Strategic thinking and planning are core competencies in healthcare and pharmaceutical sales. Winning over and retaining critical accounts is vital to long-term success, and both aims require a calculated approach. Many industry-leading training initiatives (such as managed care training and healthcare executive coaching) emphasize strategy as a key part of their curriculum. But what is strategic thinking, and how can you implement it in your work as an account manager? Keep reading to find out.
What is Strategic Thinking?
Strategic thinking is the practice of devising an optimal solution to a problem. In the context of pharmaceutical account management, strategic thinking involves analyzing market trends and customer behaviors to find the best way to maximize sales.
Improving strategic planning ability among sales staff is often one of the primary goals of healthcare consulting companies. Better sales strategies yield higher customer satisfaction, shorter sales pipelines, and higher revenue all at once.
Improving Your Strategizing Abilities
If you want to hone your strategic skills, there are five key steps you should follow.
1. Set Better Goals
The best goals are specific, measurable, and achievable. Consider some of the things you are working toward right now. Are they expressed in specific, measurable terms? Goals like “gain a new customer every month” are far more useful than goals like “win more business.”
2. Brainstorm Multiple Ways to Achieve Each Goal
Once you have a goal in mind, you will need to figure out how best to achieve it. There are always multiple ways of accomplishing something, and coming up with a few different options increases the likelihood that you will discover a particularly efficient solution.
Take the time to brainstorm a few ways you might accomplish your goal. Be as detailed as you can during this stage. Having more information available will help you fairly evaluate the prospects in front of you.
3. Perform a Thorough Risk Analysis
With a diverse range of options in front of you, it’s time to determine which one is the best way forward. Consider each option carefully, thinking through all its potential outcomes. How likely is the outcome you want? What obstacles might stand in your way? Can you do anything to improve your chances? Weigh all of these factors carefully and you will discover the best option among your many possible choices.
4. Create a Plan
After deciding on the best option for success, you will need to figure out exactly how to arrive at that outcome. What needs to happen first? What steps can you take to get closer to the result you want? Each step you take is one step closer to your ultimate goal, but remember – the best sales tactics offer mutual benefit. Prioritize actions that benefit both you and your customers.
5. Be Ready to Adapt
Even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry. A strategic thinker is always ready for this eventuality and is able to adapt their plans as they go. Have an alternate path thought out whenever possible. Simply accepting that unforeseen obstacles are likely to come up will make it much easier for you to remain calm and make the right moves to get your plan back on track.
Achieve Strategic Mastery with The Brooks Group
Improving strategic thinking in your account management team could significantly increase your firm’s revenue. The Brooks Group offers best-in-class account management training courses to help you do exactly that. Contact us today to learn more about our healthcare and pharmaceutical sales training programs give your staff the tools they need to achieve your company’s long-term goals.