More and more physicians are “closing their doors” to sales reps. Benchmark research from ZS Associates rates over 50% of physicians as “hard to see”. At the same time, research from Cap-Gemeni, in collaboration with Quantia, shows that greater than 40% of physicians surveyed see value in “partnering” with pharma. Further to this, other research has shown that up to 90% of physicians surveyed would like to see more sales reps!
These trends would seem somewhat counter-intuitive. What we don’t see in these data, is the type of interaction that physicians are seeking. We know from the research by ZS Associates that physicians are spending an increasing amount of time working online. We also know that more and more physicians are entering group practice. Many of these organizations place restrictions on industry interactions in the office, making access even more difficult.
The pharmaceutical industry is on the cusp of a major disruption in how they do business. The first wave of the “always connected” physician is entering into practice. These physicians spend most of their time connected to their devices and place a premium on their work time and family time, i.e., they are not keen to be interrupted during either of these protected times.
The challenge is for pharma to evolve. The customer owns the interaction now. More interactions will take place in the digital space and customers will demand that your sales people have access to all the information they can find online; otherwise, why would they see you? Despite that, doctors still want access to the information from pharma. The question is how to deliver the information in a timely and efficient manner.