Reps say training could improve

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Pharmaceutical Representative

As pharmaceutical companies rely more on sales representatives, reps say they need more training to help them in their jobs.

According to "Sales Rep Training: A Comparative Analysis – 2001," a new strategic study from Newtown, PA-based Scott-Levin, more than 80% of reps find their initial training effective, and 75% say the same for advanced training.

However, 40% of reps think their companies should invest more in training programs, and many also want more hands-on experience. Ninety percent say new-rep training programs include field time with district managers and experienced reps, but 72% say most of their time is spent in the classroom. Sixty-two percent say they would benefit from increased field training.

In addition, 60% of reps want more technology-based instruction, such as CD-ROMs and Web-based training.

Other results


The study also found that:

• Reps say the best-trained sales forces are from New York-based Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ.

• Reps from Philadelphia-based Smith-Kline Beecham and Pfizer rate their training as above average, while Parsippany, NJ-based Aventis Pharma AG earns higher-than-average marks for its advanced training.

• The topics most frequently covered for new reps include product knowledge, disease knowledge and management, professional selling skills, and anatomy and physiology.

• Advanced trainees rate professional selling skills as the most popular topic.

The report was based on responses from more than 900 reps from 20 companies. PR