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The Pandemic Might Have Changed Pharma Sales Forever – What About You?

 

As a pharma sales motivational speaker with a long-standing interest in healthcare, I followed how the COVID-19 pandemic affected our industry. There were profound changes – and it was much more than “business as usual.” The question is: “What about you? Are you ready to change with the changes?”

We are Innovation Champions

How can we not be proud of our industry? Seriously. According to a report by Deloitte Consulting (March 30, 2021), in 2020 the FDA “approved a near-record 53 novel drugs—up from 48 the prior year. These innovative therapies…offer new treatment options for patients who suffer from a wide range of illnesses including cancer, spinal muscular atrophy, and hereditary angioedema.”

What a great testament to a great industry! As a pharmaceutical sales speaker, I am amazed at the dedication of everyone involved.

However, this is not a time to rest on our laurels, in fact, the pandemic has exposed serious flaws that everyone involved in sales and marketing must be determined to address.

Brian Corvino and Candy Lurken, principal authors of the report appropriately named “The pandemic didn’t hinder drug launches but it has altered sales tactics”, noted that limited market access, inadequate understanding of marketing needs and poor product differentiation as being “the top reasons the drugs don’t live up to initial expectations.”

It’s about Sales and Marketing

Indeed, the new drug launches have not lived up to sales expectations. Companies have “revised or scaled back” and market response has been lackluster. Everyone is in agreement that the industry has struggled to convey the important sales messages as communication tactics have changed.

The Deloitte research has shown that in 2020:

  • Clinicians are seeing fewer patients and writing fewer prescriptions
  • Reps and clinicians have gotten used to virtual meetings
  • Information is being delivered through new channels

We know that, unfortunately, many patients have suffered due to a reduction in insurance benefits, and some practices cut back on admin people. And while we had no choice but to meet virtually, there may be a permanent move to hybrid situations, and while information has largely been conveyed digitally, it must be differentiated. What are you offering that is above and beyond, that exceeds expectation? What support do you offer that is surprising and shows effort and outstanding customer service?

Why it Matters

If you are in any aspect of pharma sales and marketing, then you are also aware of a simple but important truth as expressed by Corvino and Lurken: The pandemic has not reduced the demand for drugs that address unmet needs.

What you do as a pharma sales rep matters, to companies, clinicians and ultimately to patients. The year 2020 may have altered many things, but it did not affect the need for what you are offering and who it will ultimately help.

To succeed in this post-pandemic world will require your mindset, vision and the daily grit to make a difference. The challenges have never been greater, but neither have the rewards. Are you ready to make a difference?

 

 

Book Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Keynote Speaker for your next event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169