This post is part of a week-long series identifying the challenges facing Pharma sales, and determining digital solutions to deal with these obstacles.
By Bob Mason (@BobMasonPalio)
With ever-shrinking headcount and budget figures, sales and marketing teams are under more pressure than ever to make sure that their sales forces are performing optimally.
There are about 100,000 pharmaceutical sales reps, and each one costs his or her company about $100,000. This is, obviously, a massive investment in the industry. So – just like the way airlines cut back on how many salad tomatoes they put in their meals to save costs – very small improvements can add up to make big differences. I may have just compared sales representatives to airline salads, and I apologize, but you understand my point: if sales forces can be made more efficient, even person by person, even in very small ways, it’s worth doing.
To that end, here are some apps that we think can help sales representatives do their jobs better.
- Google Maps – for obvious reasons; but for even more efficiency, add in the pro user tips
- SalesForce.com – allowing you to access your SalesForce.com information on your smartphone
- Evernote – giving you a place to digitally record, store and access memos, pictures, voice notes
And this is where we add the routine disclaimer that every driver should take Oprah’s pledge and use their smartphones safely.
…However, here’s another interesting wrinkle in this concept of apps and sales reps.
Will this change sales reps as we know them? How often will the 150,000 doctors to whom it’s initially available choose to “Contact Pfizer” through Epocrates? Will they do it along with – or instead of – seeing their rep? Will sales forces become little more than sample delivery fleets? Or are we jumping the gun?
What do you think?