Designed to recognise the very best sales professionals in our industry today, the new PharmaTimes Sales Awards has piqued the industry’s interest, with a number of entries and nominations already received ahead of the 1 August closing date.

Commenting on the market access category, David Garmon-Jones, co-chair of the executive steering group (ESG) says: “UK pharma has an important role in enabling UK patients to get access to much needed treatments for their various medical conditions. The prescribing landscape is complex, so, Local and Regional Market Access Managers are essential to navigate through the complexity. Only pharma professionals of the highest quality can succeed in this challenging environment, so this category will be hotly contested.”

As lead judge for the Second Line Manager of the Year category, ESG member Colin Watson is pleased to see this important role finally getting the recognition it deserves: “It’s often said and recognised in the industry that the first line manager’s role is of critical importance to any business. If this is indeed true, then the importance of the second line manager’s role must also be of equal importance - having a skilled and highly motivated second line manager to lead, develop and guide first line manager’s activities as well as to ensure the appropriate implementation of strategy through marketing and brand. Having been a second line manager for a number of years myself, I’m delighted to be involved as the lead judge for this important category.”

In the Key Account Manager of the Year category, lead judge Shahed Ashraf is said to be looking for four main competencies: Drive for Results, Impact and Influence, Account Management and Personal Leadership. Shahed describes this as someone who is “pro-active and uses initiative to achieve and exceed goals; who overcomes obstacles to maximise contribution (bottom line growth) efficiently and effectively and behaves ethically at all times. It’s also someone who communicates with conviction; who persuades others to adopt a course of action or support their point of view; and leverages support for products, ideas and projects across the local health economy and internally.” This is someone who will develop account plans aligned to local customer needs that profitably add value and strengthen effective partnerships with key customers, and develop and demonstrate leadership and collaboration with colleagues (and transfer to customers) to grow the business and enhance team effectiveness, he says.

The competition has three stages; beginning with entry. Candidates must be fully endorsed by their company before entering the competition and be able to supply details of five healthcare professionals who would be able to provide feedback.

Next is the ‘Initial Evaluation’ and involves the judges selecting two HCPs to contact for feedback, before calculating an initial evaluation based on set criteria. Only the top scorers in each category will progress to the third and final stage – the finals day.

All finalists will undertake a written assessment to test their general and specialist knowledge, in addition to a live challenge which will assess their planning and strategic abilities, alongside their communication and presentation skills. The assessment and challenge will be category specific.

Calling on all pharma companies and CRO’s to get behind the Sales Awards by actively encouraging their teams to take part, PharmaTimes business manager and competition lead Luci Sargood says: “Offering a professional training and development day aimed at improving performance and real world results, supporting your people through the competition demonstrates your desire to encourage learning and development. Validating the rigour of your recruitment, training and development, association with the competition also attracts new talent to your organisation and creates affiliate pride.” The benefits don’t stop there, she says, as shining a light on the professionalism of your team, “overall success in the competition will also impact positively on your brand and its position in the marketplace.”

All finalists will be invited to the high-profile awards ceremony, where their success will be celebrated alongside other industry leaders.

The ceremony, to be held in November in central London, will coincide with the presentation of the PharmaTimes Marketer of the Year and Communications Team of the Year Awards, providing an unbeatable networking opportunity everyone involved.

Free to enter and with rigorous entry and judging standards, this the only pharmaceutical sales awards where sales professionals are evaluated by their healthcare professional clients, before pitting them head-to-head in a real life challenge against their peers.

Categories include Primary Care Sales Professional of the Year, Secondary Care Sales Professional of the Year, Key Account Manager of the Year, Regional Sales Manager of the Year, Second Line Manager of the Year, Orphan/Rare Disease Sales Professional of the Year, Field Based Sales Trainer/Coach of the Year and Localised/Regional Market access Manager of the Year.

For more information on how the competition works and to enter or nominate, visit