Decline in Drug Rep Salesforce; What Does It Mean for Pharma Reps?
The current trend toward information overload is important to keep in mind when preparing to broker a pharmaceutical deal. Like all of us and like all aspects of life, physicians need the right tools to filter only the most relevant, meaningful information in an efficient way.
Pharmaceutical companies can expand their business opportunities and bottom line by encouraging salesmen to help physicians navigate this challenge, rather than to simply “sell a product.” Besides, the best pharma reps will already be working to build solid, well rounded relationships with the physicians they serve. Rather than resisting the digital shift altogether, many are simply embracing new platforms like Preferred Time, where they can reach a wider network of potential clients digitally and in-person.
Physicians are also constantly navigating a flood of sales calls and attempts to “seal the deal” from a sales industry that sometimes is less focused on the proficiency of the product at hand and more focused on the “complimentary gifts” they can use to influence sales. Coupled with the ever-growing demands on their time spent with patients, physicians are more likely now than ever to restrict the visits of pharmaceutical salespeople in their clinics and therefore, stifle the opportunities for traditional in-person sales methods.
Throughout my own career as a pharma drug rep, I’ve seen how some reps are treated favorably by clinical experts while others are treated as nothing more than an annoying salesman. And one primary factor that separates the reps that physicians and their staff hold in high regard from all the others is the rep’s mastery and knowledge of their product and how it is applied in the medical field at large. The super drug reps know their stuff back to front and front to back, including the pharmacology of their items, the clinical viewpoints surrounding them, and their clinical examinations.
So, what would it be a good idea for you, the sales rep, to do?
1: Carefully vet any company you’re considering working with. You can utilize everything from corporate sites to Google and LinkedIn to get a scoop on any viable company. Look at their product offering, their market examination, and how they treat their representatives to learn if it’s a place that holds a future for you.
2: Be aware of how companies view (and may eventually rethink) the salesman’s job. Physicians are relying on a more educated rep nowadays — a professional who can serve as a specialist in their item, rather than a person constantly attempting to close the deal over lunch.
3: If you need to be in the pharmaceutical sales field, it’s of the highest priority now more than ever to market yourself as a first-class up-and-comer. Learn from a lifelong mentor if you’re lucky enough to find one, inquire about ways that promising applicants get into clinical sales, and use out-of-the-box strategies like 30/60/90-day sales plans.
The first-class, up-and-comer label also requires a strong knowledge of the science and technology behind what you’re selling, as well as versatility in an evolving sales approach that incorporates internet-based marketing and information to foster sales. Recognize what the market is moving toward and discover what various companies are doing to meet those changes.