Skip to content Skip to footer

Roche Pharma

Implementing the “Roche Way of Customer Engagement” From medical experts to service providers


In 2007, the sales force of Roche Pharma (Switzerland) Ltd was rated by its clients as one of the best sales forces in the Swiss pharma industry. In order to carry this success story into the future, Roche was eager to take its next step forward.

Summing the situation up, Thomas von Arx, National Sales Manager of Oncology, says: “Roche needed to stay ‘ best in class ’, also in the future.”

In response, various standard sales training sessions were provided, though with modest results due to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Based on this experience, Roche decided to develop a new modular training concept with one-day training sessions, dealing with specific topics and challenging situations during sales calls.


"In close collaboration with Krauthammer, Roche co-designed developed, and implemented a coherent training cycle. The Krauthammer consultants 'openness and ability to do things differently were key factors for success.

1. The ‘Roche way of customer engagement 'The ‘Roche way of customer engagement is a framework defining observable criteria for sales behavior (how employees should behave towards clients during a sales call). As a result, all training programs are now based on this framework. Thomas von Arx comments: “The framework consistently and continuously leverages the personal development of our customer-facing functions. This is what makes it so powerful and effective!”

2. Gap analysis and training sessions The training sessions designed involved relevant interaction phases with clients. To ensure that each session matched employees’ individual skill levels, employee behaviors were assessed against 1 the ‘Roche way of customer engagement’ framework.

As the sales representatives’ competencies increased over time, the coaching sessions with their respective line managers became even more important. “The line manager’s buy-in and behavior is a crucial success factor”, says Thomas von Arx.

To fulfill this requirement, further programs such as, for example, ‘Train the Coach’ have been implemented.

Expansion of the program Diffèrent departments recognized the benefits of the program and encouraged the development of the ‘Effect Compact Training Programme’ for medical and marketing functions.

Over the years, the content of the training programs evolved to include real business situations (crucial moments/moments of truth during meetings/calls)."


"Over a period of several years, almost 200 people have taken part in the training sessions. As a result, the customer-facing functions are now able to conduct high-quality conversations with customers, thanks to the framework and the respective training sessions.

According to Thomas von Arx, the key element for success was the line managers’ buy-in, along with their commitment and ability to implement the changes."

Our best people on the case