The Innovara Sales Management Assessment© (ISMA)

The Innovara Sales Management Assessment© (“ISMA”) is a highly specific sales management assessment tool strictly designed to help an individual and company to determine where they have both individual and group functional sales management development needs.


To learn more about the ISMA in the USA please contact Michael Cox, Senoir Consultant at Innovara, Inc.


Here is what our clients say about the ISMA:

“Once we put everyone through ISMA, we had our benchmarks and set specific goals to improve where it would make the greatest impact on business results. We now conduct ISMAs with everyone as they move into sales management. This way, individually and organizationally we keep raising the bar.”

“No one can hide from the ISMA. It does an amazing job assessing developmental needs accurately, without requiring extensive observation.”
“We needed to know what our developmental priorities should be as a company with limited training resources, and even more limited time to pull sales managers out of their jobs. The ISMA nailed the needs, without ever requiring our sales managers to miss a beat on the job.”
“I’ve been through a lot of sales management assessments. The feedback always seemed robotic and seemed more for the company, not for me. This ISMA report was different, It was personal to me and remarkably insightful. It helped me realize I needed to take responsibility for my own development, not to wait for what the company might or might not do.”


The ISMA identifies and profiles up to 10 sales management competencies for all levels of sales management. These competencies may be customized, added to, or changed according to those competencies defined by the company.

The Sales Management Competencies measured by the ISMA are based upon published best practice standards of healthcare sales management and are as follows:

1. High Performance Teamwork
2. Achieving Sales Results
3. Leadership Skills
4. Creativity/ Innovation
5. People Development Skills
6. Communication Skills
7. Administration and Finance
8. Sales Strategies and Planning
9. Competitiveness
10. Customer Focus

ISMA results enable the organization to benchmark the capabilities and development needs of sales managers against industry standards and expectations. These benchmarks are premised on worldwide data collected by Innovara that enables objective industry and position comparisons. The results can be used in many ways, from individual and group development planning and competency modeling to identifying where improvements may be needed across the organization, to individuals being assessed for advancement and/or recruitment. Important: ISMAs are not performance assessments. However, when conducting ISMAs across an organization, we pilot the ISMA with the top and lowest performing managers. This allows us to establish the degree of correlation of the ISMA to performance.

There are two levels of ISMAs available:

1. FLSMs: first line sales managers (such as District Managers) to whom sales representatives directly report.
a. This also may be used to assess development needs of sales representatives being considered for first line sales management positions

2. SLSMs: second line sales managers (regional managers, national sales managers, business unit managers, and others to whom first line or other second line sales managers report).

Due to the importance of effective field coaching for first line sales managers, Innovara optionally also conducts an on-the-job field coaching assessment, accompanying each manager in the field for a day to observe to assess how each manager coaches on the job. For sales representatives being evaluated for management development, Innovara will arrange a coaching simulation (which requires ½ day for 3 – 4 representatives to be assessed).

Depending upon one’s profile, both in terms of individual competency and combinations of competency scores, three main types of developmental recommendations are made (formal group/individual training, on the job development, and self-development). as well as some suggested readings. When companies have all employees in a particular operation or level complete ISMAs, the company receives a group report with aggregate scores and group developmental recommendations. If desired by the company, individuals also may receive personalized, individual reports.
This complete process enables each company to identify a group’s sales management skill development priorities. For the individual, each person receives a highly personalized report that is extensive and is written in a highly constructive manner. Highly specific development recommendations are made to strengthen individual competencies or combinations of skills. In addition, where an individual demonstrates strength, suggestions are given as to how to share and leverage this strength to the benefit of the larger organization, direct reports, and others.

• Assist an individual and company to determine where they have both individual and group functional sales management development needs.
• Create a group development plan based upon the collective results of these assessments and comparisons to global industry standards and/or group benchmarks within each level in a company.
• Create individual development programs based upon priority areas identified by ISMA results.
• Discover where the “hidden sales management talent” exists within an organization.

The ISMA is appropriate for 1st and 2nd line sales managers or others (as desired) from the sales force, including training managers who may be transitioning into sales management or working in a cross-functional capacity with the sales force.
The ISMA may also be administered to those being considered for near or longer term development to prepare for a position in sales management, as well as to help a company to focus on development activities to ensure a smooth and productive transition into sales management.
Finally, the ISMA may be used to assess developmental needs of individual or several candidates being considered for recruitment into a key sales management position from outside the company.

The ISMA can be made available in many languages, including English (standard), traditional or simplified Chinese, and Spanish. A customization fee is charged for each translation of the assessment required, as well as translation of answers into English and reports from English back into the respondent’s original language. Where English skills are very poor, we strongly urge the company to translate and allow respondents to complete ISMA in their own language.

Every ISMA is customized to be appropriate to a company’s product line or therapeutic areas, internal planning and reporting processes and more; this is done so that respondents can relate to the questions and case studies. The customization process is extremely fast, with a draft usually completed within a few days of a comprehensive briefing by telephone or in a meeting, by the company to the Innovara consultant.