VP of Sales
Purdue Pharma L.P.
Changing the Perception of Sales Teams
Lisa Pilla knows that sales teams can no longer survive by just promoting brands. Today, the goal is helping customers get more out of a product by focusing on healthcare solutions.
“My philosophy is you can always gain access to a customer if you’re perceived as demonstrating value,” Lisa explains. “And my vision for our salesforce is to lead our field by being trusted and respected healthcare business partners.”
For example, at Purdue Lisa recently added a new role to the sales team—an account territory business manager. She developed this position while at Novartis, which combines the role of sales manager with that of provider account manager. This expands the company to a different set of customers— provider account decision-makers—making it a key position in today’s healthcare environment as physician practices are being absorbed into ACOs, IDNs, and other larger healthcare networks.
But that is only one way Lisa has helped to turn around sales teams. She is particularly known for revitalizing struggling brands. For instance, when she became the Head of Marketing for Neuroscience at Novartis, she took Comtan, which was nearing LOE, and extended the lifecycle by turning it into the combination product, Stalevo, which went on to become a key component of the neuroscience franchise.
But Lisa is also skilled at making strong sales teams even stronger. When she joined the team responsible for brands such as Diovan, Lotrel, and Zelnorm, she found their numbers to be good but their tactics to be one-dimensional. The team was solely interested in sales—and only for Diovan. She motivated them to see what else they could accomplish and for the first time in three years the market share for Lotrel increased and Zelnorm continued to grow.
Now, Lisa is focused on transforming Purdue’s selling model by turning their salesforce into the healthcare solutions partners that providers greatly need.