The scenario: When you get an opportunity to work as a first line manager in the pharmaceutical industry you must first try to understand that on what merits you got this opportunity in your career. Obviously, you must have done something good as a medical representative who got noticed by your superiors and you are rewarded with the next position. It is a great amount of trust which has been shown on you by giving the position of first line manager to lead the team of 5 medical representatives as per the industry norms. Now it’s your turn to deliver.
The requirements: Now the first thing you must understand the role and responsibilities of first line manager in the pharmaceutical industry. Whichever may be the organization in pharmaceutical industry the role and responsibility remain the same at this level of first line manager. So, you need to understand your achievements as a medical representative and how you could get the success and then what you are going to do at the level of first line manager. With the given position you need to know your purpose and your value towards organization.
The basics: As I always talk of basics in the pharmaceutical industry; so once again I would like to repeat that against 5 steps of functional segments there is a five-step functional hierarchy in the industry. And you being the first line manager having the accountability of products performance. So, you need to understand very clearly that not only the business but the visibility and the profitability from each and every product in the basket of the organization is going to be your accountability.
The components: Now the component of market is going to play a very important because by working successfully in the market you could get this position of first line manager. You know very well that pharmaceutical companies produce the drugs and medicines to sell through their sales and marketing teams. And the pharmaceutical industry is the only industry which has no direct interaction with the consumers of its produce. This one thing makes pharmaceutical industry different than all other industries involved in sales and marketing. Because in all other produce and commodities where sales and marketing are involved, a direct interaction with the consumers is established. The strategies and promotional action plans are made as per the needs and liking of the consumers. But this advantage is not available with pharmaceutical industry.
The status: The sales and marketing team which is usually called Sales force is led by a first level of commander called first line manager in pharmaceutical industry. And he is out there in the battlefield called market to combat the competition in the highly competitive market of Pharmaceutical. In such a tough situation when you need to deliver, you require the specific set of skills at your level of first line manager. And this set of skill is communication which is essential for you to outperform at your position. Well you developed the skill of adaptability as a medical representative and with the help of that you could out perform in the market, resulting your elevation as a first line manager. Now you need to add up the skill of communication to be successful as a first line manager.
The understanding: You have a list of responsibilities starting from supervising your team members for their activity and productivity to the level of your own accountability of products visibility and budget achievement more than the business. Some time or other you need to attend the additional responsibilities of induction of medical representative and vacant territory management also. I will call it accountability more than the responsibility because in these two activities no one in the hierarchy or in the organization is going to help or substitute you. So you need to understand your resources that are markets, products and customers and your objectives that is development of customers whether they are internal or external. You need to attend various responsibilities at the front of market, products and people. You need to identify the strengths and weaknesses in these three segments and develop your specific action plan for performance of your as well as of your subordinate.
The maturity: When you’re looking to the needs and requirements on this functional segment of market, products and people with the understanding of your role and responsibility, you will find many folds of activities and action plans to be taken up for the development of market, product mix and people with you. And if you attempt to work without understanding the role and responsibility of a first line manager, you will be simply joining your subordinate for the activities and setting a wrong example of one job is being done by two people. You will never be in a position to know that what you need to do and what you need to get done without understanding the role and responsibility of the first line manager.
The clarity: Therefore, my dear professionals please have a sincere effort to make yourself understand the role and responsibility of the first line manager. Unfortunately, the organizations are not paying much attention towards these essential requirements for the success of first line manager in the industry. You need to invest on yourself as a professional to attend your accountability and responsibility. To attend your role and responsibility you need to take all three segments i.e. market, products’ promotion and customers’ service with equal amount of intensity. And if you try to attempt this without understanding the role and responsibility of first line manager you might be having the speed but not the velocity. And in the process, you with develop a bad interpersonal relationship with your customers and ultimately you will not get the desired success for which the organization has given you the position of first line manager with lot many hopes, understanding and believe.
To Learn in detail you can enroll to the course: Role & Responsibilities of First Line Manager in Pharmaceutical Industry
Author: Mahendra S. Bisht