pharma sales rep new normal

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Virtual engagement hasn’t just taken over your extended family interaction and social life during the pandemic. Virtual interactions changed the ways pharma sales reps interacted with healthcare providers (HCPs) during the pandemic and into the foreseeable future, What is the pharma sales rep post pandemic new normal?

Accenture conducted a survey of 720 HCPs in the U.S., U.K., Europe, China and Japan who are general practitioners, oncologists, immunologists or cardiologists. HCPs and patients see great value in more virtual interaction both during the pandemic and after we return to more “normal” interaction.

Pandemic Changed How HCPs Operate

78% of HCPs saw a decrease in the number of patients visiting their practice during the pandemic, and 36% of patients asked to be treated remotely. 60% of HCPs welcome information on self-administration methods for patients and ways to monitor them remotely.

HCPs See Greater Value from Pharma

Pharma companies started to go beyond just product information during the pandemic and provided additional support services. 82% of HCPs want pharma companies and pharma sales reps post pandemic to prioritize support to meet their most pressing needs.

Virtual Engagement Staying

40% of HCPs are currently restricting who can enter their offices and sales reps are those excluded. 28% of these HCPs plan to implement these restrictions permanently which will have a major impact on pharma sales reps post pandemic. 87% of HCPs want either all virtual or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings after the pandemic ends. Before the pandemic 64% of sales reps meetings were in person, during the pandemic 65% have been held virtually.

Communication BUT Up the Relevance

61% of HCPs said they communicate with pharma sales reps more now than before the pandemic, but 57% of HCPs said those reps are failing to understand the real impact of the pandemic on them and their services. The development of eDetailing where an HCP can join a link at their convenience on a device of their choosing is critical for pharma sales reps post pandemic. All the data will be captured on views, clicks and actions providing great information for the pharma sales rep post pandemic and the pharma company..

Reinventing Relevance

  1. Expand support services. Provide more information on patient care with instructions for in-home care and details about lab testing locations and care sites.
  2. Improve or change messaging. Help HCPs to maintain adherence without the patent visiting a physical facility.
  3. Create partnerships from the sales rep to the HCP all the way to the patient. Provide digital health innovations as new solutions for HCPs to support patients.

“The days when physicians are willing and able to schedule dedicated time to meet with sales reps are really becoming a distant memory. I believe that the post-COVID era will accelerate that trend. This is the time for change for sure.” Independent Healthcare Marketing Strategist, Martine Taylor.

Interested in participating in this exciting industry change? Hiring to fulfill these needs? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Pharmaceutical Sales Rep and Marketing Recruiter, Nancy Ragonese at nragonese@smithhanley.com.


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