A strong, high-performance sales team is critical to a successful business. But what makes a sales team truly great, and what strategies can leaders use to create a team that's highly successful? To address these questions, we're talking to CROs and sales executives about "How To Turn a Good Sales Team into a Great One." As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly Heath.
Thank you for doing this with us! To start, can you tell us a bit of your 'backstory' and what brought you to this specific career path?
In 2002, I graduated from the University of Missouri and began my career in the pharmaceutical space as a cardiovascular drug representative, but I have always had an interest in sales and a passion for the aesthetics industry. Shortly after, I began working at Galderma as I was drawn to the culture of innovation, collaboration and the company’s dedication to driving the future of aesthetics forward. I started as a dermatological sales representative and worked my way up the sales ladder to work across the Sculptra®, Restylane®, and Dysport® brands as an account manager, which eventually lead me to my current position of Vice President of Sales. Throughout my time here, I have had the privilege to see the company grow immensely over the years, establishing our brands as frontrunners in the aesthetics space.
Can you share an interesting or amusing story that has occurred to you in your career so far? What was the lesson or takeaway?
Jason Williams, VP of Alastin Skincare, hired me 15 years ago as a sales representative to promote our Rosacea brands on the prescription side of the business. When I started, he told me to “trust in the organization and opportunities will continue to arise,” and after 15 years and seven different roles, I could not be happier to be leading the Aesthetics Sales team alongside Jason leading Alastin. This story has demonstrated to me the power of hard work and tenacity, but also the power of cultivating meaningful relationships with both customers and peers.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? Tell us about it!
We are finalizing our new ASPIRE customer loyalty program that will be rolled out in its entirety in April 2023, which aims to take aesthetic loyalty to the next level as it is designed to comprehensively meet the needs of our consumers. The program will have unique pathways for our customers to develop strategies for patient retention and will further establish our reputation as an industry leader in innovation. This exciting project will allow our team to share valued insights on trends and market dynamics and will strengthen connections to help our team deliver a greater value to the customer.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you're grateful for?
I am grateful for the collaborative and welcoming culture that Galderma has cultivated. One person I have learned a lot from is Erick Brenner, our VP and General Manager at Galderma. When I first started at the company, I noticed that Erick had made an effort to have a touch point with almost everyone during an interview process, which stood out to me given his workload. After working alongside him for several years, I can confidently say that he embodies the culture of collaboration and innovation, and he leads with intention to help each of his team members reach their full potential.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience leading sales teams? How many years of experience do you have, and what size teams?
Over the past nine years, I have had the opportunity to lead teams of varying sizes, from eight to almost 400 people. I feel that my leadership style has evolved over time due to team size and market dynamic, but at my core, I strive to lead with strength, integrity, and compassion. Early on, I learned that becoming an effective leader required clear communication, constant growth, creation of strong relationships and the investment in developing my team. Over the years, these ideals have helped solidify my leadership style and have become pillars that I abide by.
What do you think makes a sales team great? What strengths or characteristics do you try to cultivate?
A strong sales team should have great culture, a drive for innovation and collaboration, the desire to support customers, and aligned ethical values. I believe that teams that have the strongest relationships internally produce the best results, so I encourage participation, collaboration, and partnership within our teams.
As with any department, there can be a lot of different strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. How do you manage such diversity on an individual basis? Is there such a thing as a blanket motivator?
Our team is full of diverse personalities, which drives my passion to learn from others and a part of what makes Galderma so unique. In my experience, I don’t believe there is a blanket motivator, however, I do believe that everything starts with alignment with both internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, I rely heavily on my previous experience in varying roles in the company to help me lead and develop others because I have likely been in their shoes at some point. I think embodying empathy and compassion allows leaders to relate better to their team, which can result in better stronger motivation.
What strategies have you tried to increase motivation, engagement, and productivity?
My motto is “heart before mind” as I think that creating deep connections with coworkers and customers leads to work productivity. To increase motivation, engagement, and productivity, we must create an enjoyable culture that employees are excited to take part in. If employees are happy with the company culture, that excitement and positivity will be portrayed in their work. Overall, the people build the culture, so I strive to continually keep our people as our top priority.
Of all the strategies you've tried, which did you find to be most effective? Did this have a direct correlation to sales?
Working in sales, I have found that building a strong culture and authentically connecting with people are the most effective strategies to increase engagement and productivity. Due to the nature of our work, positive interactions are crucial as we are in constant communication with team members and customers, so developing strong connections and a positive, people-first culture helps the team remain engaged and productive.
Can you tell us about a time that your sales team outperformed their targets? How high over did they go, and what was that like for everyone?
Our goal is to provide comprehensive, beneficial resources to enable and empower our team to be the partner of choice in aesthetics, and I believe my sales team continues to outperform their targets year after year by having a solid, science-backed portfolio as a resource. Due to our strong partnership between our field sales team and internal partners, we have set another record-breaking year in 2022 with double digit growth.
I think a key component behind that success is that we share one unified vision—to be the top Aesthetics company in the U.S.—and I believe our team is on that path because of clear expectations, cross-collaboration, and a unified passion to achieve our goal.
Great things often take time. What do you think is a realistic timeline to take a sales team from good to great?
My goal as a leader is to cultivate a champion mindset, which means that we are always pursuing excellence, and when we face adversity, we turn it into to an advantage and opportunity to adapt and refine our skills. Galderma’s sales team has had four expansions in four years, and during these expansions, we co-created short and long-term goals for our sales teams that encouraged them to experience growth, continue to build a winning team, and practice positive habits through discipline and action.
Outside of the expansions, I believe that the duration of growth is continuous and there isn’t a set timeline where a sales team goes from good to great. As a company, we are always striving to improve and level up the caliber of our team.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five strategies that will help turn a good sales team into a great one?
- Always explain the “why” as a leader of salespeople, so that your employees can identify and understand their personal motivation and relate it back to the company’s mission.
- Create a culture of collaboration and trust so that each team member feels supported by their peers.
- Provide development opportunities and encourage personal growth. An example of this is Galderma’s internal development program that has been highly successful. With multiple expansions, we have promoted over 80 individuals in the past 3 years.
- Lead by example so that your team knows what you expect from them. For me, that means leading with integrity, compassion, and a drive to succeed.
- Trust your team to do the work. Personally, this looks like being comfortable delegating tasks and giving others more responsibility so that each team member can reach their fullest potential.
Lastly, if you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?
In a perfect world, training and education is the key to success in the aesthetic space. We learn from others, share best practices, yet challenge the status quo and push others to be their best. Galderma has one of the most innovative training platforms (GAIN), and due to the competitive nature of aesthetics, I wish we could touch every injector so they could gain valuable insights that could set them apart in the market.
In the coming years, one of our major goals is to continue to grow this channel of our business as we know training and education will only make the aesthetic space safer and will provide the outcomes we all are looking for. We know this need will continue to grow, and Galderma is committed to developing this platform hand in hand with the future of the space.
*Important Safety Information
Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA) is a prescription injection for temporary improvement in the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults less than 65 years of age.
Important Safety Information
What is the most important information you should know about Dysport? Spread of Toxin Effects: In some cases, the effects of Dysport and all botulinum toxin products may affect areas of the body away from the injection site. Symptoms can happen hours to weeks after injection and may include swallowing and breathing problems, loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, or loss of bladder control. Swallowing and breathing problems can be life threatening and there have been reports of death. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre‐existing before injection.
These effects could make it unsafe for you to drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities.
Do not have Dysport treatment if you: are allergic to Dysport or any of its ingredients (see the end of the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients), are allergic to cow’s milk protein, had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product, such as Myobloc®, Botox®, or Xeomin®, have a skin infection at the planned injection site, under 18 years of age, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The dose of Dysport is not the same as the dose of any other botulinum toxin product and cannot be compared to the dose of any other product you may have used.
Tell your doctor about any swallowing or breathing difficulties and all your muscle or nerve conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease], myasthenia gravis, or Lambert‐Eaton syndrome, which may increase the risk of serious side effects including difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing. Serious allergic reactions have occurred with the use of Dysport. Dry eye has also been reported.
Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you have surgical changes to your face, very weak muscles in the treatment area, any abnormal facial change, injection site inflammation, droopy eyelids or sagging eyelid folds, deep facial scars, thick oily skin, wrinkles that can’t be smoothed by spreading them apart, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant or breastfeed.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal and other natural products. Using Dysport with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines while taking Dysport without talking to your doctor first.
Especially tell your doctor if you: have received any other botulinum toxin product, such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA), in the last four months or any in the past (be sure your doctor knows exactly which product you received), have recently received an antibiotic by injection, take muscle relaxants, take an allergy or cold medicine, or take a sleep medicine.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects are nose and throat irritation, headache, injection site pain, injection site skin reaction, upper respiratory tract infection, eyelid swelling, eyelid drooping, sinus inflammation, and nausea.
Ask your doctor if Dysport is right for you.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.