'The Enablers'. We develop humans into winners

My Photo
Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

We Develop Human Capital "Not to unlearn what you have learned is the most necessary kind of learning" said Antisthenes. Our passion at 'The Enablers' is to develop people. Developing human resources is more important to 'The Enablers' than getting clients. We want to make sure that people take way something valuable and useful for their lives. In our workshops, we create an environment which is conducive to learning. We encourage participants to: • Un-learn what is obsolete. • Learn what is contemporary to become futuristic. • Un-learn and re-learn, un-learn and re-learn again! When people follow these three steps, the miracle process begins - the process of excelling. With this mission, 'The Enablers' was established in January 2004 by Prof. Vivek Hattangadi. ‘The Enablers’ unlock the concealed potential in people and leverage their latent talent so they emerge as winners. In our learning sessions, the participants learn the way an excellent surgeon learns - practicing what has been learned through purposeful activities rather than merely from instructions. Our sessions are pragmatic; learning’s are doable. We have a large clientele even outside India.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Increasing Medical Representative Productivity

Increasing medical representative productivity

The cost of finding new prescribers is a big expense for most Pharma businesses.

It has been estimated by market researchers that the costs and efforts required to develop a new prescriber is six to eight times more than making an existing prescriber generate more prescriptions for the same volume of business.

The reason is because existing prescribers already know the medical representative, his company’s products, and the company. All these factors make the medical representative more acceptable to the doctor. Moreover, the very fact he is a prescriber means there is a certain amount of rapport, which has developed between them, and can translated into more prescriptions.

What is rapport? Rapport is the process of building and sustaining a relationship of mutual trust, harmony and understanding.

Profitability will come from existing prescribers while we cannot be certain how many new prescribers we can attract in short term.

A recent marketing study reported that the sources of profit breakdown are as follows:

-70% from existing customers
-25% from targeted new or prospective customers
-5% from casual customers


Are the medical representatives making the most of their relationship with doctors?
Are doctors prescribing the appropriate products from the company's product basket?

Fortunately, most businesses, whether it is Computer Software, FMCG or Pharma business, have the potential to increase sales by selling more to the existing customers.

Many of us have heard the old adage:

“The easiest place to make your next sale is where you just made a sale.”

What is the technique of getting more sales from existing customers? In relation to Pharma business, you attempt to generate additional prescriptions from the existing prescriber base and apply a growth technique known as:

Ø Cross Selling
Ø Upselling

Cross Selling in Pharma Industry:

· Cross selling is prescriptions generating activities that make a doctor prescribe additional products when he already prescribes a product or two.
· Example, if he is a gastroenterologist prescribing only our omeprazole we make him prescribes our mosapride, itapride, rabeprazole as well as pantoprazole from our basket.

Upselling in Pharma Industry:

It refers to the efforts in prescription generation to increase the quantity and quality of prescriptions generated by a doctor.

Example, if a doctor is prescribing say 10 prescriptions of pantoprazole in a week in non-ulcer dyspepsia (where the prescription life is for about a week to ten days), we make efforts to make him prescribe at least 15 prescriptions of pantoprazole in a week in GERD (where the prescription life is for about three to six months). Thus we increase not only the quantity but also the quality of prescriptions.

Cross Selling and Upselling are valuable business tools for increasing the productivity of medical representatives.

Many medical representatives avoid Upselling because they are afraid the doctor may get irritated and not prescribe or stop prescribing at all!

I have experienced that the opposite is true. Every medical representative can implement a successful Upselling or a Cross Selling program. But the current mindset has to change.

We have all heard about:


But what is

E=MC2= P

E = Cross Selling and Upselling Efforts
M = How Motivated you are
C = Customer Relation
C = Control – control the direction of Cross Selling and Upselling activities
P = Prescription Generation (Performance)

7 Tips for Successful Upselling and Cross Selling

1. Be well prepared before a doctor call. Do your homework thoroughly.
2. Know your customer. Become an amateur psychologist. Do not assume that you know what the doctor wants.
3. Spend 75% of your time in building rapport with the doctor.
4. Understand that the only reason you did not succeed in Cross Selling or Upselling is because 5. You were not convincing enough.
6. Distinguish yourself from all other medical representatives who meet him.

Do not talk about features – talk only of benefits.

Make sure that you “W.I.I.F.M.” the doctor – it is human nature to look after your own best interests. But whenever we are addressing a customer, they are asking themselves “What’s In It For Me?”. We must answer this question to be successful.

7 Top Sales Blunders

1. Allowing the doctor to lead the sales process. The best way to control the sales is to ask open ended questions.
2. Not completing pre-call research. 75% of your time should be spent on that.
3. Talking too much! Many medical representatives talk too much during the interaction. They espouse about their product, its features and so on. Make the doctor talk instead.
4. Giving the doctor information that is irrelevant. Do not share something, which is meaningless to them.
5. Not being prepared. Have all relevant information at your fingertips, including references, clinical trials, pricing, dosage, indications, contraindications and adverse drug interactions.
6. Neglecting to ask for a prescription. You need not be pushy but ask for a prescription in a non-threatening confident manner, with a positive body language and most of the doctors will respond favorably.
7. Failing to prospect. This is a common business mistake. When business is good, people stop prospecting thinking that the flow of prescriptions will continue.

Get Ready to Cross Sell and Upsell by Building Self Confidence

1. Believe in your product – believe in yourself.

2. Increase your self-confidence and you increase your Upselling and Cross Selling skills.

3. Cultivate your self-confidence.

4. Develop a building self-confidence routine. Eliminate all distractions, which interfere with your concentration on the doctor’s call.

Use self-praise to develop self-confidence. We are surrounded by negative influences – many of them exist only in our own heads – and combat these negative messages.

One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation -Arthur Ashe

Thursday, February 23, 2006

How to implement a winning strategy

A must read article for all marketing professionals from MarketingProfs, authored by Steve Bassil.

How to Implement a Winning Segment Strategy
by Steve Bassill

February 21, 2006

Have you learned the best way to identify and serve customers in your target segments?

Segmentation could be the marketing tool that sets your company apart from the competition. The business organization that goes all the way from developing a winning segment strategy to committing the resources needed to implement the strategy will be more profitable.

One of the basic segmentation rules is that the segment must be "reachable." It's essential for marketers to have the ability to identify and serve customers in the target segment.

However, in today's complex business environment, markets are becoming more and more fragmented. When you consider the increased number of niches, you realize what a daunting task it is for businesses to deliver across so many segments.

A quick review of basic segmentation theory illustrates why this is the case. The simplest way to think about market segments is to picture different colored balls—each color represents a customer segment with unique application needs.

In the power tool industry, for example, there are three very basic segments: the do-it-yourself individual; the craftsman (who is more than a casual tool user); and the professional (who handles the tool for a living). At a minimum, the colored balls represent three distinct segments.

After segmenting customers based on tool application, marketers have several tasks to execute before they can adequately serve these segments. Let's take a look at the classic four "Ps" of marketing:

  1. Product: Do you have products that meet the specific needs of each, or any segment? Meeting the customer's needs relates to the product's performance, look and feel, brand image, ease of purchase, and ease of use.
  2. Place: Do or can you offer your product for sale where the customer wants to buy it? You must have the distribution channels in place to intercept buyers wherever they shop.
  3. Promotion: Have you created messages designed to communicate your product's features and target those customers most likely to buy? Effective vehicles include trade shows, advertising, word of mouth, and the Internet.
  4. Price: Are you in the right price band for your target customers? You don't have to be the least expensive, but you have to be considered competitive.

You must align your segments for success. What makes alignment so important to segmentation is that all four of these variables could be different for each segment you target. The greater the difference between the needs of each segment, the more essential it becomes to customize your offering and organization.

Ask yourself: Are you prepared to back up your product with the features and support that your customers require?

Let's take a look at the diverse needs of the power tool market.

The craftsman may accept returning his power tool to the manufacturer when it needs to be repaired.

On the other hand, the "professional" segment requires much more responsive post-sales support and may even demand a loaner or same-day repair.

The do-it-yourself segment might require a help line to answer questions and troubleshoot.

Building an organization capable of providing the type of support that each customer segment expects is crucial to achieving success. Of course, you'll want to take a close look at the potential financial income generated from each segment first to establish whether it merits investment.

Behavioral segmentation opens many possibilities for marketers to be more efficient and effective. Behavioral segmentation distinguishes the buyers from the shoppers. Rather than investing time and money on consumers who are not ready to purchase, the marketer can spend his valuable resources on customers who are motivated to buy in the near term.

This builds momentum. The net effect is to generate more sales out of the same sales and marketing investment. On the other hand, chasing pretenders can stall sales momentum, frustrate your sales force, and ultimately require the investment of additional funds to re-energize the sales initiative.

Behavioral segmentation is like taking our original three balls representing the power tool market, and exploding them exponentially into 9, 12, or 15 more balls. To reap the advantages of behavioral segmentation, businesses will have to implement organizational changes to effectively reach these additional sub-segments.

Developing customer profiles, using CRM to keep track of prospects, and educating sales people to distinguish the buyer from the shopper could be some of the steps taken to target sub-segments. These are not trivial efforts. Although it takes time and money to put the infrastructure in place to support behavioral segmentation, doing so can mean the difference between success and failure.

If there is a lesson to walk away with when you start to think about segmentation, it is this:

  • Segmenting your market gives you the opportunity for rapid, highly profitable growth.
  • But segmenting your market requires a commitment to make the changes necessary to win and maintain your customers' business.

So, as you look at segmentation opportunities, make sure you clearly identify every internal/channel change required to capture the market. Continue to monitor your strategy over time.

Markets change rapidly, and it's critical to make adjustments accordingly. Don't let your segment strategy fall short. To be successful, you've got to align your segments and back them up with the investment needed to generate a revenue stream.

Steve Bassill is president of QDI Strategies, Inc.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Is Al Ries Dangerous To Your Brand ?

I read this article in MarketingProfs a couple of years back and found it interesting. I, therefore, share it with you. Vivek Hattangadi

Is Al Ries Dangerous to Your Brand?
by Dan Herman June 1, 2004

In the business world's hall of fame, a special place is reserved for Al Ries. He is without doubt one of the most prominent gurus of strategic thinking.

More than 30 years ago, together with his partner Jack Trout, Ries coined the term “Positioning”—a concept that to these very day shapes the way of marketing and branding all over the world. Only few other concepts come close in importance.

Despite the rebellious, revolutionary spirit and the surefooted—even vain—phrasings that characterized them from the very start of their careers, Ries and Trout did not always grasp in full the magnitude of the revolutions they initiated. Their early books, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Marketing Warfare and Bottom-Up Marketing, proclaimed, in fact, without their authors expressed awareness, the death of the so-called Marketing Approach (“marketing successes are achieved by satisfying the unsatisfied needs of customers”).

Furthermore, Ries and Trout suggested an alternative approach, which could be named the Competitive Approach. They drew guidelines for conducting a business in competitive markets for which the Marketing Approach is quite useless.
The reason for this incompatibility is as simple as it is counterintuitive. If everybody is trying to satisfy the unsatisfied needs of customers—everybody is doing the same thing. This is a very uncompetitive behavior.

Together and apart, they brought us ideas like the need to focus first on the competitors and only later on customers, the need for strategic focus, the importance of strategic differentiation (a concept borrowed from others), the advantages of adopting an opposite behavior to that of the competitor, of divergent innovation and of primacy in the consumer's mind (because it's better to be first than to be better).

Although Ries never said it clearly, he can even be credited with the understanding that the competitive strategy and the brand are two facets of the same coin, rather than the brand being a kind of make-up applied to the product or the company in order to make it more attractive.

Regretfully, Ries's continued influence is becoming today a considerable danger to successful brand building and brand management. Despite his historic importance, in the current business and marketing realities Al Ries is outdated and limited.

Despite his often use of terms like Psychology, Perception and Mind, Ries's entire theoretical account of consumer psychology can be summed up in two principles.
The first: People find simple claims—rather than complex claims—easier to understand and learn. The second: People understand new information in terms of what they already know. This is undoubtedly true but hardly sufficient for successful strategizing and branding.

Ries has always excelled more in common sense than in psychology, which often defies common sense. For that reason, Ries is missing major changes that occurred in recent years in consumers' behavior. Even apart from these changes, Ries simply fails to understand the psychological and social instrumentalities of brands.

Unconscious motivations are beyond him. Impulsive purchases evade him. He doesn't get why consumers “buy things they don't need” and other such phenomena that are sources of huge profit to those who do understand them. He doesn't understand brands that where destined to cater for such needs.

The secret of Ries's power always lay in his simplistic formulations. He claims ‘universal truths' and formulates do/don't rules that overlook complexities. But our world is a complex world. And, therefore, whoever tries to implement such rules may lead his brand and business to obliteration.

To justify these severe and harsh statements, I invite you to examine with me the six main tenets of Ries's credo.

Ries says: Innovation should be based on creating a new product category (car) or on diverging an existing category (mini-van) but not on crossbreeding/grafting between categories (car-plane). It is a law of evolution.

That sounds good, but it is incorrect. Crossbreeding works for agriculture in order to create new species. A Tangelo (to name one example out of many) is a hybrid created by crossbreeding pomelos and tangerines. The cellular phone is becoming a device offering rich communication options as well as personal entertainment center by crossbreeding a cellular phone, a walky-talky, an Internet connection, a receiver/transmitter of MMS and data, a radio, a MP3 player and more. The PC in general (and Windows OS in particular) is a crossbreed.

A car and a plane or a boat may not mix. But a car and a living room have, in luxury car such as the Maybach. There are crossbreeds/grafts that work, and then there are those that don't.

Want a new simple rule? It works when the compromise which the breed demands in the benefits of the different components is smaller than the benefit offered by them combined. If you operate according to Ries, you are reducing your options for innovation.
Ries says: Brands need to focus in one product category. It is not advisable to extend a brand from one category to another. It is best to create a new brand instead.
This is correct only when the brand was originally created with a strong affinity to a certain product category. But this is no must.

Virgin is a brand that exists in tens, even hundreds of product categories, and is successful in many of them because its promise (“being mischievous, breaking the rules, screwing the big guys and having fun”) is not limited to one product category. Another UK brand, Dunhill, exists in many product categories catering to a variety of life style requirements of the modern-day gentleman.

My own Abstracting technique promises to replace Brand Extension. It assists the creation of brands that have beyond-category benefits and the re-branding of existing brands into such. The model includes seven extents of branding, each consecutive one another step away from product dependency to a higher level of intangible added value.
As I have already mentioned, Ries has difficulty in understanding brands that offer the consumer a psychological-emotional or a social (rather than tangible-practical) instrumentality for reaching goals/benefits. But let us put aside for a moment the sophisticated brands (although they are the ones yielding their owners the highest profits).

Ries does not like diversified conglomerates, but they do make money nonetheless. What about Samsung, Mitsubishi, GE or even HP? Actually, every private label of a supermarket chain exists in tens if not hundreds of product categories and its promise (usually something like “good value for your money”—nothing unique or brilliant) crosses all of them. Even this type of huge profit-earning brands fall out of Ries's narrow canon.

Ries says: It is better to be first (in the consumer's mind) than to be better.
Ries gives ample examples, like the fact that we all remember the name of the first man walking on the moon but not the second one. He interprets this to suggest that we will remember and pay attention only to the pioneer of a category.

This is part of the Positioning theory. But the Positioning theory, right from the start, was not in line with the up-to-date knowledge of how the memory works. Positioning is based on a metaphor of mountains with tops that you can “conquer” and “own.”
There is no basis for such an idea. The consumer may recognize Rolls Royce as a prestige brand, but this will not lead him to perceive Bentley as any less prestigious. While brands may be associated with just one concept (the best are not, think Ferrari)—it doesn't work both ways. The consumer doesn't limit himself to only one brand of prestigious cars. Similarly in fashion, Gucci and others didn't block the relatively newcomer Prada from breaking into awareness. No one can have exclusivity on any “top” concept or word in the consumer's mind. This metaphor is inappropriate and is misleading the marketing people who use it.

Moreover, the rapidly spreading “fear of missing out” (FoMO) that is becoming a primary motivation driving consumer behavior, encourages consumers to seek the new. This motivation leads to an unprecedented willingness to try and adopt novelties, often simply because they are… new.

Not only does Ries not account for the fundamental changes that occurred in consumers' behavior, it appears that he doesn't even notice them. Even worse, his way of thinking is idealistic rather than businesslike. Even if me-too products will never become category leaders, as Ries claims, and even if Coca-Cola energy drink KMX will not ever outperform Red Bull, still the second- and even the third-ranking brands in the market can make handsome profits. So what is wrong with that?

Ries says: Take a word and build it into a brand. A brand should “own” a word in the consumer's mind.

We already dealt with the ownership issue, but why a “word”? Will any word do? If you are about to implement this rule by Ries, you may spend a lot of money associating your brand with a “word” that will not bring you any gain.

You can decide, for instance, that your word would be “leadership” or “cutting edge” (but be careful, friends! The most attractive words have a lot of takers!). Let's even say that you succeeded and now market research shows that consumers indeed associate the word you chose with your brand. Why do I claim that it can be useless? If your word is not associated with the consumer's buying consideration (and if the consumer does not use the very word in his thinking—even if she does use implicitly that criterion), it would have no effect whatsoever upon choosing your brand.

The consumer's buying considerations are sometimes conscious and often not. They may be conscious but not verbal. Ries is a man of words, but the consumers aren't necessarily. What you want, in fact, is for your target audience to have a very clear anticipation (that can be unverbalized, just felt) for some benefit arising from your brand. Such anticipation makes the consumer smile when your brand comes to mind. All strong brands arouse their specific anticipation, preferably unique to them. In fact, such anticipation is THE defining characteristic of brands.

Ries says: Brands take off slowly and their success is measured in decades. Brands that take off fast—die fast.

Ries obviously haven't heard about Harry Potter, or about Nokia (which became a world market leader in only a few years) or about the Easy Group, which was established only in 2000 and is already a successful concern that incorporates a dozen companies in diverse areas such as aviation, cellular communication, hotels, banking, etc.
Simply put: Ries is wrong. There are brands that take off very fast. Some of them, not all of them, really do behave like meteors and are very successful for a short period of time. In recent years, many companies opt to do it purposely, realizing that it is more probable in today's markets to make it big for the short run. Strategically, it is possible in many categories to launch consecutive blockbusters and have, in the long run, a high average market share and to hold consumer loyalty effectively.

Ries says: Advertising, because of its increasing lack of credibility, is nearly incapable of building a brand. PR is more effective than advertising in imprinting a brand concept in the consumer's mind. The role of advertisement is to remind the consumer something already known in order to reinforce it.

This peculiar claim already drew a lot of fire, as it was meant to. But seriously, now. You can expect a very limited control over messages you send to the market via PR. Journalists will have their own mind and agenda. How, then, can PR be used as the major means for evoking and shaping a specific anticipation in the consumer's mind?

Ries goes on to claim that limited resources to support an emerging but yet unprofitable brand for a long period of time is another reason to count on PR. But the media's interest in a new brand is brief at best! There can be no doubt that advertising does a better job than PR, more precisely and faster, in evoking and shaping specific anticipations.
However, advertising is not always necessary. Some outstanding brands like Starbucks and Zara took off without any considerable advertising budgets. This is possible especially with retail brands where the consumer has opportunities to grasp the brand's promise at the selling points. There, yet another type of brands that creates for their costumers opportunities to meet, thus encouraging the formation of a community. These brands' promises travel by buzz, and they sometime become a kind of cult, like Harley-Davidson, Saturn, Linux and Vans.

Admittedly, it is a bit sad: the world has changed, and Al Ries stayed focused but behind. But hey, you have your brand to worry about, which means giving up the seductive simplicity of Al Ries's generalizations and rules.

Dan Herman, PhD, creates Unique Success Formulas for companies and brands. His new book, Just-on-Desire Branding, will be available soon. For more information, visit

Monday, February 13, 2006

Management decision

Story of Management Decision!!!
Once PVNR (PV Narasimha Rao), L.K. Advani and Laloo Prasad Yadav were traveling in an Auto Rickshaw. They met with an accident and all three of them die. Yama was waiting for this moment at the doorstep of death.He asks PVNR and Advani to go to heaven. But, for Laloo, Yama had already decided that he should be sent to hell. Laloo is not at all happy with this decision.

He asks Yama as to why this discrimination is being made. All the three of them had served the public. Similarly, all took bribes; all misused public positions, etc. Then why the differential treatment?

He felt that there should be a formal objective evaluation before a decision is made; and should not be just based on opinion or preconceived notions.

Yama agrees to this and asks all the three of them to appear for an English test.

1. PVNR is asked to spell "INDIA" and he does it correctly.
2. Advani is asked to spell "ENGLAND" and he too passes.
3. It is Laloo's turn and he is asked to spell "CZECHOSLOVAKIA".

Laloo protests that he doesn't know English. He says this is not fair and that he was given a tough question and thus forced to fail with false intent.

Yama then agrees to conduct a written test in Hindi (to give another chance assuming that Laloo should at least feel that Hindi would provide an equal platform for all three).

1.PVNR is asked to write "KUTTA BOLA BHOW BHOW". He writes it easily and passes.
2.Advani is asked to write "BILLY BOLI MYAUN MYAUN". He too passes. 3.Laloo is asked to write "BANDAR BOLA GRRRRRR....." Tough one. He fails again.

Laloo is extremely unhappy. Having been a student of history (which the other two weren't), he now requested for all the 3 to be subjected to a test in history.

Yama says OK but this would be the last chance and that he would not take any more tests.

1PVNR is asked: "When did India get Independence?” He replied "1947" and passed.
2.Advani is asked, "How many people died during the independence struggle?" He gets nervous. Yama asked him to choose from 3 options: 100,000 or 200,000 or 300, 000. Advani catches it and says 200,000 and passes.
3.It's Laloo's turn now. Yama asks him to give the names and addresses of each of the 200,000 people who died in the independence struggle. Laloo accepts defeat and agrees to go to HELL.

This story is a a reflection on many management decisions.

Moral of the story: If your management has decided to screw you, there is no escape.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What makes a successful salesperson

Selling is a noble profession. To be successful, at every stage you have to sell your self - be he a doctor, a lawyer or a scientist. How can you be successful salesperson? Read on this article from MarketingProfs written by Nido Qubein. Vivek Hattangadi

What Makes a Successful Salesperson?

by Nido Qubein October 11, 2005

What makes a successful salesperson?
I've often asked a seminar audience that question, and the answers have been all over the board.

"You've got to have the right product," some say. (It helps, but a really good salesperson can rack up more sales with a mediocre product than a mediocre salesperson can make with the greatest product in the world.)

"You've got to make plenty of sales calls," others say. "The more calls you make, the more sales you'll get." (As a general rule, that's true, but it doesn't go far enough.)
Still others say, "You've got to master the mechanics." (That helps, too. But it won't put you on top of the sales charts unless you master the right mechanics.)

Selling Savvy

In today's market, it's crucial that we learn selling savvy. The sales environment has changed radically in four distinct ways:

1. Customers are better-educated, more sophisticated, and more value-conscious
In other words, they are harder to please; they want more for their money. Think about your own demands as a consumer. You insist on quality goods and efficient service. You don't want to be tricked into buying a product or service you don't want or need.
You expect follow-up service. If something goes wrong, you want to know that the salesperson and the company are going to stand behind the sale.
This means that salespeople have to stay on top of their markets. They have to be knowledgeable about their products and services. Moreover, they have to be honest and sincerely interested in helping their customers find value and derive satisfaction.

2. Competition is stiffer

Customers have so many options that price will always be the deciding factor — unless you can offer a strong differential advantage. With companies producing similar products at similar cost, it's getting tougher every day to offer substantially lower prices than the competition.

That means that you have to offer something that sets you apart from all the other salespeople who are trying to get your customers to buy from them. You have to provide quicker service, more up-to-date product knowledge, and better follow-up.
Your customers must acknowledge the superiority of your products and services. If not, you won't get the sale, no matter how good your product. Your success in selling depends less on the product you're selling, and more on your skills as a salesperson.

3. Technology is rapidly replacing peddlers

People are buying more through direct mail, interactive television and the Internet, simply by pressing a button or clicking a mouse. Companies are no longer looking for peddlers to handle items that are much easier to sell by phone or through the mail. In many cases, they're setting up self-service systems that can be operated by clerks.

Of course, there are plenty of very good opportunities for sharp salespeople who can sell with power and skill, especially in the industrial field. To be successful as a salesperson, you must find ways to distinguish yourself from the inexpensive clerks and the commonplace peddlers. You must rise to the challenge with proficient skills, depth of knowledge and a positive attitude.

4. Time has become a priceless commodity—for salespeople and for their customers
Prospects don't want salespeople wasting their time. And if you're serious about becoming successful, you don't have time to wander around showing your products or services to anyone who will look at them.

To survive in today's volatile marketplace, you need a clear and effective strategy. You need the skills to implement that strategy. And you need the know-how to make that strategy work for you. When you acquire and apply these things, you're demonstrating "selling savvy."

Five Vital Ingredients for Selling Savvy

Selling savvy is understanding the selling process well enough to approach it as a highly educated professional.
Selling savvy is understanding people well enough to influence them to buy.
Selling savvy is knowing how to execute.
Selling savvy means developing street smarts.
Selling savvy is having the self-discipline to carry out every detail of your strategy all day, every day.

Professionals vs. Workers

There's a distinction between a person with a worker mentality and a person with a professional mentality. Workers tolerate their jobs as burdens to be endured for the sake of putting food on their tables and roofs over their heads. Professionals see their jobs as rewarding components of their lives. Their careers and their personal lives complement and support each other. Their jobs are part of who they are.

Workers wait to be told what to do. They don't reach out for new responsibility, because they don't want responsibility. They take care of their own immediate tasks without worrying about how their tasks affect others in the organization. In fact, they don't see themselves as part of the organization. They see the organization as an outside entity that may have a negative or positive impact on their lives. They refer to it in the third person: as "it" or "them," and not as "we." The organization is something they have to respond to, although they're not a part of it.

Professionals see themselves as part of the organization. To them, the organization is "we." When it succeeds, they succeed. When it suffers reverses, they feel the reverses.
People look up to professionals because they recognize them as being good at what they do. They're good because they've walked the extra mile toward excellence. They absorb information about their chosen fields, and they share their knowledge with others.
To be a professional, you have to look like a pro, communicate like a pro, and exude the confidence of a pro. You must set a high standard for yourself and never allow yourself to fall below that standard.

Please send your views to vivekhattangadi@yahoo.co.in

Monday, February 06, 2006

Delegation - Getting the help you need, when you need it

This is an article on DELEGATION which I have downloaded from Internet. I am sorry, I do recollect the source. Vivek Hattangadi


There is a limit to the amount of work that you can do on your own. There is only so much value that you can deliver to your organization without the help of other people.

If you are successful in your career, at some stage the demands on you will become greater than you are able to cope with on your own. As they do, you must learn to delegate parts of your work to be able to manage your increased workload, and further expand the value you can deliver.
Delegation is the skill that you must acquire to manage this work, and to ensure that it is successfully delivered. It is also a skill you can use to bring other people's expertise to bear in your your work, particularly in areas where you do not have the skills or the temperament to do the best possible job. Furthermore, the transfer of responsibility involved with delegation develops your staff, and can increase their enjoyment of their roles

How to ‘delegating work’ to other people

Delegation involves passing responsibility for completion of work to other people. This section examines the reasons you should delegate, how to delegate, failure to delegate and what should not be delegated.

Delegation is useful for the following reasons:
1.Once people have learned how to work with you, they can take responsibility for jobs you do not have time to do.
2.You can develop people to look after routine tasks that are not cost-effective for you to carry out
3.It transfers work to people whose skills in a particular area are better than yours, saving time.
4.Transfer of responsibility develops your staff, and can increase their enjoyment of their jobs

The ideal position to reach as a manager is one where your staff carries out all the routine activities of your team. This leaves you time to plan, think, and improve the efficiency of what you are doing.

How to delegate

The following points may help you in delegating jobs:
Deciding what to delegate: One way of deciding what to delegate is simply to list the things that you do which could be more effectively done by someone either more skilled in a particular area, or less expensive. Alternatively you may decide to use your activity log as the basis of your decision to delegate: this will show you where you are spending large amounts of time on low yield jobs.

Select capable, willing people to carry out jobs: How far you can delegate jobs will depend on the ability, experience and reliability of your assistants. Good people will be able to carry out large jobs with no intervention from you. Inexperienced or unreliable people will need close supervision to get a job done to the correct standard. However if you coach, encourage and give practice to them you may improve their ability to carry out larger and larger tasks unsupervised.

Delegate complete jobs: It is much more satisfying to work on a single task than on many fragments of the task. If you delegate a complete task to a capable assistant, you are also more likely to receive a more elegant, tightly integrated solution.

Explain why the job is done, and what results are expected: When you delegate a job, explain how it fits into the overall picture of what you are trying to achieve. Ensure that you communicate effectively:
the results that are needed
the importance of the job
the constraints within which it should be carried out
the deadlines for completion
internal reporting dates when you want information on the progress of the project

Then let go! Once you have decided to delegate a task, let your assistant get on with it. Review the project on the agreed reporting dates, but do not constantly look over their shoulders. Recognize that your assistants may know a better way of doing something than you do. Accept that there may be different ways of achieving a particular task, and also that one of the best ways of really learning something is through making mistakes. Always accept mistakes that are not caused by idleness, and that are learned from.

Give help and coach when requested: It is important to support your subordinates when they are having difficulties, but do not do the job for them. If you do, then they will not develop the confidence to do the job themselves.

Accept only finished work: You have delegated a task to take a workload off you. If you accept only partially completed jobs back, then you will have to invest time in completing them, and your assistant will not get the experience he or she needs in completing projects.

Give credit when a job has been successfully completed: Public recognition both reinforces the enjoyment of success with the assistant who carried out the task and sets a standard for other employees.

Why do people fail to delegate?

Despite the many advantages of delegation, some managers do not delegate.
This can be for the following reasons:
Lack of time: Delegating jobs does take time. In the early stages of taking over a job you may need to invest time in training people to take over tasks. Jobs may take longer to achieve with delegation than they do for you to do by yourself, when coaching and checking are taken into account. In time, with the right people, you will find that the time taken up reduces significantly as your coaching investment pays back.

Perfectionism - fear of mistakes: Just as you have to develop staff to do jobs quickly without your involvement, you will have to let people make mistakes, and help them to correct them. Most people will, with time, learn to do jobs properly.

Enjoying 'getting my hands dirty': By doing jobs yourself you will probably get them done effectively. If, however, your assistants are standing idle while you do this, then your department will be seriously inefficient. Bear in mind the cost of your time and the cost of your department's time when you are tempted to do a job yourself.

Fear of surrendering authority: Whenever you delegate, you surrender some element of authority (but not of responsibility!) This is inevitable. By effective delegation, however, you get the benefits of adequate time to do YOUR job really well.

Fear of becoming invisible: Where your department is running smoothly with all routine work effectively delegated, it may appear that you have nothing to do. Now you have the time to think and plan and improve operations (and plan your next career step!)

Belief that staff ‘are not up to the job': Good people will often under-perform if they are bored. Delegation will often bring the best out of them. People who are not so good will not be effective unless you invest time in them. Even incompetent people can be effective, providing they find their level. The only people who cannot be reliably delegated to are those whose opinions of their own abilities are so inflated that they will not co-operate.

It is common for people who are newly promoted to managerial positions to have difficulty delegating. Often they will have been promoted because they were good at what they were doing. This brings the temptation to continue trying to do their previous job, rather than developing their new subordinates to do the job well.
What should not be delegated?

While you should delegate as many tasks as possible that are not cost effective for you to carry out, ensure that you do not delegate the control of your team. Remember that you bear ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of what you are trying to achieve.
Effective delegation involves achieving the correct balance between effective control of work and letting people get on with jobs in their own way.

You can send your comments at:

Prof. Tarun Gupta, Vivek Hattangadi and Strategy Execution for First Line Managers

Dear Visitor

If an organization has to deliver superior performance, without doubt, the people accountable for strategy execution – the 1st line managers hold the key.

In his book ‘Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done’, Prof. Ram Charan says: “Execution is the great unaddressed issue in the business world today. Most often, the difference between a company and its competitor is the ability to execute. If your competitors are executing better than you are, they are beating you”.

In recent years, the pace of growth of the pharma industry in India has slowed down alarmingly and the obvious reason is that execution of strategies is at levels unacceptable to the top management.

Reasons for poor execution of strategies could be many. Prof. Tarun Gupta, the master implementer of brilliant strategies and his student Vivek Hattangadi, have analyzed the reasons for poor strategy execution in most companies and have a solution to offer on this issue.

Based on our expertise, we have together developed a module that will help the first line managers in the pharmaceutical and the FMCG industries to execute strategies at levels acceptable to the top management.

The module, which can be fine tuned to be company specific, will help the first line managers appreciate the gap between what the company’s leaders want to achieve and the ability of the first line managers to deliver it.

We have already conducted such this programme for a Rs.100 crore company very successfully.

We look forward to an interaction with you to work out the finer details of the programme.

You can contact us at


Telephone: 91-79-26601479

With warm regards,

Vivek Hattangadi

About the faculty

Prof Tarun Gupta, the doyen of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, needs no introduction.

In his very eventful association with Glaxo, Sandoz and Ranbaxy, he has produced many illustrious marketing professionals for the pharmaceutical industry.

He was responsible for the numerous innovations in pharma marketing, like the visual aid, which is in vogue even today. His imaginative retail shop audit through ‘live prescription monitoring’ has tremendously helped a company like Solus build an authentic and dynamic doctor base.

Along with Prof. Chitta Mitra, he was the innovator of prescription audit. He was the first to understand that focus had to shift from month-end sales push to prescription generation – he did not give too much significance to ORG audit in his days because he knew that MAT or monthly rankings could easily change when a company offered bonus schemes to retailers.

Prof. Tarun Gupta is currently Professor-Emeritus in Marketing with Somaiya Institute of Management and Senior Professor of Marketing at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies – a Deemed University.

Prof. Vivek Hattangadi started his career with Carter - Wallace Ltd., After a brilliant career in sales and field operations in this company for over fourteen years, he shifted to Sun Pharma in the brand management team.

Under the tutelage of Prof. Tarun Gupta, he built several strong brands for Sun Pharma, some of them being Alzolam, Monotrate, Famocid, Angizem and Prodep.

After a brief stint with Cadila Laboratories [Alidac Genetics] as Group Product Manager, he took over Intas Pharmaceuticals as General Manager [Marketing and Sales] and was responsible for nurturing this company to its present status it enjoys in the industry. Through his brand Ciza, [Read – the success story of Intas on this site, elsewhere], he was able to create a new segment in the ORG, i.e. gastric pro-kinetics.

His last assignment was with Torrent Pharmaceuticals, where after being the General Manager with Psycan Division [super speciality division for cardiology and diabetology], he was given the responsibility to create their neuro-psychiatry division – Mind.

In January 2004, he stared his consultancy firm, ‘The Enablers’, which offers consultancy services in brand management and HRD (Training).

He is also a visiting faculty / guest faculty in Pharmaceutical Brand Management and Sales Management in many business schools for MBA in Pharmaceutical Management.

‘The Enablers’ unlocks the concealed potential in people, converts their dormant inherent strength into actuality and leverages latent energy to achieve their goals and dreams and enables them to emerge as winners.




Do we really understand the 20/80 rule?

Read on this article by Matthew Syrett and let us put it use in our industry
Vivek Hattangadi

Do You Really Understand the 80/20 Rule?
By Matthew Syrett October 18, 2005

Few rules are more widely quoted in marketing today than the 80/20 Rule (the Pareto's Principle), which states that 80% of your sales come from just 20% of your customer base.

In this age of relationship marketing, this rule has become an often-heard battle cry to focus our efforts on maintaining the loyalty of customers belonging to the golden 20% that drive most of our business, while spending less effort on the trivial other 80%.
Intuitively, it makes sense. But this marketing interpretation of the 80/20 rule is actually flawed.

The present understanding of the 80/20 derives in large part from Dr. Joseph Juran, who in the 1940s wrote a wonderful article describing the 80/20 rule's applicability to industrial quality control. He concluded that the greatest quality gains were to be found in focusing quality assurance efforts on the 20% of all defects that cause 80% of problems. He saw that not all defects were created equal, so it is inefficient to treat them as if they were.
Juran's work has subsequently been expanded to a wide range of other fields, including marketing, where it has found a home in customer loyalty theory and relationship marketing. While interesting, the direct application of Juran's work to marketing is not as straightforward as it first appears, and care should be taken when applying it to our marketing practices.

The 80/20 rule as conceived by Juran assumes an equal return on investment for each opportunity. This is not an assumption that typically works in marketing, where the margins on sales vary widely based upon the terms of those sales. Most importantly, the more a customer buys, the more bargaining power they tend to have to drive down the price they pay per item.

For instance, a bar of soap sold through Wal-Mart will tend to margin less for its manufacturer than the same bar of soap sold through a small grocery chain, since Wal-Mart's purchasing power enables it to drive a significantly better price per bar of soap than everyone else. This difference in margins means that the gains in volume catering to the golden 20% can come at the cost of a lower profit margin. When those differences are great, it is easy to have situations where the "trivial" 80% of customers are actually more profitable on only 20% of the volume.

This observation lies at the heart of a richer interpretation of the 80/20 rule, which can lead you in many circumstances to do the exact opposite of what a simple Juran-style interpretation of 80/20 would lead us to believe.
An alternative way at looking at 80/20 rule in marketing is as a model for creating economy of scale through selling to a few high-volume customers at near cost, while funding continued overall business growth through selling at higher margins and lower volume to everyone else.

As the high-volume customers drive down prices through leveraged negotiation, a marketer is able to offset the need to appease these powerful buyers by margining well everywhere else in their business, as long as they have an adequate population of low-volume buyers.

In this light, the 80/20 is not always an argument to wash our hands of low-volume customers. It actually is an argument to use a blended profit margin to achieve continued growth and competitiveness without being priced out of the highest-volume deals. Those high-volume deals, while having decreasing returns proportionate to their scale, are critical for a business to achieve the necessary economies of scale to competitively lower overall costs of production and distribution.

In other words, the highest-volume 20% of your customer base will drive profitability through creating efficient scales of business, while the lower 80% will drive profitability through aggressive margins. It is easy to see how these two strategies would work best when they feed off each other's efforts, rather than working in isolation. Indeed, there are often harsh growth limits for your business set by selling only to the "best" 20% of your customers, or engaging only in low-volume deals.

This is not to say that relationship marketing efforts to keep the loyalty of "golden" 20% should be abandoned; rather, the health of our marketing relationships with other 80% of our customers needs to be equally addressed and certainly not abandoned. The only exception to this general rule is when the margins on high- and low-volume customers are largely identical or random. In those cases, ignoring the 80% is probably a good idea.

At least, I found this article very inspiring
vivekhattangadi@yahoo.co.in 6th February 2006

Sunday, February 05, 2006

HRD at Work

HRD At Work

By Vivek Hattangadi, General Manager (Marketing and Sales) Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Published in 1996)

[Published in ‘The Pharma Manager’ in January 1996 and reviewed by personalities like Dr. Cess Heiman (Director, Pfizer Ltd.), Dr. K. Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories), Prof. Tarun Gupta, (Senior Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories), Ganesh Nayak (President Zydus Cadila) and R.D. Joshi (Secretary General OPPI),]

HRD is the buzz word today. Unfortunately not many pharmaceutical companies in India give the importance it deserves to HRD functions. Is it because the HRD is considered as a non-revenue generating leech?

As a proprietor of a Rs.500 million company candidly puts it: “If I invest on developing people, they will join MNC’s and big Indian companies. So why invest? I would rather invest on giving better incentive schemes”. But he does not realize that these people in a few years may become obsolete, therefore, a liability to the organization. Moreover, the organizational growth will get stunted.

It is well recognized that development of competence of field personnel especially medical representatives and more importantly the life line of the company – the first line managers – in an organization is an essential pre-requisite for any growth or development effort, which ultimately results into higher profits.

As Dr. Krish Pennothur, President, World Academy of Productivity Science says “The primary concern of Productivity (and profitability) is it’s most precious source- The Human. Human Resources Development is the foundation of Productivity and Profitability”.

Companies which have setup “HRD Department”, symbolize the importance which the organization has given to help their people acquire competencies or to sharpen it. It also gives a feeling to the people that the management is progressive.

Human Resources Development is a continuous process, encompassing so many activities like training, motivation, appraisal and organizational culture.

But what does a Medical Representative at Imphal or an Area Manager at Trivandrum feel about HRD – Department?

I have talked to a cross- section of pharmaceutical field employees from multinationals to big growing Indian companies.

Believe it or not- to him the HRD is a glorified name of the Personnel Department.

HRD is looked upon as a discipline enforcing cell of the organization. The main function as perceived by them is to send appointment letters maintain leave records and P.F. records! Sometimes, to perform the chore of performance appraisal based on confidential reports sent by field managers.

This perception is possibly because the managers who man this department are paying only lip service to the HRD function. They have seldom interacted with field personnel.

Lack of empathy for the field personnel distances the HRD from the field.

It is time the professionally qualified HRD Managers, develop the functional line managers into HRD managers. In other words, the first, second and third line managers (even the marketing managers) should also be line HRD Managers!

The HRD at the Corporate Office and the line HRD Managers should work in tandem and complement the efforts of each other in developing the most valuable asset – people.

Human Resources Development is like a flower in bloom – to be experienced, but difficult to describe.

It is one of the most effective tools for the healthy growth of an organization-too important to be left to people who cannot put themselves in the shoes of field personnel.

HRD should therefore be an integral part of the job function of the line managers: this will make HRD activity more meaningful and effective.

Can the line manager be an effective HRD Manager?

Yes, if the Chief Executive Officer understands and believes in HRD. The CEO should have the vision to understand that brilliant marketing techniques of the marketing manager alone can not yield success.

Marketing success is a function of strategies and the enthusiasm of the field staff.

Enthusiasm can be developed and sustained only when the field employees are convinced that the management is genuinely interested in their growth and development. They will find their job more enjoyable and will be able to do ordinary things extraordinarily.

No marketing strategy can be complete without the implementer’s morale being high. This makes it all the more important for the marketing manager to be an effective HRD Manager.

In the context of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, the products of XLRI and IIM’s should blend with the line managers and provide them with instruments and systems to develop its human resources.

It is ultimately the line managers who can translate these into action. Needless to say, the line managers must realize that they have the responsibility to develop and train their junior field colleagues.

This can be achieved when the chief of marketing stops evaluating his line managers on the basis of sales alone. The message must be loud and clear: the line manager is first the HRD Manager and then the Sales Manager.

The role of line manager as HRD manager

To a CEO, P&L should not mean Profit and Loss alone.

P&L should also mean People and Love. P&L is based on






The line HRD manager can play a vital role in creating this atmosphere of love for his people. The line HRD manager must acquire new competencies to help him in his role as HRD manager. What are these?

Training: this activity can lead to skilled behavior. Training is the most direct way of helping an employee acquire new competencies. Training prevents obsolescence which is important for survival in the market driven, competitors ridden environment.
Training imparts skills, techniques and methodologies to employers and employees to assist them in establishing a place of work that is healthy. It helps one learn new processes, procedures, systems and other tools effectively I performance of their work.
The most useful and effective form of training – On the Job Training – can be best provided by the line-manager. The biggest advantage here is that the Medical Representative is productive during training. He is trained in the specific procedures required for the job. Moreover, he is able to see his progress and realize that he is doing worth-while work.

Successful training should ultimately enable one to work without close supervision. An efficient system should work well in their absence, and not only when the manager is around. Integrity, honesty and dedication should be taken for granted. The manager too, has to be trained to be a trainer. No one is beyond training! Senior managers should realize that in today’s dynamic work environment, training is a method to cope with change.

Coaching and Counseling: Dr. McCann has been on the forefront of the new model of working which has been given credibility under the name “Coaching.” What is the difference between counseling and coaching? The distinction between the two is often gray, rather than black and white.
· Counseling is often seen as problem focused
· Coaching is seen as future oriented and visionary.
While counseling deals with diagnosable conditions, with emotional and psychological disorders, coaching moves people away from problems (or “pathology”) toward solutions and a visionary future.
However, coaching, like counseling, can be very “therapeutic and healing,” just as therapy, when the therapist is focusing on the future and aiding in the formation of a vision, can be future oriented and visionary, according to Dr. Frederic Hudson a renowned psychologist.
In brief, coaching is for people who are not only hungry for change, but are willing to take responsibility for their own changes; people who believe in their own natural wholeness and resourcefulness; and who are looking for a mentor with experience and wisdom to partner, support and guide them on their path to change.

Motivation and Stimulation: Almost any treatise on people management says you must motivate people. Not entirely true – employees can bring their own motivation. Work should be regarded as a joy and not drudgery. The line HRD manager should create a sense of challenge in their daily work. When the work ceases to give a sense of growth and development, motivation goes down.
Striving for excellence provides motivation for most people as it gives purpose and meaning to life. The conviction to strive for excellence is an intensely personal one- the attainment of which is personally satisfying. After all, happiness comes from the full use of one’s potential to achieve excellence.
One school of thought says that there is no such thing called motivation. There is what is called the Stimulus Factor. High performance is not just a function of energy, skill, experience, but also a function of stimulus factor at work.

In the absence of frequent stimuli, people and organizations will fail. Success in business arises from the way Corporate HRD stimulate their employees to perform for their customers.

When effective stimulus is not provided, relations may atrophy and business will go into decline. Stimulus, therefore, must be factored into all business relationships, whether with the customers, with the vendors, suppliers or even employees.

What will happen when you fail to stimulate your body with exercise? Your body will be flabby, diseased.

Failure to stimulate heart with positive feelings and your heart will be clogged with negativity and make you feel bad.

Should you fail to stimulate the motivation of your people, their performance will progressively decline.

In selling should you fail to stimulate customers, with new experiences, they will be tired of your company and its products and they will look for business elsewhere

The eventual objective of motivation and stimulation is to make one effective. Pride, joy and a sense of growth are the basic elements of work motivation. How rich can be the job of a line –HRD manager be made!

Organizational Cultural Aspects: It is a set of beliefs, values and norms which together with symbols like dramatized events and personalities that represent the unique character of an organization
It also represents the organizations belief, knowledge, attitudes and customs.
Culture may result from the senior managers’ beliefs but may also result from employees beliefs.
It can be supportive or non-supportive
It can be positive or negative

It can affect the employees’ ability or willingness to adopt or perform well.
Organizational culture reflects the attitude of the top management. The culture in an organization flows from the values and beliefs it wishes to inculcate amongst its employees.
Organizations must promote an open culture as this promotes high performances as they bring out the true potential of its field employees.
Openness develops mutual trust between the superior and the subordinate. Such a culture creates a climate that engenders excellence. Unfortunately it has become a fad to display values which are rarely practiced. The line HRD managers should acquire newer techniques and skills to nurture the values and beliefs of the organization.

Appraisals: Performance appraisal can be a difficult and depressing activity for those appraisers who have not been trained in this area. The natural tendency then is to play safe and rate all appraises as “average” or “near average”. Effective training of the appraisers is the only answer.
The qualified HRD Managers have to step in to help the line HRD managers make performance appraisals dynamic and positive. For the medical representatives the appraisal scheme to be effective, it should be open.

Appraisal Reports should be read by the Medical Representative and then used by both the Medical Representative and the line HRD Manager for healthy discussion. The appraisee should be also be given the option to add his written comments.
Closed schemes can become the seed-beds of distrust and apprehension. While no process concerned with homosapiens is without snags, without doubt, appraisals have their share. The skills developed by the line- HRD Manager should build up a climate conducive to the development of the appraisee.

The pharmaceutical industry has made FMRAI and its allies into Frankenstein monsters. It’s high time the industry leaders not only tame it but brings it back into its fold. The line HRD managers’ role is now crucial. The professionally qualified HRD- managers have a lot to contribute in this effort. Both together can blend an organization into the ‘most-desired-to-work-for’ company. They need to have empathy towards the lonely gentlemen called Medical Representatives. For this, let them be in the real place of work, the field. But then – are we living in Utopia?

Please send your comments to