Using Critical Thinking to Improve Sales Strategies and Drive Performance

  • Karen Foster, Salience Learning,
  • David Fortanbary, UCB

When Sally Kempton, a world-renowned meditation guru said, “It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head,” she could have been describing an often-invisible and unspoken challenge facing pharmaceutical sales professionals, that of their own thinking. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have warned against biases and other pitfalls related to our thinking processes when assessing information and making decisions.

In today’s biopharmaceutical market environment, these pitfalls and biases can dramatically hamper individual and team performance. Thanks to the “information explosion” via the Internet, the ever-changing healthcare marketplace and pharmaceutical companies’ constant state of launch, it’s more important than ever that professionals and teams employ strong critical thinking skills. This will help them to assess information in unbiased ways, and drive better individual and team performance.

In this workshop, via experiential exercises, participants will discover and explore their own tendencies for jumping to conclusions based in internal biases. They’ll also explore pitfalls such as inattentional blindness, overestimation of confidence, the curse of knowledge, the power of prior knowledge, and other inherent cognitive biases, fallacies and heuristics. In addition, the perils and pitfalls of group thinking will be experienced and revealed. Throughout the session, participants will brainstorm techniques and behaviours to overcome these pitfalls in their day-to-day individual and matrix sales team responsibilities.

  • Date:Wednesday, June 5
  • Time:2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Room:Grapevine 1
  • Location:Grapevine 1
  • Session Type:Skills Development
  • Submitter Name: Dunkley, Craig
  • Submission Date (CST): 14/01/2019 08:09
  • Session Level: Intermediate
  • Submitter Email:
  • Session Length: 90 Minute Workshop
  • How are you planning on keeping the learners engaged during this presentation?: Experiential exercises paired with constructivist learning activities (self-reflection, paired & small-group discussion & full-room polling)
  • Learning Objective 1: Acknowledge the need for, and benefits of, critical thinking for customer facing roles
  • Learning Objective 2: Identify common inherent biases, heuristics and thinking pitfalls, and their impacts on individual and group thinking to achieve better outcomes
  • Learning Objective 3: Discover techniques for overcoming common biases and thinking pitfalls to improve individual and team performance
  • What is the topic your workshop will cover and how is it relevant to the industry?: Key biases & thinking "pitfalls" can reduce performance for learners & trainers in biopharma. This workshop explores ways to overcome these biases.
Karen Foster
Salience Learning
David Fortanbary