Ranked second amongst large companies by The Scientist in its 2007 “Best Places to Work in Industry” survey, Amgen has 17,500 employees worldwide. In the UK, changes in the way in which the healthcare market worked with its pharmaceutical suppliers forced the company to adapt.
Previously, salespeople had worked directly with clinicians in the NHS, but tighter fiscal control had resulted in the development of large, specialist procurement ‘hubs’ where purchase decisions were focused on price, as well as clinical benefit.
Against this backdrop, Amgen needed their sales team to develop a new, more holistic commercial sales skill set. The UK sales team of 35 had previously been split into three roles which interacted respectively with doctors, procurement and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Amgen needed to design a new role to provide a single point of engagement with the key decision makers within the local health economy.
Gary Sagar, Amgen UK and Ireland Human Resources Director, and his team established a competency framework which provided the basis for role definition. The next challenge was to assess the potential of the existing sales team to step up to these tough but essential new roles – critical to success in managing the change.