What Can You Learn from Pharma Sales?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

What Can You Learn from Pharma Sales?

Pharmaceutical sales (drug sales) are similar to telecom. Drug reps sell to the hospitals, fighting to get their drug in the formulary. The formulary is theup-to-date list of approved pharmaceuticals that doctors can prescribe. (If it isn't in the formulary, it can't get billed or fulfilled.)

In any line of business - antibiotics, cardiac, anti-viral - it is rare that there is just one drug. So the drug companies fight to get on a formulary and stay there. The formulary is like making the provider list at a master agency or a VAD (like Tech Data). It is a win to be listed. Champagne is poured, but then the real work begins.

Reps then have to educate the doctors on their drug, its uses and effects. It is the doctors writing the orders, much like it is the agents and VARs presenting the quotes.

It is a lot of work to get your drug to the top of mind of a prescribing doctor. Lunch and Learns, leave behinds, studies and more are required for the doctor to trust the medicine. Then the doctor will get samples in order to test and measure.

It is no different for a carrier and the channel manager. The big difference is that for any drug there are clear indications for use.

"In medical terminology, an "indication" for a drug refers to the use of that drug for treating a particular disease. For example, diabetes is an indication for insulin. Another way of stating this relationship is that insulin is indicated for the treatment of diabetes." [medicinenet]

We don't have that in telecom. The indication of use is often vague, broad and unclear. It is probably why 2016 was the year where vendors had to start putting out case studies, which more often that not didn't make it any clearer.

The first thing in sales is to find the Pain. Then give the prognosis and provide a band-aid. Telecom doesn't really explain what pain they solve, what indicators should signal what service.

I was recently on a cloud webinar where the presenter listed every cloud service the company offered. Quickly but without ever clearly stating who would buy it and why.

DRAAS? Awesome another acronym!!! I'd rather be selling cyber-security/hacking insurance. I could sell more.

In 2017, try to talk about the pain and the indicators instead of the acronym, the fancy technology, the opportunity, the possible riches for selling some nebulous cloud service. We still have to go to the customer, explain this stuff, identify the pain, explain the solution. WE have to do that. So it would help if you would be a drug rep and provide the education, the sample, the studies. Thanks.

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