The three pillars of the modern sales conversation
Has the traditional sales conversation become a thing of the past? Once upon a time, a pharma sales representative could meet with a physician, discuss their treatment and the supporting evidence, and in turn receive a prescribing decision. Today, that conversation has become a much more complex exchange.
As discussed in our recent article, “From Volume to Value: Using payer insights to increase sales effectiveness,” burgeoning healthcare costs in the U.S. have led to many fundamental changes in the past decade, shifting the reimbursement model and nature of sales engagement.
The new dynamic involves a long-game strategy that includes greater pre-meeting preparation and conversations across a variety of channels. It also requires greater coordination between the market access, marketing and sales teams in any brand.
Three fundamental pillars underpin this modern sales conversation:
1. Safety and efficacy of the product versus current standard of care
Questions of safety and efficacy have always been a part of the sales conversation; however, today these questions are not asked of your treatment in isolation. Owing to an increasing focus on value-based outcomes by healthcare authorities, the questions have been reframed to compare your solution with existing pre-approved therapies. As such, today’s reps are arming themselves with an greater understanding of the wider treatment landscape and using insights from global health data as ammunition.
2. Evidence for positive real-world outcomes
Efficacy in a controlled trial setting remains the universally accepted gold standard. However, attention is increasingly turning to data collected in real-world environments to underpin that trial data and set certain therapies apart from the competition. A recent example of this is the changes made to the Cancer Drugs Fund in the UK, where for the first time, many new cancer treatments will require real-world evidence as a prerequisite for reimbursement.
3. How it fits in the broader treatment management ecosystem
For the modern sales conversation to conclude successfully, field sales staff require a whole-world-view of the patient pathway and treatment landscape. Is your therapy one step in a larger pathway? Is it included on the formulary? Is the physician you are engaging with part of a larger referral chain? The field sales role has evolved beyond its original parameters. Factoring in this wider universe and engaging with the physician’s network can ensure you discuss your product with the wider context in mind.
Only with the right data management strategy, combined with systems that can deliver insights efficiently to the end users, can all of these aspects of the modern sales conversation can be understood at a deep level.
To learn more, download our latest report, From Volume to Value: Using payer insights to increase sales effectiveness.