The Salesforce of the Future


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Our experts agree: the salesforce of the future will be more specialized, more technically advanced, and more clinically savvy; oh, and there will be fewer feet on the street, finally.

If the past year is any indication, the salesforce of the future is going to experience an extreme makeover. For one, it will be much smaller. The cutbacks and layoffs of 2008 continued heavily into 2009, with patent expiries and mergers felling reps by the thousands. Almost daily, the news featured stories of industry sales reps layoffs, massive buyout packages, plant closings, and acquisitions. The salesforces that survive will be lean and specialized.
To succeed in the tough times ahead, salesforces — what’s left of them — will need to reinvent the way they approach physicians from both a messaging and a method point of view. Reps will use more targeted interactions via the Internet rather than face-to-face meetings, our experts say. These drastic changes are not bad news; rather, the results of a highly educated salesforce could lead to better patient outcomes.

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Soundbites from the Field

Karla Anderson is Managing Director, Pharmaceuticals and Life-Sciences Advisory Services Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Dave Chapman is ­Managing Partner at ­CommonHealth, a WPP ­company
Nick Colucci is President and CEO of Publicis ­Healthcare ­Communications Group
Paul Dreyer is Chief Commercial Strategist at Friday Morning
David Merkel is Senior VP, Business Solutions, at J. ­Knipper & Co. Inc.
Nancy Lurker is CEO of PDI Inc
Celeste Mosby. VP, Life Sciences, Wilson Learning Worldwide
Rajesh Nair, MMS, MBA, is President and CEO of Indegene
Dave Ormesher is CEO of closerlook inc.
Beth Price is Executive VP at The Medical Affairs ­Company
Ken Ribotsky is President and CEO of The Core Nation Inc
Rick Rosenthal is ­Principal and Practice Leader, Sales Force Effectiveness, at Health ­Strategies Group,

Experts on this topic
Jeff Baker. President and CEO, Noble ­Marketing Group, a provider of PhRMA-compliant creative marketing solutions for pharmaceutical, biotech, and healthcare providers. For more information, visit ­
Nancy Beesley. Executive VP, Client ­Services, HC&B Healthcare ­Communications, an independent, full-service healthcare advertising agency. For more information, visit
Patrick Brundage. Practice Leader, Enterprise Analytics Practice, Cognizant, a provider of information technology, ­consulting, analytics, and business process outsourcing services. For more information, visit
Dave Chapman. Managing Partner, CommonHealth, a WPP company, is a ­network of highly specialized healthcare marketing companies, all aligned to build brands that dominate. For more ­information, visit
Nick Colucci. President and CEO, ­Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, a fully integrated division of ­Publicis Groupe SA. For more information, visit
Evan Demestihas, M.D., R.Ph. CEO, The Medical Affairs Company, a full-service ­contract medical organization that ­provides the pharmaceutical, ­biotechnology, and medical-device ­industries with strategically sound, ­expertly staffed, and flawlessly ­executed medical affairs solutions. For more information, visit
Manish Gupta, B.Tech., MBA. Director, ­Indegene, a provider of transformational ­services, including scientific content, creative services, and business intelligence solutions to enhance commercialization and marketing success of life-science companies worldwide. For more information, visit
Rick Keefer. President and CEO, Publicis Strategic Solutions Group, a division of Publicis ­Healthcare Communications Group, which aligns four Publicis message delivery ­companies under one cohesive leadership team. For more information, visit ­
Nicholas Landekic. President and CEO of PolyMedix Inc., an emerging biotechnology company focused on the development of novel drugs and biomaterials for the treatment of infectious diseases and acute cardiovascular ­disorders. For more information, visit
Michael J. Laferrera. Senior VP, Sales and Marketing, J. Knipper & Co. Inc., a provider of healthcare marketing solutions for direct ­marketing, sampling, compliance, information technology, and salesforce productivity. For more information, visit
Kim Levy. Senior VP, MicroMass ­Communications, a behavioral science-based marketing organization that provides ­communication strategies and solutions for the healthcare industry. For more information, visit
Nancy Lurker. CEO, PDI Inc., which provides ­strategic ­flexibility; sales, marketing, and ­commercialization expertise; and a philosophy of ­performance. For more information, visit
Celeste Mosby. VP, Life Sciences, Wilson Learning Worldwide, which provides human performance improvement ­solutions for Global 2000, Fortune 500, and emerging organizations worldwide. For more information, visit
Mike Myers. President, Palio, a full-spectrum advertising and marketing firm serving ­primarily the pharmaceutical industry. For more information, visit
Terry Nugent. VP Marketing, Medical Marketing Service Inc., which provides lists that maximize results and minimize costs in the dynamic medical ­marketing industry. For more information, visit
Dave Ormesher. CEO, Closerlook Inc., a strategic marketing agency specializing in healthcare with an emphasis on ­strategy, ­creativity, and innovation. For more ­information, visit
Ahnal Purohit, Ph.D. President and CEO, Purohit ­Navigation, an independent, full-service brand solutions company that navigates the full potential of small- to midsized specialty brands. For more information, visit ­
Raj Singh. VP and General Manager, Formedic, a provider of customized, professional medical forms to more than 200,000 physicians in more than 23 ­specialties. For more information, visit