What was a pivotal statistic for pharma sales reps in 2015?
According to a report put out by ZS Associates the number of physicians who limit in-person access to pharma sales reps crossed the halfway point in 2015, or 53% of doctors are closing the door to visiting reps.
Why are physician’s doors closing?
- Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) own more than 60% of physician group practices. They are defining treatment protocols not the individual doctors.
- Reimbursement models are linking physician payments to patient outcomes.
- Digital communication is accounting for 25% of all sales force interactions.
What are pharma sales reps doing to fight closed doors?
- As Key Account Managers are introduced to sales forces to deal with institutional purchasing organizations, nimble sales reps are moving to small pharma or biotech firms or outselling their peers by focusing on a particular specialty area like oncology or rare diseases. Oncology’s quicker clinical trial process means more drugs coming to market and more opportunity for these specialized sales reps. Interested in becoming a big fish in a smaller pond? Smaller and specialty pharma are looking to lure away top producers from big pharma.
- Offering patient oriented solutions. A recent Accenture research study found that 58% of patients use pharmaceutical services when they are aware of them. And more than 85% of patients expect their healthcare providers to inform them of these services. Sales reps can offer tools and solutions for patients that turn them into “team advocates” committed to improving patient outcomes and thereby helping their physician clients.
- Adapting sales calls to match today’s flexible marketing strategies. Personalizing and coordinating new alternative communication channels for each customer is critical. Penelope LaRocque in an article on Next-Gen Digital Sales Aids showed the importance of putting away your laptop for good: