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What trends can we expect to rise in the Medical Sales industry throughout the 2020s

Posted on: 07 Sep

The modern medical sales industry is diverse and complex, with rapid developments in technology and techniques making it an increasingly exciting sector in which to work. Patient centricity is continuing to become an important focus for medical sales, and for medical sales representatives to succeed, they need to put the patient at the heart of everything they do. On top of this, technological advancements mean those in the field need to stay on top of their digital skills in order to be at the forefront of a rapidly developing market. We explore these key trends in the medical sales industry below.

The patient is key

Patient centricity is no new concept, however, its impact on the medical world has been particularly accelerated in recent years. 85% of clinical trials struggle to recruit the right number of patients and with retaining issues further into the study these prevent companies from reaching their milestones. One key reason for a high drop-out rate is failing to put the patient’s needs and views at the core of the study and the result is a damage to profitability. Drugs which are developed using patient-centric clinical trials are 19% points more likely to make it to market than those which aren’t co-designed with the patient.

With access to healthcare professionals becoming harder to attain for sales representatives, the pressure is on to ensure all interactions are meaningful and have the patient in mind. Medical and pharmaceutical companies must factor in patients at every step of their programmes and processes, which requires not only more in-depth knowledge about their products but also the behaviours and motivators of their patients. So when medical sales representatives do secure those vital conversations with healthcare professionals, they need to be prepared to demonstrate their clear insight into the patient journey.

Decentralised clinical trials

Decentralised trials (DCTs) have been heralded as the ultimate solution to patient centricity because they consider the unique needs of each patient, removing recruitment barriers for some and above all, boost patient experience. DCTs remove the need for patients to attend in-person meetings, replacing these with virtual check-ins via video and since 70% of potential patients would have to travel over two hours to reach a study centre, it’s clear that video calls have the potential to greatly increase patient retention. Just at DCTs save time for patients, they also free up a considerable amount for clinical trials personnel and save pharmaceutical companies money in the process. As we move through the 2020s and continue to embrace the possibilities of technology, this flexible clinical trial design will steadily catch up with the traditional model and vie for the top spot.

Technology talks

The impact of technology on the health industry and medical sales cannot be overstated and to say that technology is transforming the sales process only hits the tip of the iceberg. Innovation and technological advancement have allowed information to flow more rapidly through various channels, giving medical sales reps the opportunity to learn more than ever about products, processes and customers.

Expect to see more of interactive 3D technologies that interactively demonstrate products. Sales representatives of the future will increasingly be using advanced software to demonstrate products and simulate the customer journey. This allows the customer to become more actively involved in the demonstration, effectively putting themselves in the shoes of the end user. Programmes may show how healthcare professionals would use a product in a variety of different settings, how products interact with each other and how they can be applied for different patients. Virtual reality technology will also make waves, with programmes being developed to assist patients with pain relief and distraction. Sales representatives are wise to keep abreast of these advancements in order to maintain a competitive edge and remember that access to these cutting-edge technologies are one of the five reasons to love working in medical sales.

Regulation continues to restrict

Policy makers and enforcers will continue to mandate much of the medical sales industry, with governments and other rule makers influencing what is available and can be prescribed to the general market. According to a PwC Pharma 2020 report, as regulators become more risk-averse, there will be more caution around approving the use of the market’s more innovative medicines, which could prove challenging for medical sales personnel, particularly inexperienced medical sales representatives. Expect to see those within the medical sales industry increase their collaboration approaches with healthcare payers and providers in order to improve patient compliance.

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