TGaS Advisory Brief
Many life sciences companies design customer engagement models that rely on coordination and communication between Account Managers, Sales, Reimbursement, Patient Services, and Field Medical to drive outcomes, performance, continuity and improve the customer and patient experience. These collaborative field teams are often formally or informally referred to as matrix or matrix-based field teams, and tend to be organized by Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), ecosystems and/or geography.
Executive stakeholders from Field Leadership, Brands and Market Access functions have shared during benchmark interviews that operating more effectively as matrix teams is a critical success factor. The challenges and complexities of operating as a high-performing matrix team seem easier to articulate than the capabilities and competencies needed to succeed. Common challenges include separate field-based roles engaging with the same customer and site of care too frequently, too close together; fears of compliance violations; conflicts within matrix teams around roles, responsibilities and swim lanes; unclear or inconsistent direction and accountability; and misaligned incentives.
In fact, searching online for “field matrix teams” in life sciences industry results in pages of job postings all requiring experience leading or managing field matrix teams, though no articles or resources on the topic are included.
(Go ahead, try it.)
Clearly, leading and developing high-performing field matrix teams is a coveted skillset, but much less clear is what success looks like, how to achieve it, and who will lead the organizational change from current to future-state.
To assist leaders in life science organizations to accelerate progress, TGaS Advisors identified:
- ROLES considered part of field matrix teams
- CAPABILITIES of high-performing field matrix teams
- Specific role-based SKILLS and COMPETENCIES necessary to improve performance of field matrix teams
In September of 2022, TGaS Advisors sent an electronic survey to L&D professionals within life science companies. Surveys were completed by 21 individuals from 18 unique companies. Twelve companies (67%) were mid/large tier, and six (33%) represent emerging/small tier companies.
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