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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20578

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Electronic Source

Cavicchi V
Defining the Audience: Customer-Centric Sales Strategies and Physician Segmentation
Cutting Edge Info 2013 July 24

Full text:

Target segmentation is a key marketing tool across all industries — from pharmaceuticals to software to food. When commercial groups reach out to the community, it pays to be specific. Even the smallest companies tailor their commercial messages to different groups based on geography, location and a number of other factors.
As pharmaceutical sales teams work with their clients, traditional segmenting examines physicians’ patient bases and prescribing habits. These factors suggest which physicians will be most receptive to a product and which sales information will best motivate these doctors. Delivering physicians the information they want ultimately boosts sales force efficiency. However, in today’s changing environment, pharmaceutical sales reps face new challenges which may call for a more sophisticated physician targeting strategy.
Physician access limitations, shrinking field forces and maturing product portfolios are reshaping pharma’s sales strategies. With the heyday of blockbuster drugs increasingly behind them, pharma marketing and sales teams are moving away from the once-successful product-centric approach and advancing toward a customer-centric strategy. As sales forces move to embrace this new methodology — in which patient, payer and physician needs determine a product’s value — reps must consider not only which messages will best reach doctors, but which sales experience will best drive the physician-rep relationship. Traditional tools, including physician segmentation, must evolve to meet the needs of the new pharmaceutical sales landscape.
Within customer-centric approaches, commercial teams must attempt to match company services to specific customer profiles as they work to deliver the ideal customer experience. Pharmas and device companies leading the way for this customer-centric model characterize and interact with prescribers according to their preferred interaction styles. Segmentation must now distinguish physicians across a number of new facets, including responsiveness to different promotion and communication styles, level of desired contact and even personality.
Some teams can even go so far as to align the right representatives with physicians, assuring that a rep’s attributes and sales behaviors can deliver a physician’s ideal experience. Long-term relationships are valued in the new sales model, and efforts to nurture these relationships are priority.
Cutting Edge Information is gearing up to examine the impact of new regulations and challenges — including physician access — on pharmaceutical sales teams’ structures and strategies. Look forward to future participation opportunities as our research moves forward.


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