The role of Pharma sales representatives during Covid

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Pharma sales representatives are undoubtedly the most important aspect of a marketing strategy. Due to COVID-19, it has limited their access to Healthcare professionals and meetings with doctors have shifted to digital meetings. This sudden shift to digitalization is likely to stress a lot of representatives and their productivity, because they have to do digital detailing, managing leads and close deals, the way they have never done before. They need to adapt to the digital world and do the same job but with a different approach. This article might be of particular use for helping Pharma Sales Representative through this process.

The industry is moving towards inbound marketing, social selling strategies and flattened sales organizations. To keep up, Sales Representative need to find a way to digitalize their frameworks supported by the customer data. Tools like Owler and Nudge can help sales people stay up-to-date with company and industry news, as well as personal mentions and social activity.

How Digitalization Might Change Pharma Sales Representatives Interactions

Few things are expected to change with the digital interactions of sales teams. Firstly, mobile devices including product details and specifications, company background, and peer reviews are making them knowledgeable, self-sufficient and digitally-savvy than ever before, alleviating the need for a salesperson. However, newer products are preferred by customers to be pitched through a human interaction – according to a 2016 McKinsey report and others – suggesting the considerable need for effective sales representatives.

Moreover, the representative must be focused, now more than ever, on Building networks and relationships with customers over digital interactions. These networks will be very essential in pitching new product launches. They need to be very agile in their efforts to provide the relevant and highly personalized pitches valued by the customers. This builds a customer-centric network that boosts engagement and enhances the need for the sales representatives.

 A certain level of control is lost with digital interaction. Hence, it requires the Pharma sales representatives to be advocates to customers into their buying decisions and focus on listening and assisting customers in their problems through the company’s products. These qualities are generally needed in them, but are especially needed during this crisis.

Digitalization Tools for Sales Representatives

Digitalization – if done in the right way – can be very liberating and productive, especially in these disruptive times where the physical interactions are not possible. It can assist to track and prospect a lead, pitch relevant and personalized content and generate engagement with healthcare professionals, while digitally working from home. So, here is the list of some tools that you may find helpful in your work.


As some representative are new to this adaptation, there are some companies like Oracle that are effective in creating a User Interface (UI) for a sales representative to guide through the digital process of their work. The system allows them to be efficient and proactive in their approaches to pitch at the right time and relevant material to customers with reminders. It uses AI technology that can assist the sales representatives in managing the CRM Customer Relation Management Oracle Digital Sales solution, an application using redwood user experience and is bound to assist the Pharma sales representatives using technology for their work.

Veeva CRM Engage Meeting

This is a video and content sharing platform catering the life sciences sector in these treacherous times. The software provides a common industry platform for healthcare professionals to increase their accessibility to different solutions and digitally interact with representatives. The system improves customer engagement as the customers are more willing to interact digitally. It also broadens the reach of reps as it spans over 30 countries.

CRM and Sales Navigators systems

LinkedIn Sales navigator can be very effective for identifying leads and managing sales teams work to target the demographics of interest. Sales Navigator allows certain filters to help representatives screen out to boost their digital sales and is being used across the world effectively. Secondly, for finding the email and phone number for the prospects is the best option. It can get you in touch with the people in charge to set up meetings by contacting over the email or phone call. To manage the leads sales reps must also check out the productivity offered by the free HubSpot’s CRM that increases the flexibility of the sales representatives to overlook all the essential processes from pitching the product to closing the deal over the app.

Other essential tools

Reaching out to customers is – especially now – important. LemList can provide you with a cold emailing service. Additionally, it also allows to track the emails by creating the list, outreach and email sequences automated by the software. The Dragon Voice recorder is another app that helps transfer oral discussion in a text to ensure that you have jotted all the important requirements of the client. Plutio also comes in handy when managing projects or certain tasks. Their mobile and desktop apps create a seamless experience that enables representatives to create and track tasks. Another excellent outbound sales contact tool is Onspot Social experimental platform. This uses massive texting to customers by sending them the pitch through relevant digital content through a text message. The above-mentioned tools can prove productive and broaden the reach of your company’s sales team. These tools should be considered if remote, flexible, work from home strategy is to be implemented across the field. 

Times like these call for the rapid changes in pharma that are long overdue, one of them being the digitalization and adaptation of sales representative in these new, remote working conditions. Digital interaction can assist them in using the personalized approach through digital promotion, E-detailing meetings and helping provide support to existing patients and learning new skills. Although it is hard because of its urgency, the industry marketers have the opportunity to be productive using the technology for marketing as well as for patient awareness programs, supplying to homebound patients and providing access to HCPs. This will create a massive turn away from the traditional working frameworks of the industry – temporarily or permanently. However, digital change is the only survival for now.

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