The majority of physicians find visits from sales representatives useful and of value to their practice, new research has found.
Figures from Cegedim Strategic Data (CSD) revealed that 93.8% of physicians worldwide see value in appointments with only 6.2% of the opinion that appointments are “not at all useful or of value”.
Bruno Sarfati, CEO, CSD, says the results highlight the importance sales visits still hold, although there are still “gaps to be filled” to fully convince all physicians.
CSD analysed data from 11 key pharmaceutical countries, including both mature and emerging markets, based on more than 5.6 million product detailing mentions.
It found that at the end of last year, traditional detailing spending represented 61% of audited marketing channels worldwide.
Of the respondents who valued sales calls, a third (33.3%) described them as ‘very useful and of value’, with a further 60.5% saying they are ‘somewhat useful and of value’.
Almost all of US physicians (97.9%) found some value in calls from representatives. Physicians in Russia and Brazil were the most impressed with nearly half (47.7% and 46% respectively) finding visits very useful, although only 17.1% of Japanese physicians believed this to be the case.
The study also revealed there to be no distinct difference between established and emerging markets, despite an increase in the number of sales and marketing positions in developing regions.
As part of the study, CSD also investigated which of the top ranked international companies in total promotion spending provided the highest level of satisfaction. Eli Lilly came out of top, followed by Johnson & Johnson with Novartis in third. Pfizer, which spent the most money, came sixth.
Bruno Sarfati said the overall results were positive but new working methods may have to be introduced in the future. “The results of CSD’s study show that physicians still value visits from sales reps,” he said.
“A recent qualitative study showed that physicians are looking for rep interactions which are tailored to their daily practice. In the current industry environment it is inevitable that changes will be made to the way rep calls are conducted as we know it today.”