Pharma Industry is doing well, and has been growing year after year. South Asian Pharma Companies have been doing very well domestically, and also exporting their APIs and formulations to other countries as well. Thousands of Pharma manufacturing and marketing industries in the country offer plenty of job opportunities to the youngsters, particularly in good numbers in the Sales and Marketing function at the entry level. Therefore it is pertinent to understand the requirements of the job, and also what it takes to be a successful Sales & Marketing professional in this highly competitive era.
The job of a Medical Representative requires going out and meet highly qualified and informed customers like Physicians, and may not that much qualified trade customers like Stockists, Retailers, etc. In other words, the Medical Representatives should be outgoing, enjoy meeting and convincing different types of customers.
It requires hard work, i.e. from morning to night. Typically if a Medical Rep starts his job by 9 am in the morning, he may complete his day’s work may be by 9 or 10 pm. In other words we can say Medial Representatives’ working hours are dependent upon the practice timings of the customers, i.e. Doctors. In between, when the Doctors are not practicing, from 11 am to 4 pm, he can do other works like visits to CFA/Depot, Stockists, Retailers, lunch and also personal work, if any.
Two wheeler – a must for the job. From morning to evening he should be seen driving his two wheeler. Therefore he should own a two wheeler with a valid Driving Licence.
They should be well mannered, well behaved, with a good dressing sense. He should believe in presenting a formal picture of himself like daily shaving, bathing, changing inner wears, socks, hair and nails properly cut, shoes and working bag neatly polished, using deodorant/perfume often, etc.
Communication is an important tool to convert the customers to the Company’s products. Therefore successful Medical Representatives are the ones whose communication is very good. Good communication skill can be acquired through practice, practice and more practice. If the communication/detailing of a Medical Representative is interesting and engaging, the customers may be willing to give a little more time as well.
Sincerity, hard work, better organized and disciplined, ensures success in the job. Preparing the Customers list strictly as per marketing strategy of the organization, for each product, giving the required frequency of visits to each customer, using the physician samples, gifts, and other promotional inputs as per strategy, good detailing of each product, and demanding prescription for the products detailed, promoting the products ethically without looking for short cuts, pruning the customers list at regular intervals, like deleting the names of customers who have not contributed or contributed very little, or no scope for getting any substantial support in the near future, inspite of our best efforts, and adding a correct replacement for such deleted customers, etc. all will come under this heading.
Should like to handle hi-tech gadgets, as most of the Pharma Companies expect their Field Force to use/handle android applications/handsets, online reporting systems, analysis of work/performance from the various reports available in the online reporting system and arrive at corrective measures, e-detailing, SMS (Messaging), whatsapp, etc.
From the Company’s side, they should contribute their bit by selecting the right candidates for the job, train them well, ensure on the job training, guiding, motivating (by the Line Managers), prompt in disbursement of samples/promotional inputs, salaries, incentives, reimbursement of expenses, and also taking care of the career aspirations of the deserved. In addition, companies should come out with products that can offer distinct advantages over the existing ones (instead of ‘me too’ products), effective sales/marketing strategies for each product, etc. thus facilitating the Field Force to excel in their performances.