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Did Pharmaceutical Industry Overshoot Digital Sales Rep Calls?

The pandemic has shown mixed results in the Pharmaceutical Industry even after a year. Pharma was forced to switch from in-person to digital sales calls. However, even today, most of the visits are virtual. The good news is that in-person pharma sales are now in demand by physicians. During the last month, almost 44% of healthcare professionals said they preferred in-person visits rather than virtual visits for pharma promotions.

The face-to-face visits garner positive prescription intent, which is 17% higher than before the pandemic began. The bad news here is that the opposite is true for digital interactions. Nearly 24% of doctors prefer virtual sales details. Zoom Rx measured the effectiveness as physician likelihood to prescribe after a sales rep encounter.

In March, it dropped to 50%, which is even lower than the pre-pandemic level. Six out of 10 HCPs said that sales rep meetings had a positive impact. Ty Harkness, manager at Zoom Rx, said, “We don’t see any signs of rebound or recovery (in digital visit impact) over time. There was a dramatic decline in impact from March to June last year and then pretty much a steady state over the past eight months.”

The Pharmaceutical Industry needs to be commended for the quick response last year. Companies need to look to re-evaluate the mix of digital and in-person interactions. Around 80% of Pharmaceutical Industry sales rep visits are still digital. The study found that more than 20,000 in-person and virtual sales rep interactions.

Harness said, “It’s a matter of meeting the needs of each situation. If you can do that well—like companies have done in selectively deploying in-person reps—it really enhances the impact. The need is in better understanding each channel as needed for your customer and then deploying that purposefully.”

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