Conducting the Sales Symphony: How the “Orchestrator Rep” Addresses a Restricted-Access, Multichannel World

Following years of eroding access, pharmaceutical companies’ sales reps face an extremely difficult sales environment. According to the 2014 edition of ZS’s AccessMonitor™ report, access is in some way restricted for almost half of U.S. physicians, compared with 23% in the first six months of 2009.

Several factors are responsible for reduced access, including digital technologies; 92% of U.S. physicians access health information digitally from their offices, with 21% making online searches during patient consultations, often displacing the traditional need for pharma reps.

But pharma reps’ best days are not necessarily in the past. Digital promotional budgets comprise less than 10% of marketing expenditures for most pharmaceutical companies, and the sales force remains their most expensive—and perhaps its most important—promotional resource. However, it’s clear sales reps must evolve to remain relevant. As a result, sales forces that orchestrate both personal and multichannel engagements will be far more successful in influencing brand choices than companies embracing the status quo.

The person at the center of these engagements? The “orchestrator rep.” 


About the Experts

Based in Princeton, N.J., Jaideep Bajaj is Chairman of ZS. For more than two decades, Jaideep has addressed sales and marketing issues for clients in the pharmaceutical and health care industries His areas of expertise include sales and marketing strategy and effectiveness; customer segmentation; promotion response and ROI assessment; sales force size and structure territory alignment; call planning; incentive compensation; and product performance enhancement decision support tools and dashboards. Jaideep’s extensive experience encompasses dozens of companies worldwide.

Saby Mitra is an Associate Principal at ZS in Evanston, Ill. Saby is a leader in ZS’s Customer Centric Marketing Practice. He has more than 14 years of experience in advising and helping clients shape their commercial organizations through CRM and adjacent commercial technology solutions in United States and Europe. Saby’s expertise includes designing and implementing global transformation programs in several customer-centric initiatives, including sales force automation, multichannel customer engagement, and closed-loop marketing solutions in the life sciences industry.