Welcome to “Ask LTEN,” our bimonthly column devoted to answering your questions and connecting you with life sciences training experts. Here we share questions submitted by LTEN members, with answers sourced from the appropriate experts.
Do you have a training-related question? Want to provide an additional answer to these questions? Questions or comments can be submitted to AskLTEN@L-TEN.org. We won’t use your name if you prefer anonymity.
Stakeholders keep asking me to squeeze more into my initial sales training classes, but there’s a finite number of days available to get new hires onboarded and trained. How can I keep my stakeholders happy without overwhelming my learners?
Thank you for the great question. We asked Nicole Ainsworth, senior manager of sales training for Horizon Therapeutics, to share her thoughts:
One point you and your stakeholders likely agree on is that on Day 1 in the field, the new hire must demonstrate credibility, engage compliantly and make an impact. For me, it always goes back to the key learning objectives that must be met to achieve these goals. Every proposed presentation, assignment and activity considered for initial sales training (IST) must support one or more of the defined objectives if it is to be included before, during and even after the initial inperson training.
Live training provides an opportunity to engage in hands-on application, personal interaction and key message verbalization that builds on the home study period.
When I create an agenda, I ask, “What information can be delivered virtually or on-demand to establish a solid foundation of knowledge that will maximize the limited time we have for handson skill building during the live training?” Examples include interactive disease-state modules, virtual walk-throughs of software systems or online portals and activities that immerse the user in visual aids (e.g., visual aid scavenger hunts).
Another question I consider is, “What knowledge transfer and skill-building activities are not critical on Day 1 but will enhance the new hire’s sales impact after they’ve mastered the basics of their role?” These can include sales resources that complement the core visual aid, guidelines for supporting and attending local and national conferences and “Ask the Expert” virtual discussion panels with medical, payer access and other teams that occasionally interface with the sales team.
Bottom line, be sure you are measuring all training content against your key IST learning objectives and prioritize learning activities based on their relevance to your objectives and the timing of when the knowledge or skills will be needed in the field.
Any suggestions for finding a supplier that creates content around compliance?
Another great question – thanks! We asked Gregg Haunroth, LTEN advertising director, for tips for connecting with partners for your specific needs:
The first place to look for your partnership needs is the LTEN Supplier Directory on the L-TEN.org website.
Our search engine helps you reach the right supplier (or suppliers), and you can customize your search to fine-tune the results. In this case, we were able to send more than 10 options to the member looking for assistance. The Supplier Directory includes members of the LTEN community, including all of our Preferred Industry Partner organizations.
Of course, LTEN members can also build their resource lists by meeting and interacting with supplier partners at LTEN conferences, events and webinars. Building a strong network through LTEN is a great way to connect to the people and services you need.
If any of our LTEN Focus on Training magazine readers has a question or are interested in joining the conversation on a previous topic, feel free to share with us at AskLTEN@L-TEN.org.