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Experiential learning uses critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making and has become an established method to accelerate learning. Because of this, Astellas Oncology, in partnership with CLD, sought to provide unique, immersive experiential learning approaches to engage and excite learners for two separate, concurrent launches in 2018:

Launch #1

XOSPATA (New hire and Launch Curriculums)

Launch #2

Astellas and Pfizer Co-promote Launch for XTANDI’s New Indication

"Two of the most successful launches in Astellas' history"

Astella's Sales Leadership
LTEN Excellence Awards Learning Content Provider
LTEN PIP Preferred Industry Vendor

Experiential learning is personal, influencing both feelings and emotions as well as enhancing knowledge and skills. To be effective, each of these learning experiences had to be tailored to provide a unique emotional experience commensurate with the situation as well as meet the vastly different needs of each audience. In both scenarios, learners were exposed to extensive “hands-on” real-world practice in different topics to best prepare learners to have productive dialogues with customers in the field.

This post contains the same content our LTEN award poster did to illustrate how we successfully tailored two very unique experiential learning solutions for two vastly different launches for Astellas in the same year:




Prostate Cancer

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)


New Indication

New Product Launch


astellas pfizer
astellas oncology


  • Large field (650 participants)

  • Existing Staff

  • Oncology Specialty Reps & Internal Medicine Reps

  • Targeted field (60 participants)

  • New Hires

  • Oncology Specialty Reps

  • Flexibility to repurpose key training elements to engage all of Astellas in new launch


  • Large celebration (Astellas, Pfizer, and patient)

  • The ability for patients to use XTANDI earlier

  • Intimate, small setting

  • Highly reflective – focus on the patients’ & HCPs’ treatment challenges

  • Motivation enhanced by empathy

Selling Skills

  • Memorize and drill on new clinical data

  • Practice new selling messages for the new indication

  • Gaining momentum in the call continuum (coordination of matrix teams to advance call)

  • In-depth understanding of the patient journey

  • Engage HCPs in detailed conversations about their specific patients

  • Sell with the patient


  • Broadcast used to maintain consistency across 2 large companies

  • Leverage managers to provide extensive coaching

  • Provide 1/2 day culminating in gamified, role-play experience in 2 concurrent ballrooms: “The Challenge Stadium” and “The Evaluation Arena”

  • Take advantage of small group size to provide an intimate experience

  • Center training around the patient, weaving the patient story through the entire roll-out

  • Patient journey workshop that allowed learners to physically “walk in the patient shoes”

  • Integrate KOLs, Medical, and Marketing into the hands-on workshop activities, including patient case study workshops, poster sessions, and CVA spread discussions




Selling skills game room provided opportunities to earn points while practicing elements of the sales call such including: objection handling, openers, mini-selling scenarios, quiz kiosks, etc.

Challenge Stadium
Simulation City


  • Real-life role plays focusing on gaining momentum in the call continuum

  • Internal Medicine and Oncology reps for each geographic territory worked in their teams

  • Reps called on the same HCP for 15 minutes each, debriefing as a team to advance the call between each role play

  • The Coaching App tracked game points for remediation and prizes



  • Home Study began with a narrative-style patient journey module written from the patient and HCP perspective

  • Through a Patient Journey Walk Workshop, learners physically “walked in the patient’s shoes.” With large posters and using audio headsets, learners met the patients and families and followed them through diagnosis, prognosis, and their treatment journey

  • Learners used a journey guide for note-taking and self-reflection

  • Posters and audio were reused by a broader corporate headquarters audience to create visibility and enthusiasm across the organization

Patient Journey Focus
Museum Walk


  • KOLs and Patient Cases: The Patient Journey Walk was followed by various HCP speakers that discussed treating AML patients

  • VA Poster Sessions: Learners in small groups rotated to various spreads and engaged in conversations directly with MSLs, marketing, and managers stationed at each spread. Learners discussed how spreads could be used in sales calls and practiced elements of their call

  • Coaching and; Evaluation with Managers: At the end of the full curriculum, learners were evaluated on their sales calls using CLD’s Coaching App


In addition to knowledge assessments, home study games, and survey results, the Coaching App was used to collect:

  • Sales skill evaluation scores to identify winners, gaps, strengths, and areas for remediation in real time

  • Automate tracking of remote certifications at PDUFA within 48 hours, saving many staff days previously required for prior manually tracked certifications

  • Following the meetings, Astellas customized the Coaching App for use with new hires on an ongoing basis. The app is now used by the Astellas CL&D team to provide customized coaching reports to managers, real-time analytics, and trend reports to leadership


  • Effective experiential learning can be designed for various audiences as well as different knowledge and skills objectives

  • The gamification process was extremely effective in motivating very tenured Oncology representatives. Learners were engaged in non-stop verbalization and mentoring activities for hours and
    remained competitive

  • All necessary learners across products were certified and able to sell in the field by the intended time

Explore the actual poster here!