The team at CMR Institute worked with Jindal and Satz to develop a curriculum that would build on core competencies within the ReadyNow team—all on a limited budget.
“Working with a reputable company like CMR and pulling material that they have already built and tweaking the materials as needed is a lot easier and more cost-effective than trying to build an eLearning module from scratch,” Jindal says.
Initially, narrowing down CMR’s extensive course library to the essential courses that would bring the ReadyNow team up to speed was challenging. Jindal didn’t want to take the account managers out of the field and have them train at home for a month. So the ReadyNow team opted for a phased training approach. The first phase is completed during a week of home study before the account managers head into the home office in Princeton, N.J. for sales training. Content covers a wide range of topics to help the budding salespeople gain familiarity with the industry, including hospital and managed care formularies, evidence-based medicine, and an introduction to the language of medicine. They also take several at-home courses to improve their business etiquette and selling skills.
When they head into the home office, account managers are prepared to engage in selling simulations with district managers and regional directors. During that time, they receive vital feedback to help them improve their presentations.
“They’re learning to ask good questions, they’re learning to close, and they’re learning to present the information in a compelling and compliant way,” says Tana Perricone, ReadyNow DM in the Central District who oversees 17 ReadyNow Account Managers.
Approximately three or four months after joining the program and spending some time in the field, ReadyNow Account Managers enroll in the second phase of at-home courses developed by CMR Institute. Designed to advance industry knowledge and improve performance in the field, these courses cover a spectrum of clinical and business topics, such as the drug development process, business planning, project management, and partnering opportunities.
This at-home study is followed by additional in-house training that involves more advanced role-plays and simulations. Perricone, a former teacher, says spreading out the learning over two phases helps account managers absorb the content and apply the learning as they adapt to their new roles.
Alicia Cretaro, a ReadyNow DM for the West and Midwest ReadyNow regions who oversees 15 ReadyNow Account Managers, agrees that the two-phase training program utilizing customizable content helps bring account managers up to speed quickly. “It helps them get the tools and foundational pillars that are necessary to be effective in our industry,” she adds. “Regardless of where they came from, it does a nice job of giving consistency across the board to each cohort.”
Typically, Otsuka trains ReadyNow cohorts two or three times a year as the program continues to grow.