Vivek Mehrotra
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Essentials of PHARMACEUTICAL
SALES MANAGEMENT
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Essentials of PHARMACEUTICAL SALES MANAGEMENT
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As a Field Manager, you will have some territories that might not be performing up to your expectations (weak) and some territories that have potential but are untapped (underdeveloped). These are certainly causes for concern . However, they are like the symptoms of a disease. Unless and until a doctor knows the exact cause for the symptoms described by the patients, he may not be in a position to treat it. Therefore, in order to ensure the expected results from both kinds of territories, investigate the reasons and then suggest the solution to your team members. You need to use various tools to find out the exact cause. Your diagnosis will help you to offer appropriate treatment for each territory.

When a doctor receives a patient, he enquires about the symptoms or the discomforts the patient has (subjective evidence of disease as told by the patient). Based on his experience, the doctor looks for the signs (objective evidence of disease based on the doctor ’s observations) of disease. The doctor also advises the patient to get a blood test and also a TLC and DLC tests done. If the total leucocytes (White Blood Cells) count is found to be high, it suggests to the doctor that the patient has some infection. However, with the help of the differential leucocytes count, the doctor establishes whether it is an acute or a chronic infection as well as the extent and the site of the infection. The critical factor for the doctor ’s success in diagnosing a patient depends upon his ability to correlate various factors such as the sign and the symptoms along with the test reports. Similarly, you need to use various tools to investigate the reasons for the poor or low performance. Two parameters can help you assess the cause of poor performance or a performance below expectations. One is the output of a territory, i.e. a territory’s sales performance, and the other, the input given to the territory, i.e. the efforts put in by the representative.

Assessment Based on the Territory’s Performance :

To assess the territory’s performance, compare the total value-wise sales against the territory’s target and the per capita per month (PCPM) sales of your territory against the divisional, regional or national per capita sales. However, this is not enough. Now you only know that the patient has infection but not the type of infection. Further analyse the product-wise sales: which products are contributing to the territory’s performance and which are pulling it down.

Once you know the extent of the disease, that is, the gap between what is expected and what is being produced, look into the efforts put in by your team member. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Call average : Is my team member calling on adequate number of doctors and chemists?
  • Productivity per call: Are the majority of the calls that he makes productive?
  • Customer ’s coverage: What is the coverage of different customers : doctors , chemists and stockists?
  • POB: How much POB is the team member doing?
  • Distribution problems: Is there any distribution problem leading to the poor performance?
  • Payment position: How is the payment realisation from the stockists?
  • Individual’s profile: Does it match the territory profile?

I am sure you are aware of some doctors who are famous for their accurate diagnosis and treatment. How do they do it? The reason behind this is their experience, which is mostly labelled as ‘gut feeling’.

However, besides the gut feeling, other factors are also involved, such as the way they take the detailed history of the patient and then validate the information by questioning the members of the family. By looking at the total picture, they diagnose the disease.

There are also other factors responsible for the poor or low performance of a territory. Therefore, unless and until you interpret the answers to the above mentioned questions correctly with the help of a territory’s sales (value-wise and product-wise) vis-à-vis a person’s profile, you may not find the exact reasons for the poor or low performance.

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