While the biomanufacturing industry is one of the most innovative fields in all of business, it’s still a business. Whether your company is making biomanufacturing equipment, biopharmaceuticals, or any other product within the industry, you need a sales and marketing force to help you make money. The question is: Does your team need a lot of specialized knowledge, or can any sales and marketing professional succeed?
The answer depends on your specific company, of course, but any organization working in the biomanufacturing field can benefit from a sales and marketing force that understands the biomanufacturing process on more than a superficial level.
The Benefit of In-Depth Training
Traditional salesforce training methods provide poor ROI. How poor? Studies show that, within 90 days of completing a curriculum-based training program, sales teams forget 80% of what they learned. That’s a problem when product knowledge is one of the most important factors in securing a sale.
In biomanufacturing, product knowledge may be even more important, given that sales and marketing teams are often communicating with a highly educated audience that often includes physicians and scientists. It isn’t enough for your sales and marketing team to know what your product does. To answer complex questions from highly educated individuals, they need a good understanding of how your product achieves what you’re promising.
In other words, if you want your sales and marketing team to perform its best, you want the members of that team to understand the process as much as they understand the final product. Depending on the specifics of your business, your sales and marketing force should have an understanding of the steps of upstream processing and downstream processing, along with the types of equipment — bioreactors, centrifuges, etc. — used in the process.
While teaching your sales and marketing force these concepts in the classroom might help, you would have to deal with that 80% loss of knowledge. Fortunately, there’s another way you can improve your sales and marketing team’s knowledge.
How Spending Time in a Biomanufacturing Facility Can Help
A recent study using brain scans found that people who experience scientific concepts in a hands-on manner understand those concepts at a much deeper level. In biomanufacturing, there’s no better place to get hands-on experience than at a biomanufacturing facility.
When sales and marketing professionals step onto the floor of a biomanufacturing facility, their vague understanding of how such facilities operate can quickly transform into specific knowledge they can later apply to the sales process. For example, those in equipment sales will see how the equipment is used on a day-to-day basis and how their equipment interacts with the process as a whole. Similarly, those in biopharmaceutical sales and marketing will see not only how their company’s drugs are made but how meticulous the process is.
For many sales and marketing professionals, even a simple tour of a biomanufacturing facility can be eye-opening and full of “a-ha” moments, leaving them much more fluid in their use of industry lingo and their ability to speak with customers. If you can give your marketing and sales team a tour of your floor, you absolutely should. But you don’t have to stop there.
Educational Opportunities for Biomanufacturing Sales and Marketing Professionals
If you want your sales and marketing team to possess knowledge that a simple tour of a biomanufacturing facility can’t provide, you could have them attend a program specifically geared for those who work in the industry but don’t already have specialized training.
One such program is the “Biomanufacturing for the Non-Specialist – What You Need to Know” course offered by the Biomanufacturing Education & Training Center (BETC) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. Expert instructors conduct this two-day course in BETC’s state-of-the-art training facilities and teach the fundamentals behind the biomanufacturing process. Short and to-the-point, the course is one of the many flexible training programs BETC offers and gives industry professionals who don’t work in the production space the opportunity to learn about the elements of the biomanufacturing process and how those elements come together.
Your company’s ability to sell its products has a lot to do with your sales and marketing team’s ability to connect with your customers and seal the deal. Helping them to understand the biomanufacturing process more can help your business succeed.