3 reasons why harnessing data analysis and AI can empower pharma sales reps

Published on 04 January 2024 Read 25 min

Sales representatives (sales reps) are a pivotal piece of the puzzle for pharmaceutical companies; they are responsible for maintaining a solid relationship with healthcare professionals (HCPs), expertly communicating the benefits and features of the products they represent with the aim of providing them with the best products for their patients. As data-driven solutions spread and now permeate every sector, even the role of sales reps is evolving and can profit from employing them. In this article, Alcimed presents some key aspects where leveraging data-driven and AI solutions could enhance the work of pharma sales representatives, streamlining their operations and opening up a way to become strategic partners with customers.

Reason n°1: optimizing the agenda and operations allows a quicker and more efficient organization

Data analysis and artificial intelligence can empower sales reps with valuable information, allowing them to sort through and decipher their customers’ feedback and preferences to understand needs and behaviors.

Firstly, this lets sales representatives analyze certain patterns in specific customers, making it easier to understand how and when to make contact. By coupling this with geographical data, healthcare provider demographics, and an analysis of market dynamics, sales reps can identify regions or specific healthcare facilities with high growth potential or unmet needs.

Secondly, by keeping track of sales volume, market share and customer feedback, pharma sales representatives can easily understand product adoption and sales. By comparing these data with market data of competitors, it is also easier to perform a competitive analysis and to promptly address possible critical issues. To streamline these tasks, pharma sales reps can exploit AI solutions to effectively sort through the increasing number of data involved, an effort that could otherwise require long times and could eventually prove to be overwhelming for a single person.

While sales representatives will always have their intuition and experience to guide them in their daily decisions, suggestions given by AI might also prove insightful to refine strategies of engagement or to quickly advise directions during periods of high workload.

Reason n°2: personalizing the communication leads to a better understanding and respect of each customer’s preferences

With the rising adoption of digital tools, skillfully exploiting and managing virtual communications is a powerful way to keep up relationships with HCPs. With many digital channels at their disposal, Sales representatives first started implementing a multichannel approach – using all digital channels possible to reach customers; while practical, this method can often end up redundantly providing the same message over several different channels.

By gathering customers’ preferences, and by using information acquired in previous meetings with each customer, it is possible to tailor channels, timings, and methods of approach to each specific customer. Once again, AI solutions can further help by analyzing the data and presenting possibilities to pharma sales reps.

Thanks to these implementations, nowadays a more refined strategy is being endorsed and progressively developed: the omnichannel approach. By skillfully employing all channels synergistically and exploiting the most relevant ones to provide each specific piece of information, the omnichannel approach creates a more seamless and constructive experience for customers, which in turn leads to more profitable outcomes for pharma sales representatives.

Find out more about how our team can support you in your projects related to the customer journey >

Reason n°3: measuring the impact empowers pharma sales reps with new ways to track and improve their own performance

Virtual meetings and the use of digital means are changing the dynamics of sales reps jobs. Firstly, sales representatives can use advanced data analysis tools and artificial intelligence to track their performances towards predefined goals and metrics, making it easier to keep track of KPIs and personal achievements. At the same time, the switch to digital will require fresh methods to evaluate their performance and to grasp the relevant milestones to establish and pursue.

Implementing AI solutions can help in two ways. On the one hand, they can be of support by dynamically suggesting sales reps how to prioritize or organize certain activities to reach their objectives; on the other hand, using AI tools could open up new ways of tracking and improving pharma sales reps productivity, helping both them and the pharmaceutical companies to tackle the digital innovation we are seeing in all fields

Altogether, the various points discussed emphasize the value that data analysis and AI solutions bring to sales representatives. By effectively leveraging these tools, sales reps can bolster their ability to tailor personalized approaches that cater to individual needs and preferences. Data analysis and AI solutions play a pivotal role in optimizing performance measurement, empowering sales reps to track their progress, identifying areas for improvement, and making data-driven decisions that can lead to enhanced sales outcomes. Finally, AI can play a pivotal role in integrating all of these analyses together, proposing unified solutions that take into account all of the data points discussed. While the ability to establish and nourish human connections will remain a central part of sales reps’ job, learning how to effectively exploit these tools will be a worthwhile addition to their skill book.

You are interested in exploring challenges ahead for sales representatives and finding effective solutions to be ready to tackle them? Alcimed is here to support you. Don’t hesitate to contact our team!

About the authors, 

Lorenzo, Consultant in Alcimed’s Life Sciences team in Italy
Hélène, Senior Project Manager in Alcimed’s Life Sciences team in Italy

You have a project?

    Tell us about your uncharted territory

    You have a project and want to discuss it with our explorers, write us!

    One of our explorers will contact you shortly.

    To go further