Sanofi-Aventis is one of the world’s most prominent pharmaceutical organizations and employs in excess of 105,000 employees across the globe. With locations in 110 countries, Sanofi-Aventis is now the worlds 4th largest pharma company.

Prior to our work with Sanofi-Aventis, Genos had undertaken research in the pharmaceutical sales domain and had correlated information that showed a direct relationship between the revenue-generated performance of a sales rep and their emotional intelligence. Sanofi-Aventis agreed strongly with our findings, however, still had some questions of their own. Could the emotional intelligence of a sales rep be improved? If so, would this improved level of emotional intelligence result in increased sales revenue?

Our Solution

In order to ensure we provided Sanofi-Aventis with the correct information, we needed to eliminate any market influences that could affect our results. Genos requested that Sanofi-Aventis select a group of sales reps who all showed similar sales performance levels and who shared the same level of responsibility within the organization. Genos selected 70 candidates to take part in our emotional intelligence development program and we split them into two groups:

Group one: The development group; these individuals would take part in an emotional intelligence development program.

Group two: The control group; these individuals were assessed only on their emotional intelligence and sales performance.

We then developed a tailor-made emotional intelligence program for each of the sales reps and their respective managers.

What did the program consist of?

  1. A 360° emotional intelligence assessment for each sales manager. This report allowed us to measure levels of performance associated with their sales representatives sales revenue from the source.
  2. Workshops – Genos ran 1 full day workshop and 2 half-day workshops with the sales reps and managers to educate them on the benefits of using emotional intelligence in the sales environment.
  3. Genos ran eight small group assessment classes with sales managers.
  4. Genos also ran a further five emotional intelligence coaching classes that included both sales managers and sales reps. In these coaching classes we taught the sales managers how to enhance their sales reps emotionally intelligent response to sales calls.
  5. A 360° emotional assessment for each sales manager, where we revisited the sales reps performance and found measurable for the return on investment of the program.


Over the course of the program, multiple improvements were noted; the overall emotional intelligence of the sales managers improved on average by 18%, an incredible achievement in itself. By viewing the graph below this section you will also see that this improvement had a marked affect on the development groups sales performance with an overall improvement average of 13% when compared with the control group. After the initial program was completed, we continued to monitor improvements across all sections and saw the following results:

Month 1: 7.1% improvement
Month 2: 15.4% improvement
Month 3: 13.4% improvement

All percentages above are calculated by the territorial growth in retail sales during this period. There were no changes or improvements seen within the control group during this time.

To further delve into the return on investment generated through the Genos program, we were able to determine that for every $1 invested, Sanofi-Aventis saw a $6 return. This study conducted by Genos for Sanofi-Aventis is the only one of its kind that clearly shows direct increases in revenue as a result of enhanced emotional intelligence.

Winner of the Australian Institute of Learning and Development Award

In 2006, this successful program was recognized as being an exceptional development by the Australian Institute of Learning and Development and was awarded recognition for the contribution to the practice of learning and development.

The improvements in revenue generated by the Development Group returned approximately $6 for every $1 Sanofi-Aventis invested in the pilot program. This is one of the only studies of its type showing direct improvements on the bottom line as a result of improvements in emotional intelligence.

Feedback from those who took part

As with each and every one of our projects, we love to hear feedback from all the participants involved in the study and welcomed their contribution to our findings.

Participants have clearly stated that the benefits of the program not only enhanced their performance but also contributed towards improved relationships between team members and managers. Previous to the program, reps and sales managers had been experiencing difficulty; this was mainly due to the large-scale merger changes that were taking part in the company. Post program analysis shows that merger obstacles were overcome and unification became commonplace.

Direct quote from one of our participants:

I have seen improvements in behaviour that have increased the bottom line with sales reps. From a management perspective, increased skills that have lead to more buy-in, acceptance, spirit improved, and better communication.