion.