In prescription products, the main client is not the patient, since the patient, not knowing how to diagnose and treat his illness, requires the collaboration of a professional, the doctor, who thus becomes the main client of the Medical Sales Rep.
The job of a medical sales rep requires a lot of knowledge and ability. But what exactly does the role of a medical sales rep involve?
Here are the most important activities of a Medical Sales Rep.
Selection and classification of doctors and clients
There are four main components in the success of pharmaceutical marketing: appropriate products, suitably qualified clients, and an appropriate message conveyed by an appropriate sales force.
As we can see, having a “target” of suitable doctors is a key factor in pharmaceutical marketing. Unfortunately, many pharmaceutical companies do not make a good selection of doctors. These companies place so much emphasis on the number of visits per day, that the Medical Sales Rep does not have time to update their list of doctors.
To achieve his sales objectives, the Medical Representative must review and update their list of doctors regularly, that is, every six or nine months. He constantly evaluates and prioritizes physicians, based on current productivity, sales potential and availability.
Visiting the right doctors with the appropriate frequency is vital to ensure success as a medical sales rep.
The secret of a winning Medical Representative is to make more coverage or more frequent visits to the most important doctors. After having classified their doctors, the Medical Rep has to visit the “AA” doctors much more frequently.
Planning and analysis of visits
The only way for the medical sales Rep to achieve his sales targets is to have a good plan for each visit. The Medical Rep needs to set appropriate visit objectives for each time. The post-visit analysis is part of the planning of the next visit.
A good plan should start with the creation of a comprehensive profile of each doctor. There are basically two types of profiles of doctors: the professional profile, which contains data referring to the way the doctor practices medicine and the personal profile, which details his personal interests. Keeping the files of their doctors religiously updated could help the Rep, not only set clear and specific visitation objectives but also to plan visitation strategies and influence the client’s decisions. On the contrary, not planning is planning your failure.
Good application of Sales Techniques in each visit to all customers
The general objective of each visit is to convince the doctor to prescribe their products. The most important sales techniques are:
- Identification of the client’s needs
- Presentation of features and benefits
- Effective presentation of clinical studies
- Management of objections
- Management of the competition
- Closing techniques
- Follow-up of the prescription commitment
The medical sales Rep who consistently applies these techniques to all his clients will have more possibilities of winning more sales!
Relationships with customers – Strong relationships will increase sales
It is said that the distance between the heart and the chequebook is shorter than the distance between the brain and the chequebook. It has already been proven by many surveys that emotion plays an important role in achieving sales.
To appeal to the emotions of each client a good medical sales rep adopts a different sales style for each client, based on a variety of factors such as social style, personality, age, ethnicity, speciality, etc
There are other strategies to improve rapport with clients:
- Fulfilling their commitments on time and in a responsible manner
- Knowing the client by name and details from their personal profile, establishing common ties
- Demonstrating their credibility and professionalism in all interactions with the client
- Establishing and maintaining mutual respect
- Establishing areas of common interest with the client and using those areas to create affinity
- Using the creative techniques that are within the company guide to win and manage the interest of the client through a series of visits
Acquiring the appropriate knowledge about areas of therapy, company products, competition, market, marketing strategies and promotional plans.
A Medical Rep is always an expert in his field. He demonstrates an updated knowledge of the product range, marketing strategies and competitive products and uses this knowledge to develop effective sales strategies with different types of clients and settings.
Attendance and participation in training meetings and completing all homework
The productivity of a Medical Representative is directly related to his preparation and level of professionalism. As the saying goes, “the one with the sharp axe cuts more trees.” Thus, self-training is one of the most important keys to success for a Medical Rep.
His self-training is his investment for the future. Remember that the field of Medical sales Rep is quite competitive. Only the prepared ones can achieve successful trajectories. There is no place for mediocre people.
A Medical Rep always works to improve and increase his professional skills and seeks opportunities for development. He invests his money and effort in improving his knowledge and skills. The Medical Rep uses a variety of techniques to manage work-related stress, maintaining a strong sense of job satisfaction and a high level of self-motivation.
Resource Maintenance: He maintains company resources and uses samples and other resources to maximize sales.
We live in an imperfect world. We work with limited resources. The Medical Rep is the one who knows that the effective use of these limited resources, such as samples and other materials, makes the difference between a poor result and a successful performance. He knows how to optimize the use of his company’s resources and develops contingency plans to reduce unproductive time.
Organizing Medical Education activities, such as the use of videos and medical meetings
A Medical Representative performs actions that please his clients, such as offering Continuing Medical Education. Doctors love programs that can update their knowledge and skills. For this reason:
- He recognizes and uses opportunities to promote and highlight the image of his company in the eyes of the client
- He Identifies and provides the services of the company appropriate for each client
- He uses these opportunities to influence the attitudes and habits of prescription of the client
- Demonstrates the value of the company’s services to all customers, and thus sells the image of the company.
Organizing other promotional activities, such as attending congresses, campaigns with nurses, midwives, pharmaceutical chemists, cross promotion etc.
A very important activity that a Medical Representative must execute to achieve their sales, is to organize promotional activities periodically. These activities can be directed to doctors or pharmacies. A promotional activity can be a cross-promotion, a kind of promotional alliance between two companies. These activities are generally appreciated by doctors because of the creativity and innovation.
Including the products in the petitionary on time
In some countries, the petitionary is known as the List of Drugs, Form or Therapeutic Arsenal. The policy of many hospitals and institutions involves obliging all physicians to prescribe only the medications that are in this Medication list or petitionary, and a successful sales rep needs to ensure that his products are on this list promptly and readily available.
Fostering good relationships with distributors and wholesalers
The secret of successful management of a sales territory is to turn the distributors into allies and make each one of them think like you. In other words, the Medical Rep must influence distributors and wholesalers, including pharmacy dependents.
Visiting the important pharmacies and applying the Decalogue of Marketing to pharmacies
Visiting the most important pharmacies regularly gives the Medical Rep many benefits and opportunities for growth. First, the drugstore is a source of information about the prescriptions of doctors in the area. It is probable that the Medical Representative who invests his time in educating pharmacy dependents improves the rotation of his products. In many countries, the customer comes directly to the pharmacy for the pharmacist for a drug recommendation. There are several tasks and activities to do at the pharmacy. Thus, visiting the important pharmacies regularly and applying the Decalogue of the pharmacy, is one of the secrets to achieving the monthly quota.
Transmitting information about the market and competition to the Marketing Department
In order for the Medical Rep to receive the support of his Marketing Department, he must transmit information about the market. It is not enough to just get literature and other competitive materials. It is important that the Rep includes his evaluation and comments on the competition’s campaigns. His suggestions and ideas on how to refute the arguments of the competition are valuable too.
Administrative tasks: Make reports, sales, expenses, and deliver them promptly
The secret to working with efficiency and productivity is to have all the tools, including the provision of travel funds to do a good job. Sometimes the reimbursements of expenses are not made on time because the expense reports are not received at the company on time. In many companies, the delivery of itineraries and routes is required before the beginning of the cycle. There are others that require weekly and/or monthly reports. These reports are the only contact with the office and can be interpreted as a reflection of the work and attitude.
As you can see, the work of a Medical Rep is not easy. To implement these 15 tasks and the Decalogue of the pharmacy, he must be a multifaceted person, a detective with the ability to select and classify their doctors according to their business potential, and a good psychologist who identifies different types of clients and who is flexible to adapt to various types of customers.