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We are a finalist: 2019 PMEA Awards

News 13th November 2019


Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

We speak to Iain MacFadyen, Head of Commercial, North at Sanofi UK on becoming a joint finalist with Rubica in the 2019 PMEA Awards for the category ‘Excellence in Capability development’. 

Can you tell us a little more about the programme that has led to you being shortlisted in the PMEA Awards?

How the NHS operates today presents significant challenges to pharmaceutical companies – with a level of complexity where the traditional selling model is proving ineffective.

We asked Rubica to help us overcome this challenge and deliver on our new strategic direction by adopting an unconventional approach to Key Account Excellence (KAE). This would see the whole organisation embed a new capability that would change its culture and ways of working. By doing this, more influential, profitable and sustainable customer relationships would be built that would deliver more and ultimately improve NHS patient health.

How do you feel about being shortlisted in the 2019 PMEA Awards for ‘Excellence in Capability Development’?

We’ve come a long way. At the end of 2017 we knew some fundamental things had to change within our business – continuing with business as usual wasn’t an option.

To be recognised as a finalist in this years PMEA awards is fantastic recognition of what we’ve changed and achieved – there is a marked shift in where we are today compared to where we were at the start of 2018 when we embarked on the programme.

What key areas are you most proud of when it comes to capability development which you feel has led to you becoming a finalist?

Over the course of 18-months we’ve built the key skills and ways of working that are necessary to work closer and better with our customers (Key Account Excellence – KAE) – helping them to help their patients.

To do this, we put our people first. We have lived and breathed our commitment to this – supporting teams and individuals to work smarter in key accounts and with customers whilst also growing the skills needed to make the approach sustainable for the long-term. We believe putting our people first is absolutely the right thing to do.

How do you feel your focus on developing capabilities has changed how you work at Sanofi?

The road we’ve taken hasn’t been easy. At times it would have been easy to default to old ways of working, but we haven’t faltered. This commitment, boldness and confidence has reverberated around the business – through leading by example, people now know KAE is here to stay and that we are committed to it.

As a result, individuals feel much more confident and empowered in their business decision making. Equally people feel able to say when they don’t have the answer – safe in the knowledge that the team around them will help to find the right way forward and collectively celebrate the success that comes from it.

How do you feel your focus on developing capabilities has changed how customers see you?

I’m seeing, hearing and experiencing first-hand how this new way of working has transformed the relationships we have with customers. Time and again customers are reiterating that they feel we are now more relevant, more engaging and more credible. This is really helping us build a sustainable business model for now and into the future.

To find out more about Rubica’s work with Sanofi, read the full case study.