Winning the Tour de France – All for One and One for All

The Briton has done it again! Chris Froome is the first Briton to have won the Tour de France for the second time. Winning on French soil makes the victory that much sweeter. While it is always true that you can’t win the Tour by yourself, teams’ support was critical this year due to the fierce competition and tied race. Froome, the Sky team captain was the first to acknowledge it, tweeting: “Would have been amazing to share the podium with them after all the hard work they have put in these last 9 days! #Proud @TeamSky”, with an image of him and a couple of teammates (Poels and Stannard) minutes after crossing the finish line.

The Tour de France embodies many remarkable virtues. Sure, it’s obvious that we are dealing with an extreme physical challenge, but many mental and social skills are tested as well. Each rider has a different specialization, such as sprinters, climbers, or those who carry the alimentation but, all team members support the captain and team leader. Hence, the ride to triumph must pass through teamwork and cooperation.

You’d be surprised how being part of the Pharma industry commercial operation resembles competing in the race: the hard work, the teamwork, the common goals, the desire to excel. In a previous blog, we discussed at length how collaboration, rather than competition helps achieve the best results for an organization. But, now we’d like to stretch the point to the “most important person on the team”. Well, in the Tour, it’s quite easy to determine who this person is: the captain, of course. Out of the nine team cyclists, he’s the one most likely to get the trophy. But, who is the most important player when it comes to the company’s commercial operation team?

As some would vigorously argue, the most important member of the commercial operation team is the…Division Manager! However, even if we don’t point out the “captain” or the person on whom we should focus all of our efforts, there are always times when our work assists another person’s claim to fame. Despite this, each role and responsibility require us to deploy our best efforts and skills to achieve the common goal. Be it the marketer or the sales rep, advanced analytics solutions are weaved into the selling and marketing process in many ways. To name a few: providing valuable data on drugs’ performances especially during launch, but thereafter as well; offering granular data on physicians’ performances segmented to areas, specialties, past behavior and so on; measuring the effectiveness of sales calls, and presenting marketers with accurate and real-time information regarding a previous campaign.

It takes blood, sweat and tears to participate in the Tour de France, as it may take blood, sweat and tears to meet company objectives. In both cases, our challenge is to harness our own ambitions and passions for the greater good. Watching your teammate on the podium, or earning the praise in a quarterly review meeting may be frustrating; we’re all humans, after all. Nevertheless, the captain’s win is a win for the whole team. Supporting the captain is actually in everyone’s best interest, and is the best way to bring the yellow jersey home.