SAMPS was previously Association of Commercial Professionals for Life Sciences (ACP-LS)

2018 Agenda

Agenda & Abstracts

Abstracts for Thursday, Oct 25

Beyond the Hype: Practical Machine Learning for the Analyst

David Gerster, BigML

8:30 - 9:30am - Keynote

We've been taught that "data science" is the esoteric domain of PhDs, but like anything else, it's easy once you understand it. This talk explains the practical process of data wrangling, model training and model optimization from the perspective of the data analyst. Far from being a dry and academic topic, machine learning turns out to be a useful and practical analytical tool. This talk also briefly covers the difference between "artificial intelligence", "machine learning" and "data science"--and concludes that it is of little practical significance.

How can you get to know your customers better than ever - in the face of GDPR

Lewis Carpenter, Auth0

9:30 - 10:00am - General Session

Many Sales and Marketing teams have made the realization that, through digital identity, they can get to know more about who their customer is, what they like, how they behave. . .and how to better influence them toward a purchase. At Auth0, our most demanding customers are the marketing and sales professionals who dictate to the technology team how the login and identity experience has to be in order to achieve things like conversion and higher registered user counts.The new EU privacy regulation, GDPR, threatens to limit the ability of marketing and sales people to build, through digital identities, a strong customer relationship. This is because GDPR dictates how one can lawfully process customers’ personal data. . .and did I mention the fines for non-compliance are huge? This presentation examines the question - is GDPR really such a threat to your customer relationship when it comes to digital identity? By the end, you will understand how, through digital identity, you can get to know your customers better than you ever have before even within the limits of GDPR.

Integrating data across sales and marketing to drive more value and improve customer experience

Tim Hale, Coastal Cloud

10:15 - 11:15pm - General Session

The rapid proliferation of data collection and new technologies in recent years have allowed Marketing and Sales teams to gather more information than ever before about customers and products. But this proliferation has created challenges as ‘data silos’ have developed that inhibit data sharing and collaboration across departments. There are rising expectations for marketing to demonstrate tangible ROI and on sales teams to accurately forecast and deliver incremental revenue. Customer expectations in our digital age are very high – they expect a seamless and tailored experience as they move through the lifecycle from discovering and learning about products & services to acquiring those products & services and on to the on-going service, support and renewal of those products & services. We have some fantastic new tools to help us meet these expectations but they must be designed and implemented in a thoughtful manner that ensures consistent and high quality data across the enterprise. A significant opportunity exists to break down the data silos and create a more synthesized set of solutions that provide a superior customer experience and maximize potential revenue. Mr. Hale will discuss how organizations are dealing with this challenge and producing better results. New technologies and better data management allow us to operate our organizations with more speed, transparency and effectiveness than ever before.

Heuristics and Choice Architecture in Life Science Marketing

Sushmita Venkatraman, The Linus Group

11:15 - 12:15pm - Marketing Track

Want to have a good idea of how people make decisions or what they will buy? How do marketers design options that can influence the way customers make choice about a product or a brand?

‘Choice architecture’ is a concept that emerges from the field of behavioral economics and indicates that the way a choice is presented influences how people choose, or how the choice is made. This concept was explained in Richard Thaler’s best-seller called “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness,” who also won the nobel prize for behavioral economics in 2017.

It is well known that the online and digital environment has resulted in “information overload” and “marketing fluff”, and skeptical scientists demand the ability to choose between products and brands. The real power of choice architecture is not its ability to coerce but its ability to persuade people that this is the best way to choose.

To enable this, we need to understand heuristics- or shortcuts that the brain uses to make decisions instinctively, rather than logically. Heuristics or nudges can be approached deliberately to encourage/enable helpful thinking and decisions, and that this is more effective in shifting individual and group behavior. The concept offers a different and hopefully more successful way to help people shift their thinking and make decisions.

In this breakout session, we will explore the different type of heuristics (consistency, availability, scarcity, likeness, reciprocity, social proof, etc.) and discuss how marketers can become “choice architects” to best understand our customer’s thinking, how they make decisions and manage change of all sorts. Using relevant examples in our field, we will learn how to best position a brand or product within the context the consumer experiences it – so that our efforts stand out in the consumer's own terms.

How AI Will Change The Sales Team - Automation, Intelligence, and Augmentation?

Ethan Kopit, Acenna

11:15 - 12:15pm - Sales Track

For Sales, Artificial Intelligence (AI) simultaneously represents a massive change, and very little change at all. In predicting the future, it’s important to focus more on the things that won’t change than the things that will.

For Sales, that really comes to asking whether or not sales teams will exist in 25 years. Will customers still want their vendors to have humans representing them? Or, will they prefer to avoid human contact when making buying decisions? In my opinion, in 25 years human beings will still prefer making complex, technical buying decisions with a human rep, not a machine.

However, AI will change the way that sales teams function in two core ways:

  1. Automation: Reps perform a variety of rote tasks that will be automated by machines. It
  2. isn’t cost effective for humans to transcribe conversations, enter data, perform basic
  3. analyses, booking meetings, or even managing their own sales tasks. AI will automate
  4. more of these tasks, leaving humans to focus on higher level thinking.
  5. Intelligence: Unlike humans, the more data that is fed to an AI, the better. AI excels at
  6. identifying patterns that would be otherwise hidden for forecasting, lead scoring,
  7. analyzing customer behavior, and predicting next steps. Intelligence gather by AI will
  8. inform smarter, more data-driven sales decision making.

As these changes occur, a new sort of sales rep will emerge - the Augmented Rep. The sales rep of the future will embody the best qualities of man AND machine. Join the session and learn about how the best organizations will use their data to power better sales teams.

Using Big Data to Create Personalized Messaging that Converts

Laura Haldane, SciLeads Ltd

1:15 - 2:15pm - Sales Track

The rise of open data, in particular greater transparency on government spending and open science, means there is more data than ever available about your potential customers. We know that greater personalization results in higher conversions, whether it be more sales or more leads, but how can you take advantage of the increasing amounts of data to drive results? This talk will look at the data that’s available and how taking advantage, companies are empowered to create relevant, timely and specific messaging that get better results.

AI, Chatbots, and Personification. Customer Insights and UX

Tim Hale, Coastal Cloud

1:15 - 2:15pm - Marketing Track

The rapid evolution and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is leading to what some are calling 'The Fourth Industrial Evolution.' AI was invented in the 1950s but is coming of age today and is increasingly impacting how organizations market, sell and serve their customers. In this session we'll discuss and demonstrate some 'real world' applications of AI in the form of chatbots and personification. These solutions are going mainstream and have the potential to increase efficiency and enhance a customer's experience - but they must be managed as part of a more holistic program. AI capabilities of today can be useful but are most effective as a complement to human solutions. We will review what capabilities are now available and how you can apply them in your organization today. We'll also talk about longer term trends and where the AI revolution is heading.

Become a LinkedIn Prospecting Blackbelt!

Shawna Suckow, the Buyer Insider

2:30 - 3:30pm - General Session

Many LinkedIn users don’t take advantage of its full potential – they use it as nothing more than an electronic Rolodex or a place to list their resume. What a shame! LinkedIn is the #1 selling tool at your disposal today, if used strategically.

LinkedIn has evolved over the years, and so have your prospects. They’re not open to unknown connections, or overt sales attempts anymore. Learn what’s working in the new era of LinkedIn to maximize your prospecting and relationship building efforts the right way for today’s buyers.

Anyone can become a LinkedIn black belt in just a short time with the right tips and tricks.


Participants will learn:

Shipped: How Well Do Your Sales and Marketing Teams Collaborate on Product Launches?

Joe Bedford, Envigo Erik Clausen, CG Life Joanne Dimitrakopoulos, Kinetogram Marketing Stephen Archer

3:45 - 5:00pm - General Session

How well do your sales and marketing teams collaborate? 87% of commercial professionals surveyed by Harvard Business Review stated their cross-functional team interactions require greater optimization. Companies who have aligned into cohesive teams achieve improved performance. Sales cycles are reduced and the cost of sales is lower. Teams working together portray a united front which evokes trust and confidence in the customer. Joe Bedford will provide a summary on conducting market research, Conrad Walgren will discuss branding, Joanne Dimitrakopoulos will provide key points to consider during a product launch, and Craig Dobbs will define the sales strategy. Then it’s your turn!

Knowledge Alley Welcome Reception

5:00 - 7:00pm

Enjoy cocktails and hors-d'oeuvres while you meet with vendors.

Abstracts for Friday, Oct 26

Marketing in the world of Open Science

Yuri Narciss, ResearchGate

8:00 - 8:30am - Marketing Track

The average person has five social media accounts and spends 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day. Life scientists are no exception, and this trend is driving a major change in the field: Just like news, scientific discoveries are now shared and read about on social and professional networks.

Life scientists used to wait up to eight months to publish their results in journals. Now they increasingly share them with peers online in real time. This movement is called Open Science, and over 50 percent of all life scientists worldwide are driving it by connecting with each other and sharing research on professional social networks.

In this keynote, Yuri Narciss will speak about this changing scientific landscape, and how life science marketers can navigate it effectively.

You will learn:

Sales training best practices - Overview and panel discussion

Moderator: John Schumann, Whetstone Group

Panel: Ryan Titmas,  Gilson, Tom Sellig, ConnectiveRx

8:00 - 9:00am - Sales Track

How can we help our sales team succeed in a buying and selling world that is rapidly changing? Sales skills that were taught just a short time ago now destroy trust, commoditize products and drive price-based decisions. Product knowledge can hurt, not help, when used at the wrong time.

In this session, learn how buying has changed and the impact it has had on your sales team. What are “sales training best practices” of successful companies? How do these companies get training to “stick?” What is the importance of “buy-in” of the team? What about management? How do you assess your teams’ skills? What is the role of online training? How do you reinforce it? Learn how successful companies use data and sales process in their training. What is the impact of repeatable sales process? Is it important to measure outcomes? What is the role of skill development and continuous process improvement? What is the role of the sales manager? What are the 2-3 common mistakes that companies make when training their salespeople? Our goal will be to discuss these and other questions about this rapidly changing environment.

How to Develop Talented Leaders (Panel Discussion)

Moderator: Stephen Archer, Spring Partnership

Panelists: Chuck Drucker, Q2 Solutions, Joan Boyce, Biocompare, Vivien Chen Biotium

8:00- 9:00am - Leadership Track

As Jack Welch said, "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." Yet, no one method of development will work for everyone, since our teams may include a rainbow of cultures, ages,  gender, and career level. A good leader understands the diverse styles of their team members and tailors their coaching to their unique needs. In the "How to Develop Talented Leaders" panel session, we'll hear leaders discuss how they have successfully found and grown leaders from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels.

Making Automated Life Science Marketing More Lifelike: Developing your Marketing Automation Strategy

Michael Biros, Cellerynt Group

8:30 - 9:00am - Marketing Track

For complex, high-value life science products, marketing automation (MA) is an essential tool to help nurture prospects over long sales cycles and to provide insights to your sales managers of those prospects’ online behavior.

It’s easy to imagine that MA will free up time for your marketing organization; it actually does the opposite. Developing software expertise as well as building, testing and deploying the forms, emails, workflows and tasks within a MA system takes time to develop. Perhaps most importantly, MA systems devour content, which takes even more time to develop. This presentation will address best practices on how to select, deploy and maintain a marketing automation system. Developing a strategy with criteria for success and a vision for how a system will be used will save time and optimize your marketing spend. The strategy should determine the cadence and general content of the promotional email program, estimate the size of the required marketing database, inform development of website content and collateral help in the definition of MQLs and SQLs. Case studies will illustrate various strategies.

With planning, you can make the most of your investment in marketing automation.

From Sandler to Challenger, A Sales Methodology Review

Mark Hozza, Dragonfly Life Science Consulting

9:00 - 10:00am - Sales Track

Which Sales Methodology is right for my team? You may have asked yourself that at least once or twice throughout your career. So you picked up the most recent book on the hottest new sales methodology and then thought “Now what?” Sales methodologies are a great way to add structure to your sales process, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition, you need to choose the methodology that best represents your company’s products, values, market and goals. In this session, we’ll review some of the most common methodologies over the years and have an open discussion on what’s working in the Life Sciences.

Fast Times, Easy Wins, And Burned Money: A Beginner's Guide To Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Ian Lurie, Portent

9:00 - 10:00am - Marketing Track

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a fast, responsive medium. You buy a space in search results, pay by the click, and voila! Traffic!

Also voila! You spent $10,000 by accident

And voila! You're ranking for "buy an atomic bomb"

And voila! Your ads cost 10x what they should

Learn how start in paid search, what to do, and what to avoid from someone who's seen (and done) it all. Ian Lurie will explain how paid search works, criteria search engines use to raise or lower costs, some of the little gotchas, and how to avoid ranking for "buy a wife at Target."

Leading Teams in the Digital Workplace

Julian Stubbs, Up There Everywhere

9:00 - 10:00am - Leadership Track

The world is changing rapidly. Things seem to be converging more and more as our personal lives and work lives becoming intermingled... and traditional employment is fast becoming a thing of the past. Working anywhere and everywhere in the cloud offers a huge amount of freedom and massive benefits.  This is the third way of working. It’s called E-Ployment.

Julian Stubbs, Founder and CEO of global cloud-based consultancy UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, and author of the 2014 book E-ployment: A Personal Journey to Living and Working in the Cloud, will share his unique, personal insights on leading teams in this new world.  As British social commentator and broadcaster, Simon Cohen, wrote about Julian's book: ‘There is a shifting tide in consciousness... A growing number of people, employees and employers alike, are beginning to question the traditional, narrow metrics of what is means to be successful.  This book strikes to the heart of such questions. Its time has come.’

Ask Our Customer Panel Anything

Moderator: Bill Kelly


  1. Keith Mostov, PhD, Professor, UCSF
  2. Sarah Devos, PhD, Lead Scientist, Denali Therapeutics
  3. Alan Wu, PhD, Chief, Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, San Francisco General Hospital
  4. Geoffrey Sargeant, PhD, Founder and CEO, GeneTether, Inc

10:15 - 11:15am - General Session 

With the rise of B2C e-commerce, customers are more comfortable and in many cases prefer making parts or all of their purchasing decisions online. With our customer panel, Bill Kelly will be leading a discussion about how a customer’s expectations and desires have changed with ecommerce. The conversation will center around the who customers would like to interact with, when they’d like to interact with them and what information the need to make a decision. We will also discuss the role of third-party purchasing portals, such as Amazon, Bio-Compare or LabViva.

Maximize Internal Relationships for Sales

Debbie Bowers, BioSoft Integrators

11:15 - 12:00pm - Sales Track

"How can a field sales/marketing professional get full support of the back-office? How can a leader of the back-office team build a sustainable support team for the field? Historically, a company’s corporate headquarters is where all support staff resided – marketing, human resources, accounting, R&D, leadership. While that continues to be most corporate models today, there is a growing trend for a variety of corporate roles be field-based. This creates interesting challenges for organizations to ensure prompt follow-up, cohesive team dynamics, clear assignment of roles and responsibilities, development of staff, seamless communication channels, etc. For sales and marketing staff that are field-based, dependence on the home office is necessary and often a challenge. Field-based vs. back-office cohesiveness are impacted by many factors, including: differences in time zones/work hours; a lack of empathy for seeing the customer’s pains (and demands) first hand; a jam-packed schedule that provides abbreviated and perceived impatient requests; and many more. It’s very common for the back-office staff to feel underappreciated and for the field-based staff to consider themselves isolated and not supported. Is it possible to minimize the normal animosity felt by the two groups? The answer is yes and whether you are the leader or the individual rep, this session is sure to offer proven tactics on how to better bond the teams."

 Career Stages (Panel)

Moderator: Keith Osiewicz, VP of Business Development, Ingeniux


  1. Luke Keffer, Senior R&D Specialist and Sourcing Team Lead at Science Exchange
  2. Melissa Songpitak, Senior Sourcing Operations Manager at Science Exchange
  3. Brian Wenzel, Director of Strategic Partnerships at
  4. Leala Thomas, Global Marketing Development Manager at Bio-Rad Laboratories
  5. David Weber, Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Maravai Life Sciences

11:15 - 12:00pm - Leadership Track

At the conclusion of the 2017 SAMPS show, many attendees said they wanted to hear more from their fellow life science professionals so attend this moderated panel discussion to hear people that do what you do discuss career issues, industry trends, and ways to be more effective at your job.

This hour-long session includes discussion on issues such as:

The Art Of Storytelling. How Do We Tell A Story? How Do We Convey Emotion?

Gina Mullane, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Charles River Laboratories

11:15 - 12:00pm - Marketing Track

Everyone loves stories. They’ve opened up our imaginations, connected us with unsung heroes and made a lasting impact on our memories. How can marketers be empowered to tell powerful stories of a product or a brand that help fit into an organization’s short and long-term plan? What are the benefits of using story-telling modalities to change internal and external audience behavior? Gina Mullane, the Corporate Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Charles River Labs (CRL) will share how CRL's marketing team used the power of storytelling to change Charles River Lab’s brand perception, increase its awareness in the market and convert prospects to customers. By sharing the story of Evie, a young girl born with a rare bone disease—CRL celebrated a network of scientists, clinicians and researchers who work tirelessly on life-changing drug discovery and development and not only overcame general skepticism but also challenged myths about the Pharma-CRO collaboration today. In this session, Gina will talk about the art of combining storytelling and marketing to emotionally and creatively celebrate a brand and highlight the steps required to craft a story that lives in breath your mission—inside and out.

Does the salesperson have a future in the world of AI?

Moderator: Stephen Archer, Spring Partnership

1:00 - 2:30pm - Sales Track

Marketing Channel Mix: How Should it all Fit Together? (Panel)

Moderator:  Keith Osiewicz, VP of Business Development, Ingeniux


  1. Hrissi Samartzidou, Ph.D., Vice President, Biosciences Marketing at Thermo Fisher Scientific
  2. Gina Mullane, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Charles River Laboratories

1:00 - 2:30pm - Marketing Track

How are all of your marketing channels supposed to fit together to deliver success? This is the big question any head of marketing faces, and as the number of digital marketing opportunities expands this question is more important than ever. Come and learn how marketing leaders from life science companies of various sizes spend their finite marketing budget on different channels to reach their goals.

Measure Yourself

Joanne Gordon, The Full Circle

1:00 - 2:30pm - Leadership Track

Over 30 million people have used the DISC profile to increase self-knowledge, facilitate better relationships and teamwork, and enhance sales effectiveness.

In this 90-minute, interactive session, we'll learn about our 4 core behavioral qualities (Dominating, Influencing, Steadiness and Conscientiousness), why we tend to behave in certain ways in particular situations, and how to apply this knowledge in our interactions.

Participants are encouraged to take a short on-line assessment in advance, and bring their insights and questions to session.  There are many on-line versions with varying levels feedback and cost. One tool with the option of a free write-up can be found at:

Meeting roundtable discussions, ideas for 2019 and feedback on 2018

2:45 - 3:30pm



SAMPS, Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research, is the first and only organization dedicated to sales and marketing professionals within the life sciences.

The association’s goal is to serve its members who work in commercial roles for life science products and services companies and associated businesses, globally.
SAMPS was previously named ACP-LS. We feel that SAMPS more clearly describes the membership, and will form a better foundation from which to expand this membership globally. 
© Copyright 2019 -SAMPS-serving Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research 
All Rights Reserved
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