Induction of First Line Manager in Pharma Sales | FLM – ASM – ABM – Area Sales Manager – Area Business Manager

Situation: When you get elevated as First Line Manager/FLM/ASM/ABM in career to take over the charge of sales and marketing operations with the team of five medical representatives (as per industry norms); On one hand you have a feeling of empowerment but on the other hand you have a fear of failure too. If you get the posting after elevation as a First Line Manager in the same head quarter where you were working as a medical representative then you have some kind of confidence. But still you have in your mind as to how to handle the other four headquarters/Medical Representatives.  And in case you get absolutely new area to work as a Area Sales Manager or Area Business Manager then you have a hundred percent challenge in front of you to start your managerial inning in the industry. You get shaky because you are in the search of a point of start. And many a times because of this fear of failure even capable medical representatives forgo their chance of their career development

Reality: Please remember for First Line Manager by enlarge there is no prescribed induction program available from the side of company in our pharmaceutical industry. In such situation either you try to get some guidance from your senior colleagues functioning as First Line Manager or you try to operate on the basis of little bit of experience what you could gather watching your First Line Manager functioning. On the basis of these tools you try to start your managerial innings as first line manager. But whatever may be the situation, you are always in dilemma. Well if you get the same H.Q. elevation where your are working as a medical representative then you are 80% in dark and in case you get a territory as First Line Manager where you have never worked earlier and having no exposure then you are hundred percent in dark. The help and support you get from your superiors and Organization is not more than few of the data and report and little bit of briefing about medical representatives. On the basis of this input you are expected to start your performance right from the first month.

Learn here Why Induction is so important?

Probability: You usually start your inning as a supervisor basically instead of a manager at First Line Manager level. The reason behind that you don’t know what to be managed and how to be managed. So, the best suitable way you find to supervise the job functions of your medical representatives. And whatever you were doing successfully when you were a medical representative you start chasing that. Because you find it convenient to supervise those job function as you know well about that. And most of the time take decisions on your gut feeling. But the First Line Manager must understand clearly that the supervising function will not help to get established as a first line manager in the team, organization and industry. Because the role expected from you is of development. Therefore, to establish yourself as a first line manager you need to know the job functions, responsibility and accountability of First Line Manager, with clarity so that you know very well what to do and what not to do. And accordingly, you start functioning and behaving with your team for the development.

 Clarity: If you keep on harping on your supervisory function then you may face the resistance from your team of medical representatives and your interpersonal relations will be at stake. And the interpersonal relation is an essential requirement to get the job done from a team. 

On knowing the facts that as per system there is no program or plan available in the industry for the induction of first line manager you need to know with absolute clarity your job functions, role and responsibility and your resources. You can learn about First Line Manager Role & Responsibilities here.

The Resources: You must know as FLM/ASM/ABM, your resources are market, products and people. And these all need to be developed from the current status with your efforts and input. And these three are not only your responsibility, rather product segment is your accountability.  And at any moment of time whenever you will be evaluated as First Line Manager, will be evaluated on account of the products performance.  Not only for you as First Line Manager; but for each and every of your medical representative in the coming time. So, you must understand this necessity to know and analyze your resources and function for the development of all three i.e. market, products and people. For your success you must know the strengths and weaknesses and then act upon to consolidate and correct with your direct as well as support role as a leader of the team.

Conclusion:  Keep in your mind with absolute clarity that you have been given the responsibility of FLM/ASM/ABM/Area Sales Manager/ Area Business Manager/First Line Manager with a lot of faith and believe by the organization.  It is something like you have been identified a man and you cannot afford to behave like a boy any further. Remember your days of early schooling when all kind of help and support was available for you right from your shoelaces to organizing your school bag; dropping and picking you up from the school gate. This use to be the duty and responsibility of your family members.  And that’s how you were inducted as a medical representative also when you started your career. And now remember your days of College where no one was bothered as to how you will go, when you will reach and when and how will come back. But the expectations from you were high by your family members. Because they had a believe that now you are mature enough to handle your day to day routines. This is the same situation to test your professional maturity at it is a sort of self induction in your professional life as you did prove when you started your journey in college. Therefore, get up, get prepared for yourself and show the professional world that you are man enough. It’s the time to prove your worth PROFESSIONALLY.

If you want to learn about First Line Manager Induction, you can go through this Course.

Author: Mahendra S. Bisht

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