Scott Burrows

Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker


Resilience in Pharma Sales: Now More than Ever


As a motivational sales speaker for the pharmaceutical industry, I tell my audiences that COVID-19 might also be characterized as the disease that changed an industry. It is kind of ironic. While the pharmaceutical industry has changed the way medicine has treated nearly every disease known to humankind, it was a virus that changed the way the industry sells.

In the March 2021 article I reference above, the author stated an important fact about the future of pharma sales. Coming out of the pandemic, if the healthcare industry believes it can use AI to replace the role of pharma sales rep or the provider, patient outcomes will not be improved. There are still an intangible set of benefits that come from human interaction and cooperation. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely the industry will ever go back to pre-pandemic days.

Resilience is necessary

In a 2021 Forbes article the author listed six important changes to not only change but implement:

  1. Create a hybrid sales model – The most important aspect of this point is to save valuable time for the provider. There is much that can be accomplished through virtual communication. Save important, in-person interaction to convey what is important, highly relevant and adds to a knowledge base.
  2. Learn new skills – The important point here is for the team to learn “best practices for showcasing multiple products and addressing clinical and scientific questions beyond the product detail in each setting.” This means the team must be as mindful of virtual selling as in-person selling. This includes prospecting. Be determined to practice this skill, not to “wing it.”
  3. Expand the medical’s role – The keys here are communication, then facilitation. What was difficult pre-pandemic is now easier with virtual technologies. Information is all important and every sales rep needs to internalize their role as an educator.
  4. Be thoughtful about targeting – “Manufacturers need to rethink traditional targeting and segmentation approaches taking into account the centralization of product decision-making and requirements for compliance.” If the pandemic accelerated pharma sales to become more of a total team engagement, it must be a part of pharma’s knowledge base to understand the dynamics of decision making shifted as well. Who is being targeted? Are they the decision makers?
  5. Tell a compelling story – “it is imperative that manufacturers ensure products are supported by relevant economic and clinical data.” As a motivational sales speaker for the pharmaceutical industry, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of conveying relevant and actionable research and relating that in a way to improve patient outcomes.
  6. Embrace change – This point is, in my opinion, the most important value every pharma sales rep must incorporate. More than a slogan it is a vision of where you are and where you want to go. Be open and flexible no matter what is expected and where the industry takes you.


While the old expression “Change is good,” is one we all know, for anyone involved in pharmaceutical sales, it is more important to remember that “Change is necessary.” Now, more than ever, expect change; embrace it; be the first to use it to outsell your competition.


To reach Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical sales speaker, please contact Scott Burrows today by phone at 520 – 548 – 1169 or through this website.




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