Being a top performing pharma sales rep isn’t something you’ll master overnight.
Instead, it’s the kind of profession that takes time, talent and an acute ability to work effectively with clients. And being able to hone these skills isn’t something you should necessarily tackle alone.
With that in mind, CHASE consultant Kirstie Justice, who’s been with the company since 2010, offers some expert insight into what makes a high-quality pharma sales rep with a broad list of clients.
Here are Kirstie’s five useful nuggets of advice …
1. Be a valuable resource to customers
“Within the current NHS,” said Kirstie, “successful reps need to make sure they are a valuable resource to their customers.
“This means finding out what’s on the customer’s agenda and aligning their needs to the customer’s needs.”
In large part, you’ll have to keep up to date with your client’s business developments (either via updates on their website, PR announcements or by speaking directly to the client) and highlight the products you offer which will be most beneficial to them.
2. Hunt new opportunities
“Successful reps are continuously looking for opportunities for new business. See it, grab it, run with it.”
As Kirstie has said, new business is vital to remaining an effective pharma sales rep who’s meeting their targets. You’ll need a strong list of contacts, as well as an understanding of how to expand sales opportunities to your current sales clients.
Your contact list can be expanded by attending regular industry events, making your reputation as a dependable rep known, and maintaining regular contact with your current customers.
3. Meet with whoever you need to
“Operate as a true key account manager,” advises Kirstie, “See whoever you need to see in order to drive your business.”
Quite simply, every meeting with a client is an opportunity to promote the benefits of your product and net more profit for your company, and should be treated as such.
A meeting with a healthcare professional could prove fruitful by giving you a greater understanding of their needs and wants, and could even net you a referral to other decision makers in the industry.
4. Map out key customers and accounts
“In order to understand the ‘customer sphere of influence’ at a local level,” says Kirstie, “it is necessary for reps to map out their key customers across their accounts.”
Understanding the needs of your customers is important in any industry, but it’s vital to becoming a top-performing pharma sales rep, not least understanding the problems which impact your customer’s specific regions.
Find out plenty about the local area which surrounds your clients. Not only will this inform you about the kind services they’ll be looking for, but it’ll provide the personal touch that even the most demanding client appreciates.
5. Have an entrepreneurial mind set
“Have an entrepreneurial mind set. Manage your territory as your own business,” says Kirstie.
Being a sales rep is a lot like running your own business. You’re creating your own opportunities, satisfying clients and dealing with problems by using your own solutions. That’s why treating your territory with the same sense of expansionism and care as a personal business is a must.