Poor-Practice Salesmen: “Your Days are Numbered”

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Paul Simms, chairman of eyeforpharma opened the three-day sales and digital excellence event today by calling an end to old-school sales practices.

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To the people who still think like that, and I’m sure there are still a few of you who secretly want to go back to that, I’m afraid it’s very clear that your days are numbered.

In his keynote speech, given to a room of more than 500 pharmaceutical professionals, the eyeforpharma chairman underlined his belief that the industry has grown to adopt a ‘new normal’: “Imagine we could turn back time, go back to the golden age of a few years ago. If we’d wanted to increase sales it was simply a matter of recruiting more sales reps, it was a numbers game, pure and simple.”

“There are probably some people in this room who wish they could go back to those good old days, who believe that they didn’t join the pharmaceutical industry to have to understand market access or to navigate the regulatory environment… To the people who still think like that, and I’m sure there are still a few of you who secretly want to go back to that, I’m afraid it’s very clear that your days are numbered.”

The speech signaled the beginning of the three-day eyeforpharma Barcelona conference, the largest commercial pharmaceutical conference of its kind in the world. Barcelona is the eleventh pharma event hosted by eyeforpharma in Spain’s second largest city. The event, known to be a reliable source for new and innovative business practices, will focus this year on the customer, be it patient, payer or physician, with panels featuring all key stakeholders, case studies and a number of industry-led presentations and workshops.

Sales Force Effectiveness has been a buzz topic within the industry for some years now, and with the emergence of Key Account Managers and greater external pressure for ethical practices, key players within the industry and now calling time on older, more questionable practices for good.

The keynote session, hosted by Ian Talmage, Vice President of Marketing at Bayer, continued the theme of a new normal by focusing on a key question for the future of healthcare – “Do we put patients first?”

A former cancer patient himself, Talmage was able to relate to the end-user in a way many industry professionals are unable to do:

“An important realisation is that whatever we think about ourselves, we’re ultimately whatever our customer says we are, and we need to start to think about that.”

“The question we need to ask is ‘should we be a part of this?’ should we engage or should we just eavesdrop [on social media]? I think now that we really need to engage with this [...] it’s good that if we have customers talking about us, it’s better that we’re there. How we answer remains to be decided.”

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Thushani Kumarasinghe
eyeforpharma
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