Success strategies of the leading oncology manufacturer reps

Many factors contribute to the success of any oncology therapy, beginning with efficacy. Yet, widespread uptake relies on physician prescribing power—and oncologists’ willingness to wield that power often stems directly from their relationships with manufacturer’s representatives. A strong oncologist-rep relationship drives more scripts being written.

That leads us to ask: What makes a successful rep? To find out, ZoomRx analyzed data from >35,000 oncologist-sales rep interactions. We sought to understand:

  • Who were the best-in-class sales reps
  • What makes a best-in-class sales interaction
  • How manufacturers can move the needle

Interestingly, while there is much overlap in the top 5 manufacturers within each category, the best sales reps do not necessarily make the best sales calls.

Delivering the details

Taken cumulatively, top manufacturers’ sales calls are all perceived similarly, with 70%-74% being rated 6/7 on the metric “extremely high call quality.” Among those, Bristol-Myers-Squibb’s presentation of Opdivo for NSCLC ranks highest, with 80% of their interactions given the top rating; Takeda reps’ physician calls concerning their multiple myeloma treatment offerings also rose above other sales calls.

Top 5 Best-In-Class Sales Interactions by Manufacturer

Forging the relationship

Oncologists overwhelmingly rate Janssen reps to be the best-in-class. Janssen’s sales calls are generally complex, detailing combination therapies or treatments that address multiple indications. But their reps’ true strength lies outside the boundaries of the sales call, in the credible support provided for physician and office staff. This has led their brands like Darzalex to blockbuster status even in fiercely competitive markets.

Top 5 Best-In-Class Sales Reps by Manufacturer

Charting success

Plotting oncologists’ assessments of 13 leading oncology manufacturers, the yawning chasm between leaders and laggards demonstrates the need for both compelling interactions and persuasive sales reps. Only those companies who deliver both rise to the top right quadrant.

Leaders and Laggards: Mapping High Quality Interactions and Best-in-class Reps

How can sales reps improve their value to oncologists?

While there is an understandably strong correlation between oncologists’ perception of sales reps and their perception of an excellent sales call, the levers to improve each are different.

  • Sales content is critical: Representatives must be able to provide a clear & compelling reason to prescribe a specific therapy.
  • Ongoing support is equally essential: Relationships don’t develop in a single interaction; they are built over time. Manufacturers must provide appropriate coaching and tools for their sales teams to ensure they deliver great ongoing support.
Key Attributes of a Great Sales Rep

The Manufacturer’s View: How to build the strongest sales team

Just as strong sales performance relies on the pharma reps’ skill, strong sales team performance relies on the manufacturer’s close engagement. Neither is a “one and done” situation. We have seen that forging a close relationship with oncologists depends on providing ongoing support—which can result in steady sales.

Similarly, companies must constantly measure their sales teams’ performance, comparing it with benchmarks to understand the level of trust and depth of connection between their sales reps and the oncologists they detail regularly. Armed with this insight, manufacturers can both coach their reps and provide fresh content that can help them stay relevant to their best prescribers.

How do oncologists view your sales team? Understand your brand’s promotional impact. Schedule a demo with ZoomRx today.

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