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Regional Manager: complexity of people management with no experience.


Interview with Tetiana Snizhko, Director of Human Resources at Sanofi in Ukraine and Belarus.

Regional manager of the pharmaceutical company – responsible managerial position.  What qualities should have the regional manager, what difficulties he faced in his early career? This is what we asked Tetiana Snezhko, HR Director at Sanofi in Ukraine and Belarus.

SCHOOL OF MANAGERS: Tatiana, please tell us about the position of regional manager (first line manager, District Sales Manager). How to become regional managers? What challenges faced by young manager?

Tetiana Snizhko: The success of our company is the success of our employees. That is why we pay special attention to their development and professional growth. When In the company opened position, it is always is announced among employees. The most popular, of course, in our business is the position of regional manager. The competition for this position involves both internal and external candidates. And as a result, more than 90% of the cases, the vacancy is closed one of the internal candidates, which means promotion to the position from medical representative to the post of regional manager.

At this point,  not only changes the title of the position, but also its status. First of all, changed the objectives and goals that require new knowledge and skills, new competencies in the management of the team and its development, as well as the strategic vision and analysis.

The task is complicated by the fact that in 80% of promotions from position medical representative to the regional manager, the new manager has to manage a team in which only yesterday the employee was a medical representative.

How to build a relationship with the team? How to gain and retain the respect and the authority? How to motivate a team? These and other issues require immediate solution.

In fact to be successful in the position of a medical representative does not automatically be successful in the position of regional manager. Beginner regional manager needs additional and timely professional training. The manager is responsible not only for themselves but also for their entire team, and any of his wrong decision can lead to demotivation of the team, declining productivity or undue risks.

SCHOOL OF MANAGERS: What qualities and competencies should have a regional manager? What knowledge and skills are needed to take a position District Sales Manager?

Tetiana Snizhko: Regional manager should possess leadership qualities, Its tasks include the implementation of the sales plan for entrusted territory, recruitment, training, motivation, coordination and supervision of the team of medical representatives. All of this requires some knowledge in the area of management, the ability to govern themselves, the ability to manage people. Regional manager must possess qualities such as communication skills, analytical thinking, result-oriented, organizational skills, mobility, stress and self-control. The work of the regional manager is responsible enough, it involves all the activities for the development of drug sales in the region.

Beginner regional manager needs in a timely professional training. The manager is responsible not only for themselves but also for their entire team, and any of his wrong decision can lead to demotivation team and declining productivity.

SCHOOL OF MANAGERS: What does an ideal regional manager? Whether the value of the sex and age of the candidate for this position?

Tetiana Snizhko : In our company, gender, and age are by no means the selection criteria. Professional and personal qualities are important, which we have already spoken. The ideal image of the regional manager consists of many features. First of all, this is a motivated, loyal, result-oriented employee who has ambitious goals and never rests on his laurels. This is an employee who possesses strong leadership skills to motivate, develop and leads the team.

SCHOOL of MANAGERS : How significant is the role of regional manager for the company? What are the prospects for career development in this position?

Tetiana Snizhko : The role of regional manager can not be underestimated. The success of the entire team of medical representatives depends on it, performance of the goals and objectives in the region. This means daily visits, coaching, working with key customers, etc.

If we talk about career opportunities for the regional manager, in accordance with our organizational structure, the next step is the position of field-force management (Field Force Manager). When opening such a vacancy,  usually involves in the competition experienced regional managers, who have worked in the position for more than three years and proved their competence and professionalism.

Ideal regional manager is always willing to work on themselves, improve their management skills. He set up positive, open to new knowledge.

SCHOOL OF MANAGERS: What would you recommend to young specialists who have recently become regional managers?
Tetiana Snizhko: It is surprising, the main problem of new managers is that they are too early, “relax”, considering that already reached. After passing all stages of the competition for the position of regional manager, many believe that once they have raised, it means they already have shown themselves, and then the company should take care about their development.

Therefore, my main recommendation to all young professionals will be self development – continue work on yourself, invest in yourself, in your personal and professional growth, acquire new knowledge and skills that will help you be successful in your new role.

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