Pharma Sales refers to the sale of pharmaceutical drugs, which can include medications or medical instruments, consumables of some kind, computers, and surgical equipment. The intended audience consists of every kind of practitioner, chemist, and/or buy in-charge in hospitals or pharmacy.

From the product to the consumer to the marketing method, pharmaceutical sales are somewhat different from other types of sales. Pharmaceutical sales are known to be one of the most lucrative and high-paying careers, as well as one of the most difficult jobs, taking a lot of learning on the part of the salesperson.

The Pharmaceutical Sales Mechanism

There is a buyer and a seller in any deal. In this situation, the consumer is reliant on the manufacturer's product. For the sake of debate, we will assume all buyer forms.

  1. Buyer of all types of drugs – Chemist, Distributor, Hospital Pharmacies
  2. Buyer of medical equipment, instruments, and implants – physician, purchasing officer

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The below is the general Pharmaceutical Sales Process practiced by the majority of Pharma companies:

1) Targeting :

A proper target is passed on to the sales staff, which would include the value business to be obtained from the region. The goal is determined after taking into account the previous year's target, demand potential, and business growth. Proper targeting is needed for the company's profitability.

2) Sales Process :

Once the individual has the goals, he will focus with his clients and segment them based on their ability. The salesperson then schedules calls to the appropriate clients. Customers for drugs would be physicians and chemists, while customers for medical instruments would be a specialist himself and the one in charge of purchasing.

3)  Sales call :

The salesperson makes appointments with doctors. The visit can be completed as many times as possible. In the case of drugs, the aim of a sales call will be to affect the doctor's decision to persuade him to purchase the preferred brand of medicines. The seas individual guarantees that there are appropriate research supporting the product for this purpose.

The experiments are debated with the researcher, and a few samples of the items are kept with him for him to examine. Glitches on the part of the practitioner are counted in the second visit, along with examples and counter-studies from the salesperson.

The second appointment is crucial in persuading the doctor to change his mind. If the doctor has even more questions, the salesperson's visits will rise, but the goal will remain the same: to persuade the doctor to write the desired brand of medication. Once the doctor is persuaded, the salesperson goes to the chemist to see if the medication is still available.

The chemist then passes on the commodity demand to the salesperson, who arranges for it to be delivered from his own warehouse. The salesperson tested the stock with the chemist on the third visit. If the stock is not consumed, that means that the doctor is not prescribing the brand, in which case the salesperson raises the number of visits to the doctor for further armamentarium and tests in order to affect his prescription. At this point, decision influencers may be used.

Pharmaceutical firms spend a lot of money on gifts for physicians, but this is not a practice that is sponsored by any medical council around the world. Gifting, in cash or kind, or any act taken to control the writing of drugs by a doctor is illegal, and if found, the salesperson loses his employment, the doctor loses his practicing license, and the pharmacy companies are severely fined.

If the doctor is persuaded, he will begin prescribing the product. While the persuasion occurs at the pharmacy, the selling occurs at the chemist's shop. The salesperson continues to replenish the chemist's stock and collect fees. For example, in the case of hospital pharmacies, a similar procedure is followed.

The procedure differs somewhat in the case of surgical materials. The pharmacy salesperson pays a visit to the hospital by scheduling an appointment. In this situation, as in the selling of drugs, the salesperson and the doctor have an in-depth conversation about the treatment where that specific medication will be used.

In this case, the salesperson serves as a solution source to the doctor, educating him about the treatment as well as when and how his product should be used. The salesperson immediately requests a consultation with the doctor to shadow, help, or study his surgical procedure in the operating room. Following approval from the psychiatrist, the salesperson meets and examines the doctor's procedures before positioning his items appropriately.

In this strategy, the sales call is not limited to OPD visits but often applies to the ORs. The salesperson then gives the doctor a taste of his goods for use in the operating room and, if necessary, supports the doctor during the operation. Following that visit, the salesperson then takes feedback of the product from the doctor and tries to get an order.

If the doctor loves the medication, he will put an order with the salesperson and the condition will be treated. If the doctor does not like the product, the salesperson will continue to contact the doctor, clarifying his concerns until the doctor is persuaded to purchase the product.

In certain circumstances, the salesperson is required to meet with purchasing officers; this is particularly true in the case of multi-specialty hospitals. After persuading the doctor at the multispecialty hospital, the salesperson contacts the purchasing officers to place an order. If the doctor is persuaded, he places an order with the buying manager, who then places an order with the salesperson, and the transaction is completed.

In the case of surgical devices, there is an extra demonstration stage in which the doctor, if necessary, does a demonstration of the unit in the surgery. Following the demo, it is up to the doctor to decide whether or not to order. The salesperson should contact the doctor.

4) Collection of payments :

Pay processing is a critical phase in prescription transactions. Pay is received by the pharmacy or doctor to whom the substance is billed. Product costing ranges from INR 500 per item to INR 5,00,000 for a computer. Depending on the quality and the value of the order, the firm provides consumers with a variety of payment solutions. In the case of implants, patients' payments are received and sent to the firms.

Challenges in pharmaceutical sales:

1. Government intervention

Any prescription substance eventually enters and functions in the human body. Because of the product's sensitivity, regulators have placed guidelines to obey before any pharma product is used by a practitioner, such as the product having minimal side effects and being affordable to the patient.

Negative results and side effects of any type should be duly identified to the nearest medical body, as well as their respective pharmaceutical business. Many of the medication's side effects and contraindications must also be mentioned on the packaging ahead of time. Furthermore, the selling of pharmaceutical products is restricted to physicians or chemists.

2. Competition

Competition is a big issue in the pharmaceutical industry, as it is in every other industry. There are several firms that sell the same commodity to doctors at a low cost. The corporation patents unique drugs or scientific molecules, and the company becomes the only approved seller of that specific drug.

Until the patent expires, no organization can copy the brand or molecule. Once the patent expires, the researching firm is forced to lower its costs, and pharmaceutical firms benefit only from the drugs' patents. For pharma reps, the intense trade fight with the market can be very difficult.

3. Sales Calling

When opposed to other industries, sales calls in the pharmaceutical sector can be very difficult. Sales reps must queue for hours only to speak with the doctor, and the lengthy wait results in just minutes of the appointment, during which the rep must persuade and explain the product to the doctor as aggressively as possible. Because of the size of the sales, the commodity, and the business, pharmaceutical sales jobs can be challenging.

4. High Sales Target

Pharmaceutical sales representatives are among the most overworked workers in the industry. High target pressures, the dynamics of the market, price wars, and the profitable nature of the commodity are just a couple of the obstacles to reaching the goal.

Pharma drugs have the best sales margins and are the most profitable. That is why sales reps are always assigned very high targets, resulting in high turnover rates and resentment on the part of salespeople. Having said that, pharma sales positions pay the most of any profession.

If you're trying to improve the pharma company's distribution and promotion policy, HBF DIRECT Limited will assist you in developing an ethical sales plan. Contact our team directly - [email protected] .

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