Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

…you’re about to launch a new indication for an existing drug.


  • Secure hospital formulary approval and gain promote adoption of a new treatment protocol.
  • Your tenured specialty sales force needs to up their game for a more complex sale.

Sound like something you’ve encountered? You’re in good company!


–> Roll out a targeted training program focused on multi-faceted Hospital Account Management, including live and virtual elements.

Here at Impactiviti, we’ve partnered with the top-shelf training partners you’re looking for (for all your training needs), including the provider above.

If you’re seeking to equip Hospital Reps, KAMs, and other specialty sales personnel, contact us here at Impactiviti (stevew@impactiviti.com). We’ll recommend just the right partners for you to talk to!

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Today, I want to pull back the veil a bit on one of the most important parts of my network.

The Impactiviti pharmaceutical network is pretty broad, encompassing a range of professionals in the pharma/biotech/med devices/healthcare sphere.

But then there’s my “Inner Circle,” and that group provides one of the best pools of expertise I can offer you.

The “Inner Circle” is my closer group of industry clients and partners who support each other through recommendations of vendors and other resources.

Inner Circle

How does it work? Here’s a very recent example:

Someone who took on a newly-created training role was looking for a potential vendor(s) who could provide curriculum for a very specialized niche group. I spent time brainstorming the need with this individual and more carefully defining the need. This was a case where I felt I should reach out to my Inner Circle for their advice (these Inner Circle e-mails, which occur about every 2 weeks or so, are anonymous so no identifying client information is shared). In this case, I got back several well-targeted recommendations, including some companies that I was familiar with, but wasn’t sure could extend out to this niche. Today, I’ll make specific recommendations back to my client.

On a regular basis, people in my Inner Circle expose me to previously-unknown companies, some of whom become valued Impactiviti referral partners. In fact, in recent months, Inner Circle recommendations have led me to a great Managed Markets training supplier, a boutique leadership development firm, and a virtual facilitation training company – all of whom I can now bring forward as targeted referrals.

This two-way recommendation network effect makes it so much easier to identify the best resources for specific needs.

When you call on us here at Impactiviti, you get far more than Steve Woodruff. You get unmatched expertise from your peers. So, when it’s time to seek out vendor/partners – contact us. We can provide the best expertise available, without charging you a penny.

(stevew at impactiviti dot com; 973-947-7429)


Related post: The Pharma Roller-coaster

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I believe in outsourcing. Actually, I believe in right-sourcing – using the best combination of resources (internal and external) to get the job done. But I’ll focus our discussion here on outsourcing – tapping into external resources.

With many pharmaceutical companies making massive cuts in headcount, outsourcing is an even bigger deal – because the work still has to get done somehow. So let’s talk about what your company is doing with outsourcing (we’ll focus here on sales training in pharma, but many of the principles applies to other divisions of pharma, and to other industries).

I see at least three levels of outsourcing typically happening, each of which requires different types of relationships with different kinds of providers:

1. Project – Very common form of outsourcing, where you contract with a company to create or perform something, while you still manage the overall process. Typically, there is a final deliverable at the end. Sales training departments work with external providers to develop launch training modules, workshops, digital tools – you get the picture.

2. Project/Process – When internal resources (personnel and infrastructure) are too thin to carry out an initiative, an outsource partner is often engaged to take over much of the project. Learning technology and data management is now commonly outsourced at this level with externally-hosted solutions. Large-scale meetings, with a million logistical details, typically come in at this level as well.

3. People; or Project/Process/People – Companies are demanding lower headcount and more flexibility, so the engagement of personnel from outsource providers is ramping up. Larger and more specialized companies are able to provide staffing in ways that avoid “hard” headcount, and in some cases, can also take over entire functions with both people and large-scale solutions. Building new capabilities and centers of excellence can be outsourced to companies with specialized skills, infrastructure, and people-expertise.

(Let me interrupt the flow of thought to remind you that Impactiviti can help you find right partners for all of these needs, including large-scale outsourcing. We’ve done the homework for you. Just call us at 973-947-7429)

Outsourcing can be scary business, so what most clients are looking for includes the following:

  • Proven experience (at the level of service desired)
  • Capacity and scale (the ability to nimbly and flexibly meet changing needs)
  • Change Management/Process blueprint (for larger-scale outsourcing – do NOT underestimate this!)

As with everything, there are tradeoffs. Outsourcing has great benefits, but the more you outsource – particularly when you get to the “people” part of the equation – the less the training department may be a seedbed for deepening corporate culture. As one of my clients eloquently put it in a phone call last week, as leading employees rotate into and through the training department, there is an impartation and spread of corporate culture and values that may be lost if more central functions are outsourced. That’s a legitimate concern.

What other benefits – and drawbacks – are you seeing from outsourcing? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, or e-mail me (stevew@impactiviti.com) to extend the discussion. We’re going to see this trend grow and evolve – let’s prepare ourselves and each other by talking about it.

Recent Impactiviti posts:

Doing Digital Learning – the TWO People you Need

Are You in Compliance?


Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors for training, eMarketing, social media, and more.

Learn more about our free services here


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

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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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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!


Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog via e-mail

Connect with Steve Woodruff

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You have a day job, which is developing and deploying the most effective training possible. That means finding good vendor/partners – but who has time to know that entire provider landscape?

That’s my “day job” (and I’m STILL finding great new suppliers, month after month!). I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a grid of all the areas of training where I have built up a partner network, so that as needs come up, you can better know where I can help.

Here’s the file, suitable for posting in your cubicle and/or passing along to your colleagues.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, because I go out and find suppliers for my clients when they toss me needs outside of these categories! Which is one way that I keep expanding the network of great providers for the next time that need comes up.

The one area where I’m not likely to be able to help much is commodity-level, off-the-shelf programs (training on MS Office applications, for instance), or general, non-pharma specific themes such as generic leadership programs provided by big training companies. Impactiviti specializes in pharma-specific partners who provide focused programs (sometimes off-the-shelf, but usually custom or partially customized). So, if you need Fleet training or How-to-use-Excel, we’re not your resource. Pretty much anything else, give us a call and we’ll try to help!

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This is not the most wonderful time in the overall economy, or in pharma, so a lot of folks are looking for jobs – including former employees of both client and vendor/provider companies. We field calls regularly from folks in the Impactiviti network (and I really don’t mind!) looking for help with new opportunities, or available resources.

A few things to help out, including something new (see point 4)!opportunityweb

1. One of the reasons we launched the Impactiviti Job Board was to try to provide a one-stop place for sales training professionals to see what’s out there (we also have some vendor positions advertised there). But there are other resources you might want to look into:

2. Blogging colleague Jason Alba has a site called Jibber Jobber to help manage your job search, and to provide resources. Here’s a helpful recent post with 10 Resources for Job Seekers Right Now.

3. Social networking sites are a great way to build up your network. I’m a big fan of social media and I think that creating your own “Opportunity Network” is the best job security you can have. Here’s a recent CNN article with helpful do’s and don’t’s.

4. I’ve spoken about LinkedIn before, and even created a group “Impact” just for pharma/biotech/device professionals (no vendors or recruiters) to facilitate networking. You who are training professionals (on the client side) can join here.

Starting today, I’ve just launched a new group (ProActiv) for those on the other side – this group is specifically FOR vendors, contractors, freelancers, consultants, recruiters, and potential employees of vendor/provider companies. The purpose is to create a place where companies and professionals can more easily find each other when looking for resources and work. If you are someone looking for work on the provider side, or looking to hire contractors or employees, you can join that group here.

As always, I’m open to suggestions about better ways to strengthen our community and provide resources and networking opportunities. Give me your feedback and let’s see how we can continue to build an “Opportunity Network” that helps us all!

(Image credit)

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