An Essential Guide for Pharmaceutical Sales

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Published Date: April 27, 2024

An Essential Guide for Pharmaceutical Sales

“It’s clear that the pharmaceutical industry is not, by any stretch of the imagination, doing enough to ensure that the poor have access to medical care”.

It was said by Paul Farmer who was a U.S. medical anthropologist and physician whose words are clearly reflected when you take notice of the growing market of global pharmaceutical revenue.

When on the one hand it shows the pharmaceutical market stood at 940 billion US Dollars worldwide, on the other hand, it highlights the changing dimension of its competition today. 

So what’s exactly going on these days? The research advancement, newer development of medicines and medical devices, the approach of keeping out of in-person meetings, and managing a wider field sales team, making the pharma sales more difficult as it wasn’t a decade ago.

However, you may know and agree with the said words that if there’s a will, there’s a way which is the exact reason behind crafting the blog.

Well, here, I’ll take you through the obstacles that you may face in your sales process, the right approach to overcome them, and how you need to take the steps to make each second count from beginning to end.

So, no more talk, let’s delve into the effective discussion!

The Steps for You to Get into An Effective Pharmaceutical Sales

Before you dive into selling your USP of pharmaceutical business, you need to know about the buyers’ kinds, which are as follows:

  • Your first kind of buyers could be a chemist, in-house hospital pharmacies, or a distributor to whom you can sell medicines.
  • The second type of buyers include doctors, and purchasing officers to whom you can sell medical devices.

Although there are two different kinds of buyers, don’t think the strategic steps of buying your medicinal products will be distinct. However, the following steps are those which you may find to follow by the most well-known pharma companies:

🎯 Understand Your Customers’ Buyer Persona 

A buyer persona is the one that defines a tip-to-toe description of your target audience which is here the aforementioned buyers’ kinds. Although the persona is fictional and circumstantial, yet with the following approach, you can build a better understanding of your existing audience:

  • Do thorough research about your target audience, current market trends, and year-by-year growth potential in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Identify your customers’ pain points, their ultimate desires, and where your competitors are failing to satisfy your customers’ thirst.
  • Understand how you can help in a better way to give your customers a reason to be with your pharma products.

🎯 Target, Start Selling & Make Unforgettable Impression

After knowing your pharma customers are well, now it’s time to target them and convert them into a paying customer while having some nice-to-have skills likely to avoid being salesy and making first impression count.

Well, in that case, it’s mandatory for your medical sales reps to set an in-person meeting with doctors who are the influencers of buying decisions and follow the steps:

  • Study the medical brand as well as the product before crafting your sales pitch and selling the offer.
  • Set a first meeting with the doctors, show a few samples of the medicines, and discuss their USPs and benefits while countering him with studies and examples to make them think. For your help, you can take views from full-fledged tips on effective sales appointments as well.
  • Next, ask for a second appointment while highlighting your concern about a discussion from the doctor’s view on doubts and any glitches after having a test of the medicinal product.
  • Meet with the doctors, dive into a meaningful conversation, and convince them to prescribe the recommended medicine without offering them any lucrative gifts.
  • If you succeed in convincing the doctor, straight land into the chemist shop and check the availability of the product. Thereafter, arrange to fulfill the requirement from your warehouse to take the final step of closing the deal. 
  • Finally, don’t forget to collect your payment from the chemist if the doctor starts prescribing the same medicines to his patients.

Remember, if it’s about selling medicines and convincing it is for doctors or hospital pharmacies, the above-mentioned procedure will be followed. But if you’re about to sell surgical products or medical devices, the steps will be slightly changed.

Where? Your medical sales reps may need to educate the doctor about where, how, and why the surgical product can be used. In some cases, it may happen that the salesperson is asked to assist the doctor while presenting a demonstration.

🎯 Follow Up, Nurture Relationships & Make Repeat Sell

Now, when you crack the first sale and collect the payment, don’t wave yourself in celebrating too soon. While gaining a one-time payment from your customer is fine, you need to make sure deals for frequent purchases to build long-lasting success in your pharma business.

How to do so? The simple answer would be a follow-up at regular intervals and continuing to nurture relationships with chemists, doctors, and purchasing officers who are generally found in multi-specialty hospitals. For the same, you can take the approach as follows:

  • Educate your customers and suggest trustworthy resources to wipe out their doubts, and pinpoint their benefits to provide clarity in the whole journey.
  • Ask for your customers’ feedback, don’t overlook their responses, and leave room for them so that they can take ownership to discuss suggestive solutions more proactively.
  • If everything goes smoothly, your medical sales reps can ask your customers for referrals with the motive of stepping into an upsell and cross-sell process to expand the network and generate more revenue.

🎯 Analyze Your Sales Process & Figure Out Damages 

While following up and working on repeat sales isn’t the end, you should go for a final step to optimizing your medical sales from beginning to end, identifying loopholes, and removing the bottlenecks. To do this effectively, you can follow these steps:

  • Observe your medical sales targets, optimize the activities that are taken by your medical sales reps, and carefully study sales win and loss rates.
  • Go for an open discussion with your medical sales reps, ask them to share about intricacies in the sales process, and closely take notes on their feedback.
  • Ensure to look closely if your medical reps are applying soft skill techniques and evaluating how your medical reps are approaching upsell and cross-sales after your customers’ first purchase.

The Difficulties & The Way Out to Succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales That You May Face

It is said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”, which can truly be fitted in pharmaceutical sales, but fortunately there are quirky ways out as well. 

So, let’s have a closer look one by one at what they are!

❌ The Challenges

Getting an overview on how to initiate and accomplish pharmaceutical sales isn’t sufficient for you because you may have an ask, is it that easy as said?

My answer would be no. Why? 

  • As today your audience is more up for other communication paths likely, emails and calls, your medical reps must know how to close the deal without an in-person meeting. 
  • The lack of personalization or knowledge on medicines and medicine kits and limited opportunities can hinder your medical sales executives from closing the deal faster.
  • Also, the invention and innovation of effective medicinal remedies continue to overburden the industry, and skyrocketing competition makes it tougher for your smart medical reps. 
  • In fact, data shows that a doctor receives around 2800 contacts from pharmaceutical companies in a whole year. From here, it’s quite clear that today getting an easy appointment with doctors is no more similar than it was a long time ago.

✅ The Solutions

Now, after knowing the obstacles in your way, you may have this exact question, how to create a shield to dodge the bullets and gain an edge on the pharmaceutical industry?

Fear not, when your way to bypass the trouble is here:

Equip Your Medical Reps with Right Technology

The data by Medreps reveals that medical sales representatives are traveling around 50% of their working hours which can be a notable fact in your pharma business as well. 

In that case, a question may come to your mind about what software can be recommended to your medical sales team members. Obviously, your medical reps need a handy tablet and field sales team tracking software. 

Why? With the tablet, they can take the help of reliable visual aids to showcase images of medicines, and videos of a medical kit or surgical products to close deals effectively. Moreover, if your sales reps have field sales team monitoring software, both you and your team members can access many benefits while registering with Lystloc

Those benefits include easy and automated attendance marking, location, time, and lead-based task modeling, online and offline tracking, live reporting, purpose-backed notifications, data retention, and much more. It’s all designed to allow your medical sales reps to set up a productive sales process on the go.


Not Teach but Train Your Medical Sales Reps 

While your best medical reps know about your service and product just like the back of their hands, you may think they don’t need more skillful support from your side. But let me tell you, this doesn’t work. 

Why? No matter how beneficial your medical products are, they’ll not serve you the best result, if your pro sales reps aren’t confident about their sales pitches or they don’t have a clear idea of your sales strategies. 

Therefore, you need to provide them with training support to showcase to them how they can go far beyond a robotic script, nurture customer relationships with personalization, and highlight differentiative factors from your competitors. 

All-in-all the training is served with the motto of refining the skills, knowledge, and expertise of your sales team members so that they can target increasing sales even with new products.

Curate & Embrace A Multichannel Sales Strategy 

Gone are the days when doctors would like to have an in-person meeting and give time to listen to even a worthless sales conversation, and nowadays it’s quite tough to hold them back. So when everything is digitized today to get in touch, why don’t you go for other solutions to grab the attention of your target audience?

What’s the solution? A multi-channel sales strategy where you can take the help of emails and calls to stay in remembrance of the personal assistant of doctors, a chemist, or a purchasing officer in a multispeciality hospital.

Well, remember, a first in-person meeting with your target medical audience is always important to understand their buying psychology and grab the deal. But, at the same time, a multichannel sales solution can bridge the gap especially when your target audience is not ready to invest their time in an in-person consultation. This will eventually help you set up a successful sales management process.

Always Stay Updated with Current Data 

When biomedical and biotech innovations continuously take place in the market, it’s very obvious that your audience in the medical field is also keeping their eye on them.

However, my question is here, do your medical reps talk about exact data points? Are they updated with current data or newer market trends?

If your answer is yes, then you’re all set for good to go because you’re on the right way towards sales performance management. But, unknowingly, if not, then take ownership of your hand to always inform your medical reps with up-to-date data whenever you have it in your hand.

After all, it’s always not only selling but also avoiding embracing situations with prompt, confident, and clarified responses especially if a doctor or chemist asks your sales rep any out-of-the-box questions.

Start Working on Pharmaceutical Sales Today & Make Your Business More Profitable

Crafting an easy-peasy pharma sales strategy and working effectively to make a profitable business and give your competitors toe-to-toe competition isn’t a cakewalk. At the same time you need to skillfully handle both your target audience and your medical reps, and also refine your product USPs.

But you need to always remember the words of Winston S. Churchill to keep you and your team motivated, “Success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal, it is the courage to continue that count”.

Top of that, when you’ve a guide on pharmaceutical sales in your hand, take action, and make your sales process as effective as you can, turn the tables by impressing your customers, and reach your targeted ROI.
Last but not least, don’t forget to tap on a field force automation for your field medical reps with Lystloc.

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