Archive for the ‘Impactiviti’ Category

In a word: Operations.

I was speaking with a Sales Training Director in a major biotech company recently, and he put me in contact with someone in the department who is heading up things like project management, vendor management, instructional design, internal processes, and the like.

We hit it off immediately. Because we could speak each others’ language.

There are a relatively few of my life sciences clients who have hired someone with operations experience to “run” the nuts and bolts of the department. When this position is put in place, it makes a world of difference.


Here’s why: most people in the training department come out of field sales. Sales is a very different world from operations, and many training managers struggle with newly-assigned project management responsibilities. Operational thinking may not be in their personal wiring, and the skills required are often not trained during on-boarding.

Result: floundering. Inefficiency. And then, since many of these training positions are rotational, a solid and consistent base of operations experience never truly develops in the department.

This is why I’ve advised many clients to create a permanent (not rotational) position to head up project and vendor management, contract negotiation, RFP process, and instructional design/technical standards. Typically, this is not going to be someone from the sales force – there’s a different knowledge base and skill set required.

I would contend that the money saved by more effective processes will probably be at least double or triple the salary expended in the first year alone.

And when new training managers are given project tasks, they now have experienced help to shepherd them through the unfamiliar responsibilities, instead of just floundering in the deep end of the pool.

Look, I really enjoy my work here at Impactiviti doing vendor/project management workshops and providing related advisory services. But some of what I do really needs to be transitioned to an internal resource – a go-to operations person in the department. I’d be happy to talk further with any of my pharma/biotech clients about how to build a stronger internal system for training operations.

Related Post: Doing Digital Learning – The TWO People You Need


Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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A few new jobs found on-line, for those in the pharma sales/training space:

Associate Training Manager, Virology, BMS (NJ)

Director of Sales Training, Janssen Therapeutics (NJ)

Sales Training Manager, EMD Serono (MA)

Sales Training Manager, Merial (GA)

Director of Sales Training, Managed Markets/Reimbursement, Biogen-Idec (MA)

Director of Sales Training, Core Curriculum, Biogen-Idec (MA)

Director of Worldwide Sales, Medical Device (recruiter) (PA)

Did you know that your company can list open positions on Impactiviti’s pharma-targeted Job Board? Only $295 for a 30-day listing. Go here and get started!

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What do you need? If you’re in healthcare/life sciences training, communications, marketing, and compliance – whatever you’re looking for…

Here’s the bottom line: contact me, and through the constantly-growing Impactiviti network (vendors, colleagues, healthcare professionals, digital marketers, consultants, etc.), I’ll seek to connect you with the people and providers you need.

Put me on speed dial (973-947-7429 – reaches me wherever I am) and tell me what you’re looking for. My business is to save you a ton of time and hassle, and to provide brainstorming, sound advice, and recommendations. No sales pitch. Just connections.

Great resources and good advice are everywhere. With the Impactiviti Network, we make it one phone call (or e-mail) away. Connecting you to vendors, job opportunities, key industry leaders.

Whatever you’re looking for, ask Steve!

(did I mention it’s free to tap into the Impactiviti Network? Well, it is – you can ask me how we do that when we talk!)


Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors through trusted referrals.

Learn more about us here.

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It’s not easy choosing the right outsource vendor for any project. That’s why Impactiviti provides a unique “matchmaking” service – introducing clients to optimal providers for their specific needs.

We’ve been doing this for 5 years, and dozens of sales training professionals have called on us to talk through their needs, and then get recommendations on best vendor/partners (that’s why Impactiviti is the eHarmony of pharma sales training and marketing).

Why do your colleagues pick up the phone and call me when they have a need? Here are the Top 10 reasons:

1.  You want someone who is accessible and responsive. You pick up the phone or send an e-mail and who are you conversing with? Me.

2.  You need an expert who knows the vendor landscape – from the inside. That’s my job. And I only partner with the good ones.

3.  You need to save wasted time and effort researching and vetting vendors. Who has time for that?

4.  You want to avoid potential errors. Very costly mistakes are made all the time by having the wrong vendors attempt work that is not in their sweet spot (or just by using bad vendors). I help you avoid those embarrassing incidents.

5.  This matchmaking service is free. No cost. No paperwork. No obligation. I work with vendor/partners on a referral fee basis (essentially, replacing their cost of sales – in a very efficient manner).

6.  My approach is consultative – I’m not here to sell you. I take the time to talk with you and ask the right questions.

7.  I get out of the way. My role is to introduce you and a business partner, not get in the middle of the relationship. But I’m always available in the background if needed.

8.  Connections – There’s a reason why Impactiviti is known as the pharmaceutical connection agent. Apart from vendor needs, I help my clients make all sorts of connections with other professionals and/or companies, as needed. That’s all free too.

9.  Regular brainstorming and update lunches with my clients. One of my jobs is to stay on the cutting edge of pharma, learning, and technology information. I also get to learn from you – these can be very lively meetings!

10. Trust. Impactiviti is a reputation-based business. Ask anybody I work with.

I realize this sounds a bit too good to be true. But when I began Impactiviti five years ago, I saw this huge gap – clients not knowing which vendors were best to use, and vendors not able to access clients who really would benefit from their services. That’s why it’s not just my clients who love Impactiviti – my vendor partners gladly forward referral fees for helping them find business in their sweet spot.

You won’t see too many win-win-win business models. But by calling Impactiviti, you can experience one!

So, what are your needs? Let’s set up a phone call, or an in-person visit (lunch or coffee is always good!). Send me an e-mail for an appointment. Whether your outsource needs are for an immediate project or a longer-term partnership, I have a full suite of personally-selected – and proven – providers in my Impactiviti network to recommend.

P.S. We also send out a weekly newsletter (see link below) with pharma news, commentary, and occasional job postings. It’s free as well!


Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection weekly e-newsletter (see sample), chock full of news and resources for pharmaceutical professionals

On Twitter: @impactiviti

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For some time, I’ve been posting daily pharmaceutical industry news, resources, links of interest, jobs (+ some fun stuff!) here on the Impactiviti blog.

Now, we’re going to make it more convenient for you. We’ve merged Impactiviti Daily with the periodic Impactiviti e-newsletter to give you Impactiviti Connection – an (almost) daily collection of great stuff right to your e-mail inbox!

What’s it look like? Click here to view an on-line sample.

What do you need to do to receive it? Just enter your e-mail address here, Submit, and choose Impactiviti Connection. Done!

Each day will bring you news highlights, plus recommended resources, daily features, fun links – even a tasty picture.

Impactiviti Connection is powered by Constant Contact, so you can always very easily unsubscribe, change your e-mail address, or forward to colleagues.

Thanks for subscribing!

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There’s a huge amount of stuff going on in pharma social media this month. Here’s a distillation of news and resources for your perusal:

> Google’s Sidewiki – now users can leave comments on any site (including yours). Game-changer? Annoyance? What do you think?

> Slideshow – Pharma’s Top 10 Efforts in Social Media

> An interview I gave last week (archived here) on Pharma and Social Media, via BlogTalkRadio. Good for intro’ing your colleagues to the basics, and an encouragement to move forward with low-risk strategies.

> Where are the doctors hanging out? Healthcare Professionals Social Networks (globally) (slideshow). Plus, Sermo Panels Express – you can immediately tap into physician focus groups with this service.

> Prepping for the FDA public forum on Social Media/Web 2.0 in pharma – a series of interesting posts and survey results (ongoing) over at John Mack’s blog.

> 8 Tips to help you own YouTube search results. From Jon Richman‘s Dose of Digital blog. And, from Ogilvy PR, 10 Rules of Using YouTube for Pharma and Healthcare Marketing

> From last week’s PharmaMed conference. A summary by Ellen Hoenig. An iPhone experiment that worked (ever wondered what I look like “live”? – here’s your chance!). The collected Twitterstream for the conference (via CoverItLive).

Craig DeLarge: Reflections on Pharma New Media Adoption. Timely and timeless thoughts.

Coming up in October:


Oct. 19-21 – eXL’s Digital Pharma conference, Bridgewater, NJ. This event will be quite progressive, with more of an informal “unconference” format to maximize interaction. I’ll be co-leading a pre-conference workshop on the 19th on social media, and live-blogging/Twittering. Here’s a discount code for 15% your registration: P615WOO

PLUS – My fall conference schedule (updated)


Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog via e-mail (which will bring you Impactiviti Daily – a brief of the day’s top pharma news)

Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection twice-monthly e-newsletter (see sample)

SocialRx – page with resources and links for pharma professionals interested in social media (plus free e-book!)

PharmaCentral – a portal for easily viewing what’s new with pharma blogs and news.

Connect with Steve Woodruff

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Glad you asked.

Impactiviti is a networking agency. We exist to help our pharma/biotech clients find ideal vendor/partners for training and marketing projects – that’s what pays the bills. But we’re also encouraging the use of social networking approaches in business communications, and our entire business model is built on person-to-person and on-line networking.

We help you find what you need. Sometimes that’s a new vendor, sometimes it’s contact with a peer in another company, sometimes it’s a new job (or employee), sometimes it’s information. It’s our goal to continually bring value to you by making new connections.

The income side our Impactiviti’s business model is a referral fee structure – when our clients turn to us for recommended suppliers, and we introduce targeted best-in-class vendor partners, we get paid based on win-win new business. This costs the client nothing, and the other networking services we provide “behind the scenes” also are provided free of charge. This is how we figure it – if we consistently add value with our recommendations and you like what we provide, you’ll talk about us and recommend us to others. Everyone wins.

Vendor selection is both an art and a science. Some vendors may be skilled in one area, but really aren’t the optimal choice in another. Your goal is to have the best “fit” for your need(s), and our goal is to provide you with an optimal match – saving you the time and hassle of trying to sort through pitches and claims by dozens of providers. And the wrong fit can be disastrous – lost time, lost money, and a blow to your reputation.

We also do some traditional paid consulting engagements on sales training strategy, technology, and social media strategy.

Here’s some of what we do to keep you informed and networked:

The Impactiviti Connection – an (almost) daily quick news digest plus analysis, links, and commentary. Sign up right here.

LinkedIn Networking Groups – we administer one for pharma sales/training/marketing professionals, and one for vendors/suppliers/consultants. Overview and link to sign up here.

Live-blogging of conferences – we attend numerous targeted conferences and feed information out in real-time (and post-event) via Twitter and blogger. Here’s the current listing of events.

We also present workshops on social media, and project definition/RFP design/vendor selection/vendor management.

Feel free to contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) to discuss any of your needs!


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spbtThe annual Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers conference is almost upon us! It can seem a bit overwhelming – loads of sessions, exhibits, and people! I think this is my 13th time attending the event, and the best part is always getting to know (or getting re-acquainted) with so many fine folks.

Networking is going to have a prominent place this year. It’s a very turbulent time for the industry, and your greatest professional security is not your current company. It’s the network you create. To that end, Jerry Clor (Roche) and I will conduct a Networking roundtable discussion on Wednesday morning – be sure to join us for breakfast and discussion! Also, on Thursday morning, I’ll be leading a panel (including Jerry Clor, and Don O’Guin/Pfizer) on Building your own Opportunity Network.

So, what other sessions to attend? Well, looking over the program, here are some of the sessions that look appealing to me:

Period 1: I’m likely to go the Curriculum Analysis workshop. However, the Selling Specialty Pharmaceuticals session should be very valuable for some, and I’d also be tempted by the Measuring Training Success presentation. Hmmm….very cerebral-ish choices. I think I need to get out more…

Period 2: Driving Pharmaceutical Sales through Simulation looks really strong, as does Improving Coaching Effectiveness. I’m torn. For a group looking to do more with on-line training, So You Want to be a Virtual Trainer could be very valuable.

swpresent1Period 3: Well, I don’t have much choice here. I’m co-leading a workshop (with Bob Holliday/Boehringer-Ingelheim) on the theme, But I Didn’t Sign up to Manage Projects! For anyone involved in defining projects, selecting vendors, and managing projects, this practical workshop will be ideal. If I wasn’t otherwise occupied, however, I’d be drawn to the Virtual Worlds session, ’cause I’m sorta tech-geeky that way.

Period 4: A nice session that interests me because of client requests in this area: Best Practices in Marketing Training. However, continuous learning is another common need (Training between Phase II, Phase IV, and POA), and of course, there’s tech: Exploiting Technology to Rapidly Deploy Clinical-based Training. I think I’ll get a clone or two for this time slot…

Period 5: If you’re involved in a testing program and haven’t had a discussion about the many issues surrounding on-line testing, then you’ll want to attend the 10 Most Common Testing Mistakes session. As for me, I’m likely to take part in the Continuum Approach to Build Sustainable Training Programs. Because the topic is interesting, and John Bye is a good chap. Well, so is Bill Ahern, but I know John better!

Period 6: The Endo Innovate session looks pretty interesting – I’m a systems thinker and so I like these higher-level strategic initiatives. If you’re into Behavioral Styles, however, that workshop looks promising.

Period 7: Well, that’s the Build your own Opportunity Network session that I’m co-facilitating. So I know where I’ll be Thursday morning. Join us for a very vibrant conversation about professional networking!

I am available throughout the entire conference if you wish to talk, catch up, get vendor recommendations from me, or whatever. You can download a digital business card with all contact info (including cell): text swoodruff to 50500. Look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago!

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southI’m a native Northeast guy, but I spent 7 years in the South (Tennessee). I enjoy visiting there when I can. But there’s one time when you really don’t want to head in that direction, and that’s when the training project you’re working on with a vendor goes south!

It happens. More often than anyone likes to talk about (hey, it’s embarrassing for both client and vendor, you know?). Not only in pharmaceutical training, but in other industries, stuff goes wrong and reputations get hurt.

There are three main reasons why project failure happens:

  1. Poor choice of a vendor/provider, dooming the project from the get-go;
  2. Inadequate definition of the project itself;
  3. Lack of sound and agreed-upon project management processes.

It grieves me to see the money, time, and good-will squandered because some fairly straightforward practices are not employed.

You don’t have to settle for these failures, however. At the upcoming Society of Biotech and Trainers Conference (SPBT), I’ll be co-facilitating a workshop on project management (Hey – I Didn’t Sign up to Manage Projects!). This session will take place on Wednesday morning at 9:15 am (Session 3). My co-leader Bob Holliday from Boehringer-Ingelheim and I will try to equip you and your colleagues on the basics of good vendor selection, project definition, and project management. Variations of this workshop have been delivered in a number of client departments over the past year and the content is always very relevant and practical.

Don’t let your projects turn to the downward side of the compass! Come and learn the foundational principles and best practices that lead to success.

(Image credit)

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Prasugrel – the saga continues. Gets approval to launch in the EU; positive study results versus Plavix for a certain group of patients; but controversy swirls around FDA approval process.

Synta‘s Phase III trial for melanoma drug fails badly. In a devastating blow to the company, Synta Pharmaceuticals has halted a Phase III melanoma drug trial after a greater number of people taking elesclomol died than those receiving standard care. The findings were so bad that the company also suspended other ongoing studies of the drug, including a study a trial for metastatic prostate cancer and a monotherapy dose escalation study.

Wearisome to report – more scandals. AstraZeneca buried some Seroquel data? Ranbaxy falsified records and gets major smackdown. Forest accused of off-label marketing practices (anti-depressants for children). And, from Peter Rost’s blog, here’s an interesting chart showing who paid the most/least in government fines and settlements since 2000 (the winner on the “least” scale: Novartis!)

Sanofi gets US clearance to market Apidra pen. Sanofi-Aventis  has won U.S. approval to market its Apidra Solostar injection pen which contains insulin to treat diabetes, the world’s third-biggest drugmaker said on Thursday. The disposable pen is prefilled with Apidra, which is indicated to improve glycemic control in adults and children of at least four years with type 1 diabetes or adults with type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.


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