There’s a lot of talk at the moment about getting in the ‘real world’. The ambitions of the NHS reforms, which this month survived a Commons vote and are now headed for the Lords, have drawn criticism from inside and outside the health service as not being practical in the real world of patient care.
In turn, the ABPI, along with countless others, has cited the reforms’ ambitions to deliver world-class outcomes as a major driver in the need to augment the current clinical trial model to make provision for the collection of ‘real world’ data. But, say commentators, developing real world data means the industry must ask its customers real world questions, rather than simply work to its own agenda.
For medical sales professionals, this is your selling environment – and the real world you face every day is clearly in a state of flux. But out of confusion can often come clarity. The messages that you take to market need to be shaped in the round. It is no longer acceptable for sales professionals to simply inherit brand messages from their colleagues in marketing – they must help inform value propositions and commercial strategies by sharing the important information they glean from the real world dialogue they have with their customers.
And by challenging the age-old customer perception that the NHS cannot and should not work in partnership with industry. The NHS must be made to realise that it cannot deliver the required improvements in quality and patient outcomes on its own. In this regard, NHS customers too need to get in the real world. And it’s the job of the pharmaceutical sales professional to help get them there.
Chris Ross, Editor
If I were a rich man
PS. The latest results of the Pf Company Perception, Motivation and Satisfaction Survey show that, despite a median basic salary well in excess of the national average and annual total remuneration packages that make the profession among the best-rewarded in the UK, a high volume of medical sales professionals remain dissatisfied with their salary and want more. Of course, we all want more, it’s human nature. But in an era characterised by cuts, job losses and high unemployment, the Lionel Bart’s Oliver approach of requesting more seems relatively misplaced at the present time. Perhaps pharma’s sales people should consider getting in the real world too? It’s just a thought.