The Threat and Opportunity Tech Poses for Pharmaceutical Sales

There’s no denying technology poses a threat to the role of pharmaceutical sales rep. With a vast array of product information readily available online, doctors are no longer reliant solely on sales reps as their information source. Medical professionals are now in a position to conduct their own research through countless digital channels, often having made a decision before a sales rep even has a chance to get them in a room. Forced to compete for air time, the rise of digital technology may well be a threat, but it equally provides an opportunity.

The value of a sales rep goes far beyond simply regurgitating product information. A good pharmaceutical sales rep builds strong relationships with medical professionals, understands the needs of their patients, the challenges in their field and can confidently assist them to find the right solution. This level of value doesn’t come simply from rattling off product information, it comes from a depth of interaction that goes beyond prescribed brand messaging. In an Eyeforpharma report, Chris Gish, VP Sales US, at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals noted, “Now the industry is much more consultative and patient-oriented, with today’s reps possessing in depth knowledge of the landscape in addition to a particular product. Reps are now part of the solution to help physicians with the information they need in order to consider a treatment or delivery option for the right patient at the right time.”

Where the challenge lies for sales reps is communicating this value in contrast to the readily available information online. Gish adds, “It is imperative that reps understand how and when to communicate with customers in the right way at the right time. With their deep expertise, sales reps can be the most effective type of communication the industry has in the medical space.” This is where the positive role of technology comes in.

The Opportunity Technology Presents

If sales reps are to convince medical professionals of the depth of value they bring they need to be able to articulate this message with confidence. Far from being a one-size-fits-all sales spiel, it needs to be a natural conversation between reps and their clients that delivers the right message in the right way. Where technology can play a role is in helping sales reps to hone the delivery of their sales message, giving them the confidence to articulate their value and that of their products in a natural and engaging way.

The 60 Seconds app is an extremely valuable piece of app technology that sales reps can use to rehearse their messaging anywhere, anytime. Reps can role play different conversations with clients and then record and review their delivery to get a sense of how they come across. Not only a tool for personal development, these recordings can be shared with a manager or peers to receive feedback in real time.

“60 Seconds is founded on the premise of ‘practice makes perfect’,” explains Founder Marcus West. “Being a great company sales rep involves educating the HCP. It is impossible to have a quality sales interaction without the core foundation of product messaging ingrained. Too many reps are practising on the doctor instead of being thoroughly prepared in advance.”

While technology presents competition for pharmaceutical sales reps, a tool like 60 Seconds can help them take their conversations and client relationships to the next level.

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