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Reps say training could improve


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

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