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 Register for
Leading Change:
5C's of Transition Leadership™
Dr. Wendy Heckelman will be presenting on behalf of:
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The Society of Phamaceutical and Biotech Trainers 
at the 42nd SPBT Annual Conference  being held June 10 - 13, 2013 at the Peabody in Orlando, FL


Business Planning & Resource Allocation 

Pharm Rep
Please read
As companies demand more from their reps, Business Acumen becomes an essential skill.
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Please read
"A Sturdy

on why Business Planning and Resource Allocation is important for field force effectiveness.
Business Acumen Workshop 
and Webinar Series

Contact WLH Consulting, Inc. to learn how this offering can be customized for your organization to develop business acumen skills and support more effective business planning.

 A Case Study on Culture Transformation
Jump Starting a Corporate Merger

 Click here to read more

Need help with Implementing a Field Based Monitoring Program to proactively meet CIA requirements?

Learn More about our comprehensive solution for training, coaching, monitoring, and reporting compliant field behaviors.

Maximizing your Field Force: 
Using the ABC Model
of Field Collaboration

One way that pharmaceutical companies have adapted to healthcare marketplace changes is by adding various field roles to call on different healthcare stakeholders. Marketing teams define the strategy, develop core messages, and determine which resources (including field forces) will drive the desired results. In turn, sales leadership and other business unit leaders must ensure roles are clearly differentiated and field coordination is optimized.  


Unfortunately, many organizations struggle with ensuring there is tight coordination among the various roles (e.g., primary and specialty sales forces, managed care, health, economic and outcomes' specialists, long-term care industry specialists, and disease state educators).


Creating alignment and coordination between these roles can be challenging, yet it is important because there are key advantages that a diverse field force can provide, including:

  • Enhanced customer relationships and accessibility as various roles support each others' messages and initiatives
  • Synergies resulting from multiple representatives working together to identify and respond to partnerships and other opportunities
  • Greater information sharing that improves the navigation and penetration of complex healthcare provider systems
  • Additional opportunities to educate various stakeholders on both the disease state and potential treatment solutions

There is a practical and proven model that can be used to create true field collaboration. Understanding the model is as simple as remembering the "A-B-C's."  The ABC Model of Field Collaboration ("ABC") helps companies create and maintain coordinated field activities. There are three main components:


  1. Alignment exists when people in their various field roles work together to support the brand, therapeutic area, and company goal(s). Creating this alignment requires those roles that overlap in a given geography to share all objectives, messaging, and materials. Once common goals are identified and agreed to, they will be more likely to engage in collaborative business and call planning. Alignment is also reinforced by structuring incentives to reward teamwork and other desired behaviors.
  2. Being in your lane means that everyone has a full understanding of all field roles and performs the duties expected of their individual role, including calling on agreed-upon targets and using approved messages and resources. Just like runners or swimmers in a relay, the various roles need to appropriately hand-off and involve others to support common goals, when appropriate and within compliance boundaries. In other words, being in your lane becomes less about overstepping boundaries and more about working in concert with others. 
  3. Communication is critical for sharing information, opportunities, and maintaining alignment. In addition to utilizing existing customer relationship management systems to record customer interactions, field roles in the same geography should schedule regular meetings (teleconferences or in person). These interactions provide a forum for sharing updates, brainstorming a coordinated strategy, and discussing tactics in real time.

To execute the ABC Model of Field Collaboration, a company must do a number of things. These prerequisites include ensuring roles are differentiated and that marketing outlines the overall strategy.  On an ongoing basis, it is critical to coach individuals on ways to improve collaboration and remove potential barriers that limit team interaction.


This model provides useful guidance on how organizations can overcome coordination challenges and gain synergy from their field force teams.  Achieving success and strengthening a customer-centric culture can be as easy as following the ABCs of Field Collaboration.




Wendy Heckelman, Ph.D.


WLH Consulting, Inc.



Please contact WLH Consulting, Inc. to learn more about the ABC Model for Field Collaboration™ and how to create tight, seamless coordination between all your field force roles.
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