As a commercial leader, what messages are you sending to your organization to inspire a strong close to the year? How are you demonstrating commercial excellence?

Ensuring strong commercial excellence exists (from the beginning of the year to the end) is a key success factor of a skilled leader. To consistently deliver excellence, leaders must revisit their long and short-term strategies to keep them fresh, continuously assess sales performance, and focus on key business priorities.

Below are some best practices which may help ensure a strong year-end. 

As a senior leader it is important to:

  • Clarify, align, and reinforce strategic priorities with each member of your team
  • Reallocate resources when needed, especially as new opportunities are identified
  • Avoid distracting the field by de-prioritizing lower value, less critical initiatives
  • Lean in to the data and share analysis on existing sales performance and potential opportunities
  • Take an active role in visiting strategic customers to solidify relationships and commitments
  • Celebrate successes and codify lessons learned with the possibility to replicate, as appropriate

In a field-based, customer-facing role, what steps are you taking to evaluate your effectiveness and identify new or additional business-building opportunities? The final quarter’s geographic and account plans may require a re-evaluation to identify new opportunities.

Take the time to:

  • Assess if the plan’s overall objectives are on target and what adjustments to tactics are required
  • Identify the highest priority accounts and determine what actions are required to end the year strong and strengthen relationships
  • Determine what additional resources are needed from other roles to support achieving objectives, gaining access, and getting patients on therapy

Additionally, the hybrid of in-person plus virtual sales calls, may require updated engagement strategies.


  • Which customer relationships may require more attention to withstand the challenges created by less physical access?
  • What are your customers’ most pressing challenges and how can you help?
  • How can your products and services help reduce costs, improve patient outcomes, and address quality improvement needs?
  • How can you better collaborate with other field teams to uncover and address the highest priority customer needs and highest value opportunities?

As you move into the last quarter and plan for 2023, think about how you are reviewing current plans and developing new ones as either a field-based, customer-facing role or a commercial leader. Remember that planning requires situational assessment, aligning with broader strategies, involving various stakeholders, and committing to viable actions.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Take the time now to make a plan and adapt it to address shifting priorities. This demonstrates agility and proactivity – two important tenets of commercial excellence. If you need support with developing your planning process, WLH Consulting and Learning Solutions can provide valuable expertise and insight. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs.

Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 30th at 12pm ET for our information-packed webinar entitled, “Elevating an Account Management Mindset,” and learn about our mission-critical best practices for creating strong commercial excellence and developing a plan for the year ahead.
Wendy L. Heckelman, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendy Heckelman, president and founder of WLH Consulting, Inc. has over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100 industry clients. These include pharmaceutical, biotech, health care, animal health medicines, and consumer products, as well as international non-profit organizations and growing entrepreneurial companies.

LeadershipBusiness Planningcommercial excellence