Toxic mindsets in pharmaceutical sales: „We know our customers!“

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

Probably no phrase is used more frequently in the day-to-day work of the pharmaceutical industry than this one. It serves as a proof of performance and at the same time as a differentiation from other departments in the company, to give one’s own status a unique character. The reason: as before, the sales force struggles to be seen on „eye level“ by and with other departments. But unfortunately, the statement doesn’t hold true.

Much is known

The statement is true for a lot of information: diagnostic and therapeutic behavior of the target persons, medical interests, size of the practices, but also birthdays of the owners and their hobbies are well known by the employees. But all this information only helps to create a situational customer status.

The Black Box

For strategic decisions or a lifetime value determination they are only conditionally suitable, because important parameters are just not known. One is the practice management performance of the visited practices. It is the transmitter, in order to be able to realize a prescription development in the sense of a growth at all. The benchmark for performance quality is the best practice standard of practice management. It describes the regulations, instruments and behaviors that are necessary in a medical practice in order to be able to realize a smoothly functioning work even under changing requirements. If it is not fully implemented, this has a negative impact on efficiency and productivity, but also on the patients who can be treated.

Wrong priorities

If one analyzes the operations classified as top practices by sales organizations, 40% of them are to be classified as practice management low performers, which are not at all capable of generating patient growth in the medium and longer term from their deficient internal management. However, sales representatives lack this information because they are blinded by inappropriate characteristics such as the equipment of the practices, the existence of certifications or, above all, the self-reporting of the practice owners. However, it is generally true that the willingness to use a preparation does not equate to the ability to actually carry it out. Thus, the apodictically formulated statement about customer knowledge is relativized to a self-limiting half-truth with misleading priorities.