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Solvay Pharmaceuticals lifts effectiveness with Decideware's Sales Force Accelerator

  • 24 May, 2006 11:07

<p>Solvay Pharmaceuticals has improved the effectiveness and nationwide consistency of its Australian sales force with the help of Sales Force Accelerator (SFA), a suite of ‘on-demand’ tools that help sales management executives with decision-making, performance measurement and benchmarking.</p>
<p>National Sales Manager Tony Potter chose SFA, from Decideware, after evaluating CRM and other management information solutions. He was keen to manage and measure sales force effectiveness and improvement objectively, over time, to increase Solvay’s share of a highly competitive market.</p>
<p>Since implementing SFA, Tony has used the tool to take two snapshot assessments of his sales force, then comprising three regional managers, 11 field managers and 82 representatives. He says the overall matrix for these mid-year and year-end 2005 reviews showed that most individuals had moved in the right direction.</p>
<p>The sales team’s overall quality and efficiency has improved, with review scores rising from 52 to 55. Solvay exceeded its 2005 revenue target by 3 per cent.</p>
<p>SFA suppled information for key decisions that allowed Tony Potter to drive continuous improvements in sales force performance.</p>
<p>He said: “Sales Force Accelerator has proved to be an ideal way of improving the performance management process. It gives me a clear and concise view of all the information I need to lift sales performance. It captures, consolidates and presents data in a single source, saving me the difficult task of pulling in information from different systems.”</p>
<p>The software, which is accessed via the Internet by browser, presents Tony with a single view of key sales, activities and skills for each representative and team.</p>
<p>Consistency of measurement and evaluation have been key outcomes of using SFA. These have enabled Solvay’s sales managers to hold hard discussions with certain representatives whose opinions of their own performance did not match survey results.</p>
<p>Tony Potter explains: “SFA is a great system for measuring objective data such as lead and lag indicators, but it also measures some of the softer indicators like team spirit. It shows how people perform their jobs, and gives insights into their attitudes and behaviours.</p>
<p>“Although our sales team was already efficient, SFA has allowed sales managers in particular to improve their effectiveness and measure their performance, while supporting them in achieving results. Managers have been able to change a few representatives’ views of the world to better reflect reality.”</p>
<p>Solvay’s sales managers are wholehearted supporters of SFA, and keen to contribute to the solution’s continuing development. In particular they want to improve measurement, especially on the weighting given to value levels of assessment, to give an overall view of what a representative looks like in comparison with his or her peers.</p>
<p>Tony Potter says: “The beauty of SFA’s review process lies in its very technical yet dynamic assessment. The process is not set in stone. After each review we can adapt the parameters and weightings to suit our business model. It’s also good to know that Decideware is always keen to take on board our suggestions for tweaking the solution.”</p>
<p>Continual input such as this from leading sales professionals allows Decideware’s SFA to maintain its position as the leading Sales Force Effectiveness assessment tool in the Australian pharmaceutical market.</p>
<p>Prior to the introduction of SFA there were concerns among some sales representatives about the nature of their one-on-one performance appraisals. But careful explanation of the SFA assessment process eased any doubts, so by the time Solvay undertook its first snapshot in mid-2005, staff attitudes were positive.</p>
<p>The process begins with an explanatory email to sales staff, who go on line and carry out a self assessment. Simultaneously their manager carries out an assessment, then the two meet to discuss the differences in their results. Finally they produce a sales performance scorecard to which both parties agree.</p>
<p>“Usually these assessments are fairly close, though there are cases where a rep rates higher or lower than his or her expectations,” says Tony. “When we set up the system, however, we made sure there were very clear descriptors at each level, so differences of opinion are usually slight.</p>
<p>He concludes: “Personally I am very pleased with SFA, and management are happy with the way it’s been introduced and the levels of acceptance. I find it quite amazing that more companies have not taken it up like we have. I see Sales Force Accelerator as a positive tool and virtually all our sales people agree that it provides a good sustained measurement of the team.”</p>
<p>About Sales Force Accelerator</p>
<p>SFA allows pharmaceutical companies to develop a comprehensive framework to assess their representatives against key factors that contribute to overall performance; conduct assessments of representatives against that framework; understand exactly how representatives are performing against each factor and areas that may need improvement; and develop ideas to manage better performance.</p>
<p>Initially developed with input from high profile clients in financial and services markets, SFA has evolved with a special emphasis on pharmaceuticals after input from senior Decideware staff with substantial experience and expertise in this industry, as well as leading pharmaceutical companies.</p>
<p>About Decideware</p>
<p>A privately owned Australian company with offices and Sydney and Canberra, and agents worldwide, Decideware Pty Ltd offers a suite of web-enabled 'on demand' business applications based around decision-making, performance measurement and benchmarking. These are aimed at increasing business effectiveness and efficiency, and delivering a rapid ROI.</p>
<p>Decideware has 12,000-plus licensed users at 80 sites on four continents.</p>
<p>The company’s applications help to collect, process and report on information in core business activities such as 360° reviews, tender evaluation, supplier relationship management, commercialisation and corporate governance.
The applications are all web-based to enable easy access from anywhere in the world without complicated software installation. They are designed to produce rapid returns and most clients are up and running quickly.</p>
<p>About Solvay Pharmaceuticals</p>
<p>Solvay has evolved rapidly in recent years into an international chemical and pharmaceutical group which holds worldwide leadership positions in most of its activities. Today the group has over 400 units in 50 countries. Almost 30 000 people, 2,650 of them in research, apply their talents daily to satisfying 160 000 clients. Solvay, which operates in Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Plastics, generated EUR 7.9 billion of sales in 2004. Group HQ is in Brussels.</p>
<p>Since entering the Australian market in 1997, Solvay Pharmaceuticals has grown steadily. Expansion has accelerated during the past three to five years.</p>
<p># # #</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Decideware
Tel: 61-2-6163 9588 or 0414 481 951
www.decideware.com</p>
<p>Tony Potter, National Sales Manager, Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Tel: (02) 9497 9752
Mobile : 0403 125 216
Email: tony.potter@solvay.com.au</p>
<p>David Frost, PR Deadlines
Tel: 61-2-4341 5021
www.prdeadlines.com.au</p>

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