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The lesson from the real life case study in pharmaceutical sales covered during the last two previous blog posts is that patient demand can be a very powerful weapon in healthcare and this example actually showed how a once dormant drug can become a major competitor to a market leader. This is a case where patient demand did in fact influence the pharmaceutical sales training of the company’s sales force.
Unfortunately, drugs take many years to develop and as a result, their development may not always go hand in hand with actual patient demand. One of the consequences of this is pharmaceutical marketing departments trying to scramble and come up with marketing angles that the physicians and patients will buy into. Not all drugs that come into the market are successful as companies can be stuck with real product dogs. All the pharmaceutical sales training in the world for a team of elite drug reps cannot help them turn a dog into a winner in this industry.
In some cases, products can lie dormant as it did with our product from this case study for years until the right type of patient demand fortunately helped revive it. In this scenario, patients wanted a more natural, green product for hormone replacement therapy or HRT.
Effective drug reps used the patient demand to their advantage without offending their physician customers. I was one of the drug reps that sold this natural drug discussed in this case and later became the product manager for it. As the product manager, I developed special marketing materials that even featured the image of a green soybean plant to show the naturalness of our drug.
Our entire pharmaceutical sales training for this product revolved around this patient demand and we emphasized the features and benefits of our product to physicians in a way that showed how our product met the patient demand head on.
It was one of the most enjoyable drug products I’ve ever worked with – if you are curious, here’s more information about my own pharmaceutical industry background.
The concept of using patient demand is similar to using referrals in your pharmaceutical sales job hunt. With people recommending you for a drug rep sales position, you can put a major dent in your own competition for the jobs. Learning how to get the right people to refer you for such positions is taught in the book and audio program “How To Get A Dream Job In Pharmaceutical Sales – Direct Inside Advice and Guidance from a Sales Manager”.