ROTF: In search of the rep of the future - will sales reps always be at the top of the budgetary food chain?

Will sales reps always be at the top of the budgetary food chain?


You are likely reading this post because you wonder what is so funny that I am rolling on the floor (ROTF).

I am normally upbeat and happy; however, that’s not the subject I want to talk about.

Today, I begin a series on the Life Sciences industry’s pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech sales reps—the ‘reps of the future’. 

These individuals facilitate the education of the medical community about new drugs and devices, their efficacy, treatment protocols and regimens, reimbursement strategies, labeling, and use cases.

Ultimately, they are largely responsible for their companies’ commercial success.

There are numerous factors affecting reps’ ability to perform: FDA rules and regulations, diminishing face time with healthcare providers, marketing and sales process restrictions, reimbursement pressures, and the changing dynamic caused by the near universal availability of health information via the Internet.

Plus, their employers are seeking ways to reduce sales and marketing expenses.

However, as Eric Pluckhorn of Watson Pharmaceuticals stated at Digital Pharma West: “Unless sales reps are outlawed, they will ALWAYS be at the top of the budgetary food chain.”

Information industry analyst Dale Hagemeyer, managing VP at Gartner, Inc., who specializes in the Life Sciences industry recently stated: “The Life Sciences rep of the future—the ‘information concierge’—is remote, mobile, social, and commands multimedia. They live where controlled, compliant content meets social media.”

In this series, I will dissect this statement and evaluate the implications for the rep, the marketing department, and the IT staff.

Next up, you will meet ‘Dave’, a neighbor and friend who specializes in selling oncology drugs. We’re going to take a look at a day in the life of Dave.

Jeff Gaus is the CEO of Prolifiq Software, a provider of mobile applications that help pharmaceutical sales representatives find, consume, share and discuss information that supports and accelerates their sales processes.

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