Building best-in-class MSL functions – evolution or revolution? Part 2

Panel discussion: 

The second panel of the day was titled: “Demonstration of MSL value: challenges and needs”. To begin the panel discussed the strategies of how field medical professionals can communicate and demonstrate value. This highlighted the need for clarity in differentiating the MSL role from sales so that Medical can start to build its value proposition. Medical need to “get ahead of the curve” in coming up with a better set of metrics to measure MSL value.

The panel discussed with the audience why measuring MSL value matters to leadership, the feedback was that leadership are interested in what field medical are delivering for the business, whether this has been a country or regional level. This is why strategic plans are really important as being able to show that a high percentage of field medical are delivering to that plan is “really powerful”.

Specifically, on the type of metrics and the way that they are applied, the panel stressed the complexity of the MSL role and that they should neither be sold nor measured in this way.  MSLs mindsets and culture are important in that they need to know how to contextualise their roles against both what the science is saying and the commercial aspirations of the company. “Turning principles into practices is our major challenge.” MSLs should be rewarded for behaviours that form connections.

The importance of leaders taking time to go into the field with MSLs is key in order to understand how and why they are engaging versus only using quantitative measures of engagement. “It is so easy to have quantitative value, but what matters at the end of the day is impact, and impact in Medical is pretty hard to measure with a figure.”

Wrapping up in the final session “One MSL moving forward”, Helen Kane quoted Aristotle: “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” Looking to the future, Helen Kane previewed the 2020 launch of One Academy which will deliver a series of accredited programmes and state-of-the-art blended learning.