Training of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives: Key to the Business Strategy (I)

The process of incorporating a drug in a center’s therapeutic guide and, above, all, the players involved in prescribing decisions, are critical for laboratories to rethink, as they have been doing, their business strategies.

In any business, when customers change their preferences, motivations and processes, the only option for the operating accounts not to suffer is to change with them, and above all help them change in the direction wanted.

In the health field, if the physician’s concern, as a client partner, is also that of a health professional, a manager concerned as much for his patients’ health as for the performance of his work in terms of economy and efficiency, new variables appear in decision-making.

The laboratories, knowledgeable to their customers, are constantly evolving their business strategy on all fronts, systems, processes and people, adapting to this change, aware that one of the key factors in competitiveness is to be the first to tailor their operations to the market. The investment in segmentation, marketing and technology is followed by the investment in the change in the way of working.

Thus, laboratory employees, from sales management to Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives, through the area managers have to adapt to the new times and so, naturally, in a hierarchical fashion, with the managers first.

To adapt to changing times, all those related to the business activity have constant training, and they must somehow “unlearn” some of what they have previously learned. This is because, until recently, the amount of activity, (number of impacts) was a key factor in management, while today the quality of these impacts is also critical. Similarly, today, not only the breadth of the coverage is taken into account, but also the segmentation adds as a new factor. Ultimately, the criteria that mark the business management have efficiency as an anchor point.

According to some studies, over 80% of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives have the information they need to work and over 90% have the technological support necessary to carry out proper planning, management and control of the business activity. However, the concept of profitability, in terms of economy and efficiency, is not as accessible in management tools. In a very small percentage (less than 30%) of the cases the Pharmaceutical Sales Representative has such ratios (profitability and efficiency).

In this way, the Pharmaceutical Sales Representative has to “unlearn” to maintain, indiscriminately, a close relation with the physician, dedicating time and effort, regardless of the potential, loyalty and motivation to the prescription. In addition, he must learn to focus the investment in resources across the breadth of the word, according to a previous segmentation and planning analysis.

In the next post we will see in detail what capabilities must be developed by detailmen

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