Working as a representative for a pharmaceutical company doesn’t necessarily mean you need a background in pharma or even that you need to sell products. One of our patient service representatives explains her role.
The Field Service Team is a novel commercial model, where we deliver valuable services to customers, including nurses and prescribers, on behalf of our pharma client. In contrast to traditional sales reps and key account managers, our main focus is not on product detailing or scientific conversations.
The objective of our work is to support HCPs, receptionists and nurses with patient information and materials such as brochures on how to live with their condition and nutritional advice. This means that our sales representative colleagues have more time for in-depth conversations with physicians.
Within one of Ashfield’s Field Service Teams, I have two roles: I am responsible for customers in my territory and I support and manage six colleagues. In my experience in the role, there are four key steps to success:
1. Planning and time management
Route planning and strict time management are key success factors for our work. Our target is to have over 20 interactions with doctors and nurses per day. To achieve this, I start early and I prepare by having a good knowledge of opening times, driving distances and parking slots!
2. Service attitude
In our team a service attitude is part of our DNA. We have business in mind but our main passion is delivering valuable services to our client’s customers and their treated patients. We speak with the entire practice staff including the HCPs, nurses and receptionists. We love to interact with them and offer support with useful patient materials, aimed to help patients cope and manage their condition.
Our customers have the same goal as us: to help their patients get the knowledge and support they need. And we always ask HCPs for their feedback on our materials and the service we provide. I think our high number of contacts per day proves that our approach is greatly appreciated and that we are welcome in the practice. Without partnership this would be not possible.
Another aspect of partnership is our tight alignment with the client’s sales team. We have regular joint meetings and weekly catch-ups with their reps, who also appreciate our work because the service we provide facilitates their access to HCPs.
We are always well prepared before entering a practice and we follow the SOPs and guidelines of our client and Ashfield. I coach my team daily, making sure I have at least one call a day with every colleague in my team. This drives performance and team spirit.
I also take part in weekly calls with the client, and my supervisors at Ashfield who help me in my daily business and my personal development. I really can say, “This is the best job I have ever had”.
I’d highly recommend this role to anyone who wants to go to work every day to make a difference. It’s great to interact with the entire practice team and know that you are adding value. We ask physicians, “What can I do for you and how can I support you?” rather than trying to sell them a product. This mindset, together with exclusive patient-focused materials, makes our role unique.
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