By Dawn Brehm
Field-based trainers are high performing individuals on a
path to greater responsibility, according to SPBT members who recently provided
feedback on how those field-based trainers are selected.
Vicki Colman, senior manager, sales training, Aptalis
Pharma, stated that for the newly launched
field-based trainer program at Aptalis Pharma, candidates must apply and
participate in a targeted selection process that is a collaboration between
sales leadership and HR. Applicants must
have at least five years industry and 18 months experience at Aptalis Pharma
and delivered excellent sales performance.
Once selected, a criterion to maintain high sales performance is
required in the role. Another key selection
factor, Colman said, is the importance of the trainers demonstrating the
Aptalis Pharma values.
B. Braun takes a similar approach, according to Connie
Murray, director, sales training & clinical education. Murray noted that sales management plays a
key role in selecting the field-based trainers.
"Ideal candidates must be intrinsically motivated to help
others succeed. They must also be
committed to continuous self-improvement and possess a desire for increasing
levels of responsibility at B. Braun Medical,” Murray said.
In addition to the selection criteria of strong performance,
leadership aptitude and respected by
their peers, Derek Lee, director, training & development, Ikaria, shared
that field-based trainers are required to be committed to the role for at least
"If they are "flipped” too soon, for example after one year,
they might not have gained the full experience of the role and we as a training
function may not have received the full ROI and development in that individual,”
Lee said. Lee did note that although 18
months in the role is the ideal, top performing individuals are not held back
Crouser, senior training manager, management & leadership development at
Genentech, shared that the selection of field-based trainers at Genentech
involves input from three business leaders: Division managers, regional
managers and brand trainers. Crouser shared that criteria includes an in-depth
understanding of the relevant therapeutic area(s), brands, competitors and
needs of patients, clinicians and accounts, as well as the ability to
appropriately segment and organize multiple field development strategies,
programs, plans and activities.
Allergan Medical utilizes both parttime and full-time field
trainers, said Marty Babbington, director, training and development. In order to vie for one of the full-time
field trainer roles, an individual must have excelled at sales and had
experience in the part-time field trainer role. Beth Aust, director U.S. eye care sales
training at Allergan, noted that screening for a competency toward coaching,
leading and mentoring others is part of the extensive interview process.
is clear, the selection standards to become a field trainer are stringent and
the process is rigorous. Criterion for
selection often includes demonstrated high performance, a desire to help others
learn and desire for greater responsibility in the field or in the training
Dawn Brehm is SPBT’s chief
operating officer. Email Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org.