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Otsuka's sales leadership is a disappointment!!

Discussion in 'Otsuka' started by anonymous, Jan 24, 2020 at 2:29 PM.

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  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    DM here....(also MBA)...After having been here several years now, I have to say I am deeply disappointed with our leadership, especially in the people of our sales and marketing organization. Go to our website and you see statements such as "At Otsuka, it is the people who make a difference". Really? In what company don't they? Yet, when you dig a little bit deeper the fact is that our "leaders" do only the absolute minimum to get by!

    Some time ago, the company made it a requirement for reps and managers to read the "Challenger Sale" book and learn from the insights. I honestly wonder wether the individuals that asked us to do this did little more than read a few pages and went on to other things. The reason I say that is because the authors clearly state that:

    "These are organizational capabilities, not individual skills. A critical lesson of the Challenger approach is the significant need for organizational involvement to make it truly sustainable and not just the result of incidental rep excellence...."

    "The unique benefits, the surprising customer insights, the tightly packaged teaching choreography - require input from the entire commercial organization".

    "With input from the salesforce - and at their behest - organizations must invest in training marketers to articulate differentiators and constantly source fresh and compelling teaching messages".

    I think it is fair to say, that Otsuka has fallen way short on all three points! There is no organizational involvement, no input from the entire organization, and most importantly there are no constantly fresh and compelling teaching messages. Other than preaching "positive tension" which was only mentioned once in the book, our leaders have let the salesforce down by not implementing a single one of the requirements necessary to make the reps successful as stated above. In times when more and more offices shut their doors to reps, we operate as if we were in the 70's and 80's. We don't even try to be better at what our competitors are doing. Why even ask the salesforce to read the book? Of course almost everyone has forgotten about the book by now, so rather than change our culture, the book became the sales flavor of the month!

    The authors cite one incident, where a pharma company (unnamed) provided valuable information on disease management to providers, in essence helping them practicing better medicine, which resulted in cost and time savings. The reps suddenly had access to the doctors in this closed clinic system and after presenting the information, were able to sell the company's solution, which was their drug. Why didn't anyone at our organization question or wonder why we couldn't do something similar??? Heck no, that would be asking too much!!

    So much for the statement: "We believe in unconventional thinking" which also stares at you when you open our website"....Nothing but a hollow phrase...

    And when reps don't perform at Otsuka, it is automatically their fault, regardless of the circumstances. The "solution" to the problem is the PIP! Easy way out! Management has done it's job. Any 5 year old can do that. I for one will not participate in this charade anymore and put a rep on a PIP if I don't think it's justified. I am tired of doing our leaders dirty work! These individuals should look in the mirror and ask themselves whether or not they are really as good as they need to be, and wether or not they have the traits and character necessary to lead and manage a salesforce!! If not, please leave!!

    Lastly, I know our execs read CP...but they will act as if they were totally unaware of this thread...mark my words...business as usual...

  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    First off, I don't currently work for Otsuka. But I am looking at joining the company so I was taking a look at cafepharma to see what came up. Now I don't put a lot of stock in what I read on cafepharma, but I am still going to at least take a look.

    But to my main point. I am so happy to see someone else point out EXACTLY the same thing that I got so frustrated with at my current company, who also uses Challenger. In fact, I actually asked the VP of sales when they rolled out Challenger if they company was committed to investing from their end. Of course he said yes, and then did absolutely nothing. I read the exact same quotes to him as I asked the question.

    Like you, I did a ton of research on the Challenger sales model because I really don't like it. I don't like it because no company actually does what it says to do. They cherry pick, just as you mentioned, only the action items for the reps. But the whole premise of the book is that Challenger is a top down selling model.

    So thank you so much for posting your thoughts. I could tell that post took you some time. But at least it let me know that I am not alone in my thinking.

    I believe I will pass on Otsuka if they employ the same strategy that Challenger is just a model for the reps to carry out. They obviously didn't really read the book.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Years ago, before we had Challenger, I too suggested that we help Drs. practice better medicine, and then integrate our meds in the presentation. This is the 2nd point in the book.."teach for differentiation", creating the "Oh, I didn't know that, that is very helpful moment"...creating purpose and value in our visits, but I was ordered not to do this and proceed with probing questions....Sometimes you are just at the wrong company at the wrong time. We have just the same boring sales aid with the same information....and with that we are supposed to grow marketshare and new prescribers....yeah right...I don't know for sure, but I am under the impression most revenue growth comes from price increases, not from growing share...
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Yep, it's always easier to talk the talk but not walk the walk!! Otsuka leadership is a great example of that!!
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Rep here, I don't know who you are or where you work...totally agree...I would love to work for you and wish there were more of you!

    I hope your remarks will not get you in any kind of trouble with the company. It's a shame that so many people at this organization just go on every day like robots, instead of challenging the status quo. I have visited a lot of other sites and reps are a lot more forthcoming. We seem to have hired people with a certain mentality: sheep that follow and don't rock the boat...pathetic!!
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    GREAT post, well thought out and honest. I sure hope MGT reads CP.

    I believe many of the problems start and could STOP at the RM/DM level. Many of the problems start w/ the w/w and RM/DM's in the offices attempting to critic something that they cannot even understand such as "Positive Tension" Many of the problems start w/ "coaching". "Coaching has become an every ride along thing. The idea that the MD/Office is the customer is long gone. In Pharma's current state the Rep is the main focus of attention on a field ride. RM/DM's focus entirely to much energy and cause entirely to much chaos inside offices instead of working w/ the rep of the common goal of furthering the business and relationship inside the office they have somehow become to believe it's fine to create an adversarial environment w/ Rep and office because "Positive Tension" or the sales system of the year says it's fine to paint a MD into a corner.

    Positive Tension in itself is an OxyMoron. Who ever dreamed up this Sales System has literally lost it. In what world does any sales person make it a point to attempt to create tension to gain rapport? But I digress.

    Listening...DM just don't listen or care to listen anymore. They just keep pushing Fixed Agendas daily instead of thinking either for them self or for the betterment of the business.

    1st. Many times, and I mean MOST times the Rep has exponential experience over the Manager in Knowledge of area, MD personalities and office dynamics. They know what works or has / has not worked in the past.

    2nd. There comes a point in a Reps career or job cycle that they no longer want to be a manager or move up the ladder. The stick that is said in an interview when asked the question "where do you see yourself in 5 years" is irrelevant. Next the "Goals" at the beginning of the year, many Reps really just want to put down "Have a nice drama free year, make my calls, do my dinner programs, work w/ others and all is good. No dog and pony show let's all act like adults and do our job go home at the end of the day and get a good rating. Unfortunately that cannot happen w/ any DM.

    3rd If a Manger can't see that something like Positive Tension might be a potentially bad thing for business and maybe just think for them self every once in a while they really shouldn't be in charge of 10 Individuals jobs.

    Why does every single field ride need to be developmental? Why does everything single call have to be talked about? It's insanity, even if it is 6-8X a year for the experienced rep. Why can't a DM/RM go out in the field and take the temperature of the MDs in it? Listening to the conversation, hearing what the MDs are saying about the product or managed care and "ACTUALLY" taking that information back to Corp. Instead it's always developmental towards the Rep.

    Many of the managers in my 20 years were literally horrible Sales Presenters and failed to listen to any MD conversation because they had a "FIXED" agenda beforehand. Instead they should go in w/ no agenda, work along side the REP and further the business instead of being adversarial toward the rep because of some dreamed up developmental processes (Coaching) that the DM thinks "HAS" to take place.

    There used to be a time in Pharma when Reps main job was to become best friends w/ the MDs and key personnel. It was call Account Building and Management. Now if a DM/RM hears the word Rapport they freak out and say Rapport doesn't sell. That in itself is the dumbest thing I was hearing at the end of my time. Do you do business w/ people you like or people that try to paint you into a corner?

    RM/DM in it's current state lack accountability to any of the MDs inside the territories. Back in the day the DM had at least 1-4 MD that they were developing themselves along side their Representative. All they are concerned about now is the "Coach" er..Developmental of the rep at the MD expense and the MD is the Consumer writing the Product!! Currently there isn't ONE DM/RM that has a solid relationship w/ a MD and that is tragic. Read that again..the MD is the consumer and Management doesn't value them enough to form bonding relationships w/ just handful on Opinion Leaders in each district and if a Rep becomes to close to an MD it's called rapport and a DM/RM will tell you you can't sell by rapport!!! Insanity.

    I'm long gone from the Industry myself after 23 years but I know one thing is that the Offices are closing down, Hospitals are acquiring practices, Manage Care is telling MDs what they can write and more and more offices are shutting Reps out. Every thread on CP is the same about how Reps are tired of being treated like children from the Company that gives them a check. (where there is smoke there is fire). I'm not sure about anyone else here on CP but if I was running a company and was paying 100K to my employees I would be treating them like adults not children since adults make good decisions and Children not so much. I'm no rocket scientist either but I'm willing to bet that after every w/w the Rep, if treated badly or just has built up anxiety from working w/ a manager every 3-4 weeks for 2 day literally does NOTHING for 4-5 days except drive around the territory glad that the 2 day dog and pony show is over. There is not a calculator w/ enough zeros to calculate lost production from the aftermath of the field ride. If the RMs and DMs don't start listening to the MDs and their OFFICES and would stop trying to over develop experienced reps that are more experienced than the DMs then this Industry is beyond fixing. Listening is a basic SALES skill and Managers just don't do it, they keep pushing the needless fixed agendas and offices are tired of it.

  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    DM here again...totally agree with your points. I know for a fact that my reps don't work 2 to 3 days prior to the ride-along because they are sandbagging calls since they don't have enough to do as it is! So right there the field ride has already become counterproductive. Having been a rep myself for many years and having had many managers myself, I try to implement what I liked and what I didn't like during ride - alongs. I focus on the positive and try to relax the rep. He/she is tense as it is..no need to add to that. At the end of the day, I suggest 1-2 things which I feel could have done differently or better. Often, less is more! One thing I did notice is that over the years, reps have less and less impact, because of situations out of their control! And I don't feel the need to discuss every call...it's just annoying to the rep! One of these days my RD and home-office will be getting fed up with me and assign me to a territory again. But I prefer that happening to me vs treating a rep unfairly!

    Just take a look at the thread about the "Account Manager North Seattle"!! Total shit-show conducted by our "ethical" pharmaceutical company!! I just don't understand how all the individuals that participated in this witch hunt can live with themselves. No scruples, no remorse...I have lost all respect for you...and I know everyone who was involved!!

    It used to be that we focus on the WIIFM (What's In It For Me), but these days metrics and getting a call in have priority. The tail now wags the dog!

    I have some very good colleagues that have the same frustrations I have with this company. Middle-management is often an unpleasant situation. You get crap from above and crap from below. But the DM's all have mortgages, kids in college, etc. and need the check every 2 weeks. And the 401k plan at Otsuka, I must say, is outstanding,

    Lastly, I want to leave all of you with a quote from Steve Jobs:

    “You know who the best managers are?
    They're the great individual contributors, who never ever want to be a manager, but decided they have to be manager because no one else is going to be able to do as good a job as them.”

    Hopefully that was the reason my fellow DM's became managers!

    I know it does not hold true for some RD's...EGO, desire for recognition and respect were the prime motivators. And they did such a good job fooling everyone they got away with it...

    And that, ladies and gentlemen is the current state of affairs in big pharma!!!
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    You see. Here is the assumption. That there is leadership to begin with. There is none. Sales through fear and intimidation.

    This jackass Challenger sales technique will be the run of sales. Then you have managers that are so afraid to push back. Hold on to your shorts, a PIP or worse headed to a theater near you.
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    What team are you on? I am looking at Otsuka and am curious. Thanks.
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    You are a breath of fresh air in this stale organization!! Our leaders love to hear themselves talk and try to impress us! It has become a total joke! They truly believe they are capable and admired. Fact is nobody would even notice these individuals if they wouldn't be in the positions they are in, especially KM...
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Hey, we at the home office enjoy sitting behind computer screens, having one-on-one telephone conversations with the ass-kissers we installed while pretending everything is just great! We get off on that!

    Now go back to work tomorrow and deliver those important messages to your doctors! Patients are counting on you, and be proud of what you do! You are part of the treatment team!
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Just be thankful we are saving lives everyday. I probably save at least 2 lives per day myself, sometimes more. Doc have no clue how to treat MDD, even if they have practiced psychiatry for 20 years, they still need to see a patient profile in order to practice. I really think they enjoy hearing the same presentation several times a day. Let’s go gang and save some lives!
  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Yep, spot on...What Doc is going to waste his time with a rep when he brings so little value??? If I were a physician my time would be too valuable to see a rep who brings virtually nothing to me and to my office....
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    What is everyone doing out there all day long besides checking samples and getting signatures to prove they are working? It’s not like we have anything worthwhile to talk about anymore!

    The only thing more worthless than us are the DMs! All they do is babysit people that nobody wants to see...
  16. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    One of these days, probably after the election, let's call it day "X", even our dumb execs will come to realize that they can't continue to do business as usual anymore...I believe they just try to milk the cow as long as they can....sort of like all of us...
  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    I find this thread refreshing but unfortunately when you tell the emperor she is wearing no clothes she won't believe anyone because she is always right. These facts are self evident however facts no longer matter if you have no insight to understand that upper management is the problem not the solution. When was the last time that anyone admitted that they were wrong and mistakes are a natural part of a developing business? Hasn't happened since the truly quality RSD was replaced by the giant mini-me in Dallas, the man he replaced was the last true regional sales LEADER at Otsuka.
  18. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    I worked at Otsuka years ago and I am thankful that I made the move to get out. The Sales Leadership at the Regional Level lacks ethics, intelligence and true leadership. Everyone worked scared and I remember the underlying mentality being, "just make all you can today and hang on as long as you can". Nobody cared about the company or the people. It doesn't sound like anything has changed.

    My Manager was a good person, but clearly had to do what she needed to do to "survive". She couldn't help us drive business or truly lead because she needed to follow the inept R.D.'s focus on lack of trust in every Rep. Who isn't tracking? Who isn't working? If the numbers are down, no excuses. Put them on a PIP, then fire them.

    I hope everyone has the courage to learn from this experience and know that you have the power to get out.
  19. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Yes...and the only time when you will truly recognize HOW toxic Otsuka is, is when you leave the company, like I did. It's just amazing how my mental and physical health turned around. Although I value money as a breadwinner quite a bit, I would NEVER again put myself in such a position. I make about the same now without all the BS. There is more to life than Otsuka and frustrating yourself every day!
  20. anonymous

    anonymous Guest