Want Satisfied MSLs? Give them the Right Tools!

[Note: this is an update from an MSL satisfaction survey, the survey report is available in the MSL Quarterly library.]

Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to fill out the MSL satisfaction survey. I have received nearly 50 surveys so far resulting in 41 complete and usable surveys.

Although it is early, I have taken a cursory look at the data and wanted to take a few moments to share the preliminary findings with you. I hope that we will continue to have more MSLs complete the survey in the coming weeks. I will continue to assess and analyze as new data arrives and will present my findings at ExL Pharma’s “5th Annual MSL Best Practices” conference which will occur on September 16 through 17th, 2009 at the Omni San Diego in San Diego, California. My presentation will be on the second day and is entitled “Recruitment and Retention in an economic recession: committing to developing the MSL along with the product”.

The respondents (N=41) so far have ranged in MSL experience from 1 year to more than 16 years, with an average of 6 years. These early respondents were primarily female (61%), aged 41-60 (62%), with doctoral degrees (60%).

The findings to date suggest that the area of most importance to the majority of respondents was having the right tools to do their job. The biggest item in this category was the laptop, with over 90% of the respondents stating that this was very or extremely important to them, followed by nearly 80% indicating that having an mobile internet card, company vehicle and a blackberry was very or extremely important to job satisfaction.

An unexpected finding was that although frequent travel has been previously reported as being a troubling issue for MSLs, less than 50% of the respondents felt this was an important issue related to their job satisfaction. In fact, the more years of service, the less likely they were to indicate that travel and territory size were an important factor in their satisfaction.

A few associations I noted were that tenured MSL’s were less likely than those with fewer years of experience tended to feel that salary was very/extremely important to their job satisfaction. MSLs with more years of service indicated more often than those with less experience that research and thought leader data management systems and online travel booking were very important.

This is just a small snapshot of the data so far and I hope that sharing this information has stimulated your interest. If so, I encourage you to take a moment now to complete the survey if you haven’t already done so. It is a very short and easy to complete. Your responses are an integral part of this evaluation process. Feel free to forward the link to any of your MSL colleagues who do not get the newsletter as well.