It was a sales position. Or was it?

That question was not only on the minds of the new Managers of Regional Development (MRD) but on the minds of many others at Purdue Pharma, a successful pharmaceutical company founded by physicians in 1892.

MRD, a new position within Purdue Pharma, was meant to serve a traditional sales function but at the time there was an overlap and lack of clarity concerning the position both internally and externally. Synecticsworld was brought in to identify breakthrough ways to focus the new position so that it met the needs of the marketplace in such a powerful way that it provided Purdue with a unique competitive advantage. Purdue wanted to be so unique as to be perceived as ‘unfair’ by its competitors – a brave goal indeed.


Synecticsworld held Consumer Discovery Labs because it recognized the importance of first meeting with physicians to gauge their perspectives and needs. During this first Synecticsworld-led session, the Purdue team of MRD representatives acted as observers.

In the second session it was the physicians’ turn to observe and listen to a discussion with chronic pain sufferers to get their perspectives. Following the consumers’ departure from the room, the physicians came back into the discussion and shared their thoughts and observations on the consumers’ feelings, one of which was the perception that the physicians were not focused enough on chronic pain’s emotional impact on the consumer. The session allowed the physicians to highlight many misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Next, Synecticsworld led an Expert Session that included:

  • An Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) specialist
  • A therapist
  • An auctioneer (to demonstrate speed)
  • An investment banker
  • A stock broker
  • A mutual funds sales representative
  • A hairdresser (who spoke about relationship building)

All of the professionals who helped the Synecticsworld-led team of MRDs and physicians better understand successful sales techniques and effective methods of adapting to a fast moving environment, while building sustainable and beneficial relationships.


As a result of the Synecticsworld-led workshops, Purdue Pharma reframed their MRD training program and modified their hiring criteria. The MRDs now have a greater understanding of their position, and the physicians, a clearer picture of their relationship with Purdue.

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