Biopharma Sales Reps — Does Our “Access” to Physicians Vary From State to State? And Does it Even Matter?

Bonuses, promotions, selection to elite committees, pay increases and even our jobs are dependent on us connecting with our physician customers. When so much depends on us meeting with this group, it’s helpful to recognize and understand the priority of equipping our representatives to connect with their customers. Ever hear, “sorry — we don’t meet with vendors, do lunches or anything like that,” or “you’re not even permitted on these premises”? In some areas these are all-to-common statements receptionists are well-trained to articulate upon our arrival at their desk. Leaders in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and Massachusetts may benefit from committing more resources to training and equipping representatives to connect with their physician customers. For leaders in Texas, Oklahoma and the Southeast, this simply isn’t as high a priority.

Here are two maps redrawn from ZS Associates 2011 (top) and 2015 (bottom) AccessMonitor® Reports. The shading represents representative access to physicians by quintile for each Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA); lighter is better access and darker is more restricted (white = non-MSA geographic areas). The “access” difference between states (and MSA’s) is substantial.

But does this even matter? We all entered this world the same; we crawl, then walk, and eventually learn to run with help from others. Often we’re quite effective at teaching our representatives how to talk with physicians in detail about our products and services. But if they can’t connect with them or get them to agree to a meeting (due to organization/institution policy, personal disinterest or a perception the representative will provide no value) are we expecting them to run before they can even walk?

Access to our customers is a serious business development limitation many face daily. Learn tools you can teach your teams, or yourself, to connect with relevant customers, including physicians, in The Doctor Won’t See You Now, available on Amazon.  Scott

ZS 2011 and 2015 Maps

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