That was the summer of 2015 when I had received my first job offer letter from a pharma company. I joined a pharma company as a medical representative when I was just 21. At that time there was immense joy and fear inside me because I already had heard a lot of good and bad stories about the sales profession during my graduation days. But day by day when I have shown my willingness to learn and grow in my career, selling became very easy for me.
Since day one, I started observing my manager’s working style, their behaviour over calls, messages and emails. I also used to see my manager’s daily activities. And then after years of hard work, management has found that there is a lot of potential in me and promoted me as an Area Business Manager. At that moment, again fear came to my mind, am I made to bring profits for the company with effective people management and leadership skills. Or should I remain a medical rep. But then I recalled all my Learnings and again gained my confidence to work as an area manager for the same pharma company.
The best part of working in the same pharma company for so many years is that you get to know more about senior management very well, the company’s work culture, policies, benefits, etc.
As a medical representative, if you want to become an area manager as early as possible then I advise to you that keep on reading this blog post till the end you will definitely find it useful. You will get familiar with how an ABM of a pharma company spends his usual days.
My work usually starts at 8:30 AM with checking emails and messages. While doing it I also finish my breakfast and then call my colleagues who have been working with me for 4 years. One of them is Suren Kundu, he hails from Orissa and he works hard and keeps a note of everything which I tell him via phone or WhatsApp. Sometimes he forgets to send me his daily tracker which contains a daily collection of leads, client details and other work-related information due to which I have to call him in the middle of the night and I give him a gentle reminder to send the daily activity tracker. But overall he is too good.
While travelling, I call a few of my colleagues for a joint call. This call takes place when some of my team members are facing problems in doctors’ chambers. During joint call conversation, my whole team actively works on eliminating all the queries and concerns of doctors and then win his/her trust.
And when joint call is over I arrange lunch or evening snacks for my teammates to keep up their motivation and energy level high.
After day and night hard work, a few of them also send thank you note on WhatsApp, which makes me feel great and also enables me to work even better the next day for my team.
Whenever I see a sudden decline in my team member’s enthusiasm or performance I call them for a 1:1 conversation and ask them about their challenges so that they can be timely resolved and the company’s goals can be achieved.
Training from the company side is very seldom, as an area manager, on a regular basis I have to provide training to my juniors.
I arrange training for them whenever there is a need or a new product is launched. I train them in such a way that every medical reps makes an effort to cover the territory market so that no market remains vacant for us. I answer their every question and doubt and make sure that the training is very effective because its result is usually seen in their performance.
I somehow always try to retain the top performing pharma sales representatives because I think these are the ones who can take our organization to more markets rapidly.
I always make sure that med reps follow the company’s given guidelines because if there is a mismatch then there are unwanted consequences.
As every person is different I always try to figure out what each of my teammate’s motivation is. During joint work, I always try to motivate and guide each of my pharma sales representatives so that we as a team can work together for greater profits for the company.
There are many days when we have back to back meetings with different Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) which sometimes end up at 10: 30 PM or 11:30 PM. But for the next day, I give them light work because I always give priority to my teammates’ health.
Sometimes I also have to hire some medical sales representative for the company and when a new employee joins my team I tell him/her to be a life-long learner, there is so much to learn about different pharmaceutical products. If you want to grow fast become a fast learner. This will surely help you to progress.
In between all this, sometimes I realise that new joiners get afraid of sales career within few weeks. In joint work indirectly I tell them selling is a very rewarding career. If you do well in this field, more money, respect and success gets closer to you. I also inform them about the monthly incentive structure which is dependent on the performance and their career plan.
When it comes to monitoring the field activities of MR, I don’t allow them to disappoint me. I regularly check their daily, weekly performance and give feedback on the same. I remind them to not make the same mistakes again and I also tell them I am just a call away whenever there is a problem or doubt you can call me and if my phone is busy then you can drop a text or WhatsApp message. I will surely respond.
This is how a normal day in the life of ABM goes.