People and Performance award entry

Established 237 years ago in Japan, Takeda has been serving society with innovative medicines and helping patients reclaim valuable moments of life from illness and become one of the world’s leading companies.

Starting from 2015, due to “Global Transformation Process” Takeda Turkey had formed a new sales force focused especially on primary care (health care provided in the community for people making an initial approach to a medical practitioner or clinic for advice or treatment) segment. Locally, Takeda had an expanding strategy and made an acquisition of some products from a local producer.

Number of the MSRs (Medical Sales Representatives) had almost tripled, from 60 to 200. This huge amount get involved in Takeda Turkey caused a collapse of company culture. New comers were from 60 different companies. They had dozens of different styles, backgrounds, proficiency and brought their previous company cultures.

The priority of Takeda Turkey was to establish a concrete Takeda reputation and build strong “One Takeda” perception among HCPs (Health Care Professionals) and stakeholders during 2015 – 2017.

In 2016 Takeda Turkey had faced challenging situations; such as limitation of prescriptions of some highly profitable and volume products. This forced Takeda Turkey to fight on Red Ocean under tight regulations and budget constraints and led the sales team to focus on sales results during 2016.

In the light of Takeda-ism values, in order to achieve global company vision and strategy, Takeda Turkey sales employees needed to be a Patient Centric, Scientific and Ethic&Compliant sales force. Takeda Turkey Sales Management Team worked with all related stakeholders to analyze the current situation and identify the perception of the sales team within the market. According to the results derived, Takeda Turkey was considered as a global company (as planned) meanwhile sales team was perceived as mediocre local MSRs.

By the end of 2016, alignment and adjustment of sales approach became crucial based upon Takeda Turkey’s vision and strategies related to priorities. Three main observations and necessities were found to build a common approach;

  • There were still different company cultures, levels of experiences and knowledges within Field Force,
  • At least three products for each line – portfolio promotion necessity,
  • Sales focused dialogues with HCPs (as an old habit) rather than patient focused dialogues.

TIM – Takeda Interaction Model was designed to underline Takeda’s priorities, build trust among stakeholders, align and reframe sales techniques used during the process of promotion. It was aimed to empower sales team to achieve company goals.

 TIM is a complete program, including in class training, training the coaches, follow up activities (one to one in field coaching, individual evaluations, refreshments, reminders, roleplay days-cycle and regional, competitions, online supporting tools), in field representatives etc.

During TIM Program, Takeda Turkey sales team has achieved better understanding of market, realized structural and behavioral changes they have to adopt, and build common approach to HCPs through better understanding of the customers’ insights during interaction. They became aware of the quality they brought to patients’ life. They have built trust based relationships and improved the quality of the dialogues with HCPs. Their focus became patients instead of products. They start to ask for the best treatment regimens improving patients’ lives. As a result of these, Takeda Turkey has achieved 20% growth on unit shares compared with the previous year, exceeding market average.


Terms and Explanations*

MSR* – Medical Sales Representative: Sales persons generic name in pharmaceutical sector

HCP – Health Care Professionals: Mainly Physicians, but sometimes covers nurses and pharmacists

FMCG – Fast Moving Consumer Goods: Goods that use in our daily lives such as packaged foods, beverages, toiletries, over-the-counter drugs and many other consumables which are affordable and easily accessible.

FLM – First Line Manager: In our sales team we have district managers who supervise our medical sales representatives.

TIM dual visit form: Sales call evaluation form specifically based on sales techniques steps (Opening, Questioning, Meeting the need, Handling objections, Closing) Performance based HR form: A detailed personal evaluation form filled by district managers after coaching interviews with the medical reps.

Takeda Turkey established a task force to find out appropriate solutions to these issues. Representatives were determined from field force. The group gathered to discuss the topics. At the end of the meeting, agreed approach was to establish a sales training to align the team.

 Next step was to find out a proper training company to deliver the best sales program which would benefit Takeda. Pharmaceutical Sales Training needs extra proficiency regarding the FMCG or banking industries. Following, Pozitum Consultancy was chosen as the partner. Founders of Pozitum were physicians, and training professionals who worked previously as Training Manager in multinational and well-recognized pharmaceutical companies. Their perspective and approaches were fully aligned with Takeda’s needs. A synergetic cooperation had been established to leverage MSRs quality. Training content they had offered fully met the needs.

 Medical, Marketing, Sales and Field Force Training worked in collaboration with Pozitum to tailor the content and create scenarios for Takeda Turkey sales team.

 The work for follow up actions, such as dual visit coaching form (evaluation) revision had also started accordingly.

Takeda TIM KPIs:

  • Number of dual visits per MSR;

Target: Minimum 1 recorded visit per rep

Achievement: Total number of TIM dual visit (coaching) form and performance based previous HR form has reached 458. This means, more than 2 recorded visits per MSRs.

  • Share of long vs. short visit (time spent with a physician during a call);

Target:  Takeda Turkey’s average should exceed %25 (2016 value due to CRM reporting tool ROTA was 20% app. 3 long visits over 15 daily visits)

Achievement: 5,32 long visit average over 15, means 35,4% realization.

  • Overall company growth;

Takeda Turkey has increased its rank to 38th from 41st by 2017, and reached 23% growth rate exceeding market average (16%) in Primary Care Market.

  • To be in the top three of related therapeutic market with highest growth in next three years;

Takeda Turkey’s overall growth came to everybody’s attention with an fascinating 35%

TIM Program was launched during the annual cycle meeting in 2017 by an in-class training program which took 1 week long. This training program included medical trainings, marketing & product trainings and role plays with real HCPs (Healthcare Professionals) in order to set the common ground for Takeda way of detailing and create one voice in the field.

The training program was very successful, but a training can only has %10 efficacy if left alone. The real challenge was implementing the TIM Model into the daily life of the sales force employees. Therefore, follow up actions was crucial to foster the transformation process. To achieve this challenge a follow-up program which is called TIM FOR ME was created.

TIM For Me was a comprehensive program which includes monthly reminder info graphics & videos, dual field visits by Training Manager, coaching by Field Managers, continuous Regional Role-Plays in order to achieve the internalization and behavioral change in the field.

Starting from May each DM filled in coaching forms for each MSR to follow-up behavioral changes in the field. They prepared regional action plans to feed transformation of the team. 

Marketing team in collaboration with training department published conversations demonstrating TIM during interaction with HCPs every month, also. Quarterly, there were competitions to determine the best questions for pre-defined cases. A group of managers decided the winner and shared best questions. Winners gained points from Takeda Turkey’s “TOPI” online recognition program.

Training Manager had conducted role-play activities in each region (18 different groups) to align sales team per TIM. MSRs had developed appropriate approaches and questions to create high quality interaction with HCPs during full day activity. At each meeting, the teams look over the sales techniques, ladder of adoption, segmentation and philosophy behind TIM. Each member of the team actively participated in role-plays and received feedbacks.

Here are some comments and insights obtained through our follow up survey from our employees:

“It was a practice that extended our horizons even more about the TIM we tried to put into practice with a particular mold. I will make my studies more effective by the Tim model with determining the needs, in different physician groups, for the disease more clearly.” Refik Kahraman Yeşilyurt

“Focus on Patient, questioning without any assumption and using TIM model in my all visits.” Bayram Bereketoğlu

“I’ll try to direct product preferences of HCPs to improve patients health by understanding them better. Yeşim Gülbudak

“Patient-centered work, asking effective and thought-provoking questions, determining needs, transferring the features and benefits of the product correctly, transferring the clinical data more fluently.” Orhan Işık

Quality of sales force is very important to achieve long term goals. For a sustainable and trustworthy growth, not only the sales amount matters, more than that the quality is important.

Digital activities and mass activities are helpful tools, but on site coaching plays the main role to achieve behavioral change. To increase professional touch, Takeda Turkey will hire an extra Training Specialist in 2018.

At the beginning Takeda Turkey concentrated on ground setting. Alignment of MSRs completed. Now empowering FLMs and mid management is in scope.

Gamification will help Takeda Turkey to keep behavioral changes on going through the daily life. Takeda Turkey is launching an online program to keep sales team motivated throughout the year 2018.

Takeda Turkey is working to link TIM with individual incentive plan (as a qualitative multiplier). A third company is working on the technical issues.