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Identifying Opportunities for Market Success
A Critical Thinking Co. Case Study

What would you do with a 400 million dollar opportunity?

Critical Thinking Co. recently helped a client discover a large gap in their target market worth $400M. In tandem with the client, we developed a sales strategy and training curriculum that zeroed in on this opportunity, and our client’s sales teams got the education, preparation, and confidence they needed to successfully seize the moment. Within 18 months of working with Critical Thinking Co., our client gained over 12% market share and became the leader in their market.


When Critical Thinking Co. began working with this client, the client was part of a mature market where their non-patent-protected treatment, which treats an autoimmune disease in neuromuscular medicine, had been available for more than 16 years. They had a team of experienced sales professionals – most had been at the company for three or more years – divided into specialty and hospital sales. From upper management to each individual sales specialist, our client’s employees discussed success in terms of “vials” sold or amount of product moved. The client was struggling to improve their market share after holding steady for a long time. They called on Critical Thinking Co. to help them maximize their impact on the market.

Sales Strategy

Critical Thinking Co. CEO Rick Bandy facilitated a business consultation summit for the leadership of the client’s payer, sales, medical, marketing, and management teams. At the summit, which took place over the course of two days, participants brainstormed about barriers to and opportunities for growth, organized ideas, analyzed their current market, created an action plan, and determined metrics for success going forward.

In collaboration with the company leadership, Critical Thinking Co. helped the client to uncover an opportunity, determine a new sales approach, and establish a new company-wide sales mission.

The Opportunity: Many patients are not diagnosed in time to prevent progression of the disease that could lead to irreversible nerve damage.

Our Approach: Pursue timely and appropriate diagnosis.

The Mission: Maximize the number of appropriate patients who benefit from the client’s treatment.

Training Strategy

Critical Thinking Co. created a theme for the mission that would guide the training and defined what knowledge and resources would be necessary for the client’s sales team to carry out the new approach. The theme was UNITE, which encouraged the client’s customer-facing teams to unite healthcare providers (HCPs) and pharmaceutical industry professionals to diagnose and treat eligible patients.

In order for the client’s sales teams to focus on diagnosing the disease in the maximum number of appropriate patients, they needed to be educated on the appropriate diagnostic tools and types of diagnosis, and have an in-depth understanding of their product within the context of other options.

Curriculum Design

Critical Thinking Co. developed a targeted curriculum, which included the following:

Clinical Training and MicroResidency™
The client’s sales team participated in a 10-week MicroResidency program which gave them the functional clinical knowledge they needed to fluently discuss the disease state their product treated with HCPs. The program included:

  • Home-study eLearning modules and Comprehensive Resource Guide
  • Interactive case studies involving patient evaluation and treatment planning, followed by webinar discussion sessions with a neuromuscular specialist
  • Courses instructed by clinical faculty designed with in-depth discussion and interaction
  • Technology-enabled patient case workups supported by consultant healthcare providers
  • Grand rounds simulation

The modules were recognized by the AANEM, who has created a tailored certification exam that our client’s sales team will take in Spring 2016. They will be the first team of sales professionals to receive this type of accreditation.

Product Training/Business Strategic Execution (Business Acumen)
The client’s sales teams engaged in a three-day training “boot camp” that provided intensive hands-on practice with clinical data, disease state information, and customer, account, and business knowledge. These sessions, tailored to meet the needs of the hospital and specialty teams, and featured the following workshops:

  • Product Value Drills
  • Business Dynamics: Strategy, Goal, Tactics
  • Reaching the Goal: Customers into Action
  • Contract Fulfillment: Analyze and Take Control
  • Account “Mission” Simulation

This program logically translated to real world field experiences so that professionals could quickly incorporate new skills and knowledge into their sales efforts.

Mission-Based Communications Campaign
Critical Thinking Co. sent regular email blasts reinforcing the mission for the customer-facing team. The emails were crisp, clean, and graphically designed to maximize their effectiveness with the sales team. They also provided necessary information before training events so that our client’s sales professionals could stay informed and
on-track with the program schedule.

The entire curriculum included elements of Active Influence™, Critical Thinking Co.’s proprietary sales framework. In developing a firm foundation of clinical expertise, product information, business acumen, and mission-driven motivation, sales professionals were more easily able to leverage their knowledge to establish and accomplish mutual goals with healthcare providers.

After Critical Thinking Co. Training

The client reframed their thinking from selling vials to helping patients and saw tangible results. Sales professionals were recognized by an important medical association in their field, access and time spent with healthcare providers increased, and ultimately, the client gained market share. Critical Thinking Co. made a marked difference in the way their sales teams communicated and solved problems within the healthcare industry.

See what Critical Thinking Co. can do for you. Contact Rick Bandy at r.bandy@criticalthinkingco.com or at 919-459-1060 for more information.