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Perspectives on Pharma Field Team Mapping

Posted by Matt Breese on May 30, 2017

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Typically, the expected script revenue for a launching pharmaceutical brand has a significant influence on the company's sales strategy. However, many pharma companies have found success by using market access to better understand exactly where pharma reps can provide the most value. A field force mapping strategy focuses on two main factors: access and awareness.

In the early stages of market introduction, many prescribers will not be aware of a new product. In this case, pharma teams will conduct research to understand the awareness levels in particular geographies. Then, the company will place reps based on areas with low awareness or use non-personal promotion strategies to educate healthcare professionals (HCPs) about their brand. Market access is essential for pharma teams to understand where to position reps for the optimal impact. 

Outline Where Access is Advantaged or Disadvantaged

When preparing a sales strategy, many manufacturers use analog data of drug launches from similar situations in other disease areas or historical data for their particular class. This information allows the team to create a geographic map, down to the CBSA level, outlining where access is advantaged or disadvantaged.

Here’s one strategy, developed by MMIT, for determining where reps are needed to overcome unfavorable access:

Create a framework to understand where bodies are needed to overcome access.png

Prepare Field Teams for HCP Conversations and Objections

Once this framework is in place, field sales teams can meet with HCPs.  Reps are often used to reinforce advantaged access or handle objections from prescribers. This communication is especially important when a brand is at parity with competitors or in a disadvantaged position. For example, a prescriber may ask a rep, "If your drug has similar restrictions to the brand I’ve been prescribing to my patients for the past decade, why should I switch to your brand?" Pharma rep must come prepared for common objections and have the skills to address them.

Here’s one strategy, developed by MMIT, for preparing pharma talent:

Create a checklist for talent required across each geographic access situation.png

To learn more about pharma sales strategies, download MMIT’s Playbook: Field Sales Territory Mapping.

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Topics: Industry Trends, Market Access