Benjamin Franklin once said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Pharma companies are investing in knowledge,
with the aim of reaping big returns, by purchasing tools that analyze physician, prescription, and marketplace data for their
sales forces. But the declining productivity of pharmaceutical sales forces indicates that there are opportunities to increase
return on investment (ROI) by giving reps "actionable knowledge," information they can actually use in the marketplace.
Average number of samples per month
With the advent of market saturation, sales call frequency, duration, and productivity continue to diminish. Although the
number of reps in the field has increased approximately six-fold in the past 20 years, the number of doctors called on has
stayed about the same, while the time they can expect to spend with each has decreased. G&S Research just published RepReview, outlining findings from surveys of 4,570 pharma reps. According to the report, 78 percent indicated they do not get enough
time with physicians to adequately detail them, and 77 percent said that their time with physicians had either remained the
same or decreased from last year.
Integrated segmentation addresses this challenge by enabling sales reps to "personalize" their outreach to physicians. As
a predictive model that analyzes prescribing behaviors, demographics, and psychographics, integrated segmentation can drive
tailored brand messages and strategies that resonate strongly with physicians.
But such sophisticated analyses deliver little value if sales reps can't (or won't) access and apply them. This can happen
because prescriber, sales, or market information is difficult to access, too general, overwhelming in volume, or unclear in
its applications. By not serving their intended purpose, these analyses fail to have an optimal impact on sales force effectiveness
This article demonstrates how brand and sales managers can avoid this problem by ensuring that sales team members are both
able and motivated to use the data analyses they receive. By analyzing the specific roles, goals, and needs of each member
of the sales force, managers can customize the content, format, timing, and delivery of data analyses to fuel positive results.
Information OverloadMost brand and sales managers provide their reps with a "Swiss Army knife" approach to reports—a single tool designed to serve
several functions. They tend to package many data views, trends, perspectives, and comparisons in one report, hoping that
the more they send, the more effective their reps will be.
Unfortunately, the reverse is true. By packaging too much information into a single report, these documents become cumbersome
and many reps are not likely to use them at all. The manager's challenge is to determine which information, delivered how
and when, will optimize sales force effectiveness. This is a two-step process that requires knowing who is going to use the
information and what they will try to do with it.
Customization Case Study.
Understand users' tasks. First, managers need to understand the discrete tasks that each sales rep must perform to meet multiple goals. For example,
to meet sales goals, a rep needs to see current results, understand which strategies were (and were not) successful, learn
how to adjust tactics in response, implement those changes, and then assess how the changes affect performance.