Original Link : http://veltrod.in/blog/the-typical-day-of-a-medical-sales-rep-in-india/

The Indian Pharmaceutical industry of India is fast growing and ranks among the top 15 drug manufacturing countries in the world. Most of the credit goes to the medical representatives who are the sole reason for the promotion of products among various physicians, hospitals and pharmacies. They are accountable for all the sales results. They are the face of the company by contributing to better quality of life for customers, building goodwill and increasing the company’s market share.

Below is an interview with Mr. N Vinoj, a 3-year experienced medical rep who works at top Vaccine marketing company in India. This will give all of us an insight into the life of a medical representative.

1. What are the qualities needed to become a successful Medical rep?

Adaptability, presence of mind and wit is what clicks in the field. Product knowledge, eloquence, psychological sensitivity and individual approach to each doctor also play an equally important role.

2. What are the qualifications required to build a career in Pharma sales?

A degree in Pharmacy or Science, with biology as a major, is mostly preferred. But I have seen other degree holders who have a flair for selling become just as successful. In fact, my colleague has a B.Tech Electric Engg degree and is the best performer for 2 consecutive quarters. It doesn’t really matter till you love what you do and do what you love. Some join this field by choice and some by chance.

3. What is the possible career growth in this field?

The potential for growth is immense if you perform exceptionally well. It’s a performance oriented job. As you grow, the company grows. When you meet your sales target, the company makes a profit and you get a big bonus. I have observed the “specialist” roles within sales function like:

  1. Specialist Representative – Hospital Sales, Cardio
  2. MSL (Medical Science Liason)
  3. PR (Public Relations)
  4. Training Manager – Regional or National Level
  5. Sales Management – ASM, RSM, ZSM, NSM
  6. Product Manager – Specialist marketing
  7. How does a typical day in the life of a medical rep work

4. How does a typical day in the life of a medical rep start off?

A typical day starts at 9 am either by reviewing my diary or by spending some time on my laptop. By 10 am, I start my journey with my two-wheeler and visit pre-scheduled doctors. I also carry samples with me to give my doctors. I also communicate with nurses, hospital purchase officers and other administrative people. This is what gives me an edge over competitors and help me get a fresh order. Almost 30-40% of my time is spent in waiting rooms and busy roads. If I get the time, I also make it a point to visit the nearby chemists and distributors. I most definitely use my smartphone to save my day’s report. This way, I can send them out without any delay. This daily reports helps my manager track and monitor the sales performance in my region. This helps me fulfil my targets.

5. Do you like what you do?

Yes. It is personally and professionally very satisfying. Agreed that there is a lot of stress and travel, but at the end of the day when you know a product you have been marketing has helped in curing a life-threatening disease, it is very rewarding. The other thing I like about my job is that I can plan my own day and meet my targets my way. I love the independence and room that is given to me by my company.

6. Have you ever manipulated doctors to prescribe a product that is inappropriate?

I have personally experienced and heard from my friends that some companies lure doctors into the trap by offering them Air tickets, holiday trips, and expensive gifts. But I have never indulged in any such acts. The doctors whom I meet in my speciality are very respectable and the only bribe you can give them is – KNOWLEDGE! The only way I can grab their attention is in writing my product is by helping them make prudent decisions backed by recent clinical trials and case studies. It is my job to know about my product thoroughly. Only then can I answer and share my product with the doctors. By following this rule of mine, I now have 230 doctors writing my products today.

7. What are your manager’s expectations from you?

I am responsible for the promotion of products among medical professionals and pharmacies. I am accountable for the sales results of my territory. My main goals include contributing to a better life for my customers, building goodwill, and increasing the company’s market share.

8. Are there any tips and trick you have for selling?

The main trick lies in analysing the pharmaceutical market that I have been assigned to. Every market has some pros and cons. Once I have analyzed that, I educate myself about the product I have to sell. I research on it and get information that is useful. For example, advantages, whether it is therapeutic (composition, properties, etc.), marketing (name, dosage, form, etc.), and its disadvantages (side/adverse effects). I also look at the product’s competitors. This helps in the short and long run in order for me to pitch my product.

9. Once you are inside the doctor’s chamber, what is your goal?

I give them all the updated information about the product – dosage, indications, symptoms and side effects (if any). All aspiring Medical reps should keep one thing in mind – do not preach to the doctor. It will buy you nothing. They have studied medicine for more than 5-7 years. All you have to do is point out the right and credible medical journal or clinical trial paper. This requires a lot of work. You need to be in touch with other departments and managements, follow the media, public statements, latest researches and developments.

10. According to you, what is the most important factor that makes a good Medical rep?

The reason I could build and maintain relationships with prescribing specialists and general practitioners is because of the rigorous training and education provided to me over time. e-Learning has a big role to play because it doesn’t hamper my daily work at all. I can learn and test my skills anywhere, anytime. According to me, technology is a key enhancer in this field.