Featured Industry Trends

By 2020, This Is What Pharmaceutical Sales Will Look Like

Nothing is constant in the pharmaceutical sales industry. New products, an evolving market, and new consumer generations impact pharmaceutical sales reps every day. Sometimes, however, change occurs forever impacting the face of sales. 

PwC, for example, believes by 2020 pharmaceutical sales and marketing will be completely replaced by a new model. The change is a result of industry shifts from a mass-market to a target-market approach to increase revenue. This means pharmaceutical companies can no longer heavily promote a few products and see huge, blockbuster results. 

In turn, pharmaceutical sales jobs must evolve to see an increase in customer purchases. Here’s what pharmaceutical sales jobs of the future will look like: 

Policy-maker mandates limit reps

The experts at PwC believe one of the major reasons for the pharmaceutical sales marketplace shift is governmental mandates. Policy-makers and payers now have more mandates on what doctors can prescribe. 

Opioid mandates, for example, impact what and how much doctors can prescribe patients. In fact, more states have co-prescribing mandates to prescribe naloxone when prescribing opioids.

Pharmaceutical sales reps must research more than ever to ensure they’re prepared to comply with lawmakers’ mandates. Additionally, research on new legislation will help them become even greater trusted resources for customers. The more customers trust their ability to comply and understand complicated legislation, the easier it is to build trusting relationships.  

Holistic sales strategies will reign

In the past, aggressive marketing strategies focused on product information were popular — and successful. Now patients take more holistic approaches to their healthcare. They want to feel more in power of their care and want solutions focused on improving their overall quality of life. 

As a result, the strategy of detailing only what pharmaceutical products do for one specific ailment will decrease. There’s a new need for marketing strategies prepared to fit the future of a knowledge-based consumer base. 

It isn’t just consumers who are pushing for a more holistic approach to healthcare. With chronic disease reaching an astonishing 133 million Americans in 2018, according to NCBI, more pressure is placed on healthcare budgets. This increased pressure has led to more government officials pushing for a focus on preventative treatment. 

By 2020, pharmaceutical sales strategies will focus more on patients as a whole. They will dial in on what they need to improve their overall quality of life and how products impact their well-being, not just the specific treated ailment. 

Pharmaceutical sales reps must prove their products’ worth

Scrutiny of pharmaceutical products is at an all-time high. New cost constraints combined with increasing legislation mean healthcare providers review products much more carefully. Their expectations are for pharmaceutical sales reps to provide products that are clinically proven and cost-effective. 

Data-backed information is more important than ever. New products brought to the market must prove to be better than existing alternatives. Additionally, their costs can’t go above what’s already available. This combination makes presenting both current and new products to customers increasingly complex. 

The information customers look at will also change. It’s up to pharmaceutical sales reps to show more than the symptoms the product improves along with common side effects. Tomorrow’s customers want proof that the product is safe to administer and is effective in patients like theirs.