Ride-with survey exposes value and weakness in ride-with activities
The first Discovery Series Questionnaire was completed in June 2014 by 147 OSRs from 10 different U.S. distribution companies. In this effort, the sponsor was not disclosed as part of the Discovery Series Questionnaire design.
The purpose of this questionnaire was a preliminary determination of the value of manufacturer ridewiths. Ride-withs are a common practice between distributor reps and their manufacturer counterparts, however the dynamics of this practice have not truly been studied or understood.
Participants were seasoned representatives. Means show a) age was 49.1 years with b) 22.0 years in animal health industry and c) 13.5 years with a distributor. The mean for accounts serviced on a regular basis was 114.2. 41.6 percent were female.
The following are findings from the Questionnaire which included contribution segmentation related to the sponsors territory performance:
• 5-6 clinic visits is ideal across all deciles
• All components examined were highly valued
• Top performers found the most value in product education and formal presentations
• Manufacturers and DSRs are the most likely to request a ride-with
• Poor performers are far less likely to request a ride-with, but far more likely to have a manufacturer request that they go on a ride-with
• Both DSRs and their employers see high value in ride-withs
• Ride-withs requested/mandated by the manufacturer, or the DSRs employer, are seen as having very little value
• Ride-withs requested by the DSRs themselves are highly valued
• A high percentage of DSRs, across all deciles, go on ride-withs only to avoid relationship damage
• These DSRs will gain little value from a ride-with.
• As actual performance (by decile) decreases, motivation to perform better relative to peers increases
• A focus on outcomes, not the skills and knowledge needed to achieve those outcomes
Clearly, ride-with activities are worth the time and effort. Seeking to improve product knowledge and master the manufacturer product(s) or services will yield the highest value.