Pharmaceutical Sales Certification and E-Learning on the Increase for 2006

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Pharmaceutical sales certification, education and training -- Outlook for 2006.

According to Pharmville, a leading source for pharmaceutical sales industry intelligence, research and news, most of the major pharmaceutical companies are looking to provide more distance and e-learning in 2006. With new guidelines pressuring pharmaceutical companies to demonstrate superior value, and an environment that will tolerate little else, pharma firms are looking toward innovation and technology to create better training methods. In 2006 pharmaceutical companies will increase budgets in pharmaceutical sales training to better utilize virtual classrooms, web-based training, and pharmaceutical sales certification as some of the strategies to improve their training processes.

For effective pharmaceutical sales training core values are still important in-targeting, product knowledge, pharmaceutical industry education as well as selling skills. It is important that if pharmaceutical firms want to get ahead of the game, they should look at candidates and interview applicants who already possess some of these skills.

The most important result of the changing sales structure for pharmaceutical firms is a reduction in the amount of training resources that are available to them. It could mean the reduction in manpower or the amount of time departments have to train people. It is also going to mean rethinking the structure of the training department to support the new field alignments. Pharmaceutical companies are continuing to value e-learning and pharmaceutical sales certifications as effective sales training programs.

Five years ago, the focus of the training department was really on the new hire, but pharmaceutical companies are looking to hire reps who already possess some basic training. Pharmaceutical sales certifications offer such training to applicants seeking a career in pharma sales. According to Israel "Izzy" Gonzalez, Director of Sales Training at AstraZeneca, "The use of distance learning will support our efforts and enable us to reach our representatives on an on-going basis. We want to be on the cutting edge and attract the very best representatives."

New sales training strategies need to take place as the pharmaceutical companies do not have the luxury of being able to do the same things as before the PhRMA guidelines. The emphasis is more on having a quality and educated exchange with the physicians. According to the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers (SPBT). "E-learning is becoming an effective tool for certain part of pharmaceutical sales training. We are seeing pharma companies increase their use of technology and e-training."

Pharmaceutical sales certifications are also becoming more popular as pharma companies look to hire new reps with some industry education and training. According to the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives, "We have seen a large number of requests to speak to our trained CNPR students. One of our training programs is geared to candidates who are looking to break into a pharmaceutical sales career. The training is offered as a web based training program through the association and also at over 200 colleges. By obtaining a CNPR, candidates will possess the industry and product knowledge that pharmaceutical companies are looking for."

Diversity will continue to play a major role in the training of pharmaceutical sales reps. Companies need to ensure that sales reps understand customers from a cultural perspective and can provide patients with access to their products. The use of distance learning will support the pharmaceutical companies efforts and enable them to reach the sales force. Pharmaceutical companies want to adapt their teaching methods so they can draw upon current and up-to-date information when they need it, which will provide value to their customers.

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Chris O'Toole



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