Sales Reps Armed with Tablets

More than a third of pharmaceutical or biotech sales representatives have been using a tablet during face-to-face meetings with physicians, according to a report by Manhattan Research. Unfortunately, the study also reveals that the reps are not leveraging the devices to their full potential.

Of the 38% of physicians who see sales reps with iPads or other tablets, only one-third found the experience to be better than if the reps used a laptop or even print materials. Manhattan Research suggest that sales reps aren’t using the available interactive features and capabilities of tablets as best as they can be when having a customized, efficient conversation with physicians.

“iPads are all the rage for pharma at the moment, which makes sense given the potential of these devices to support intelligent, nimble sales conversations,” said Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan Research, in a statement. “Unfortunately, some of the detailing programs that are being rushed out the door are sub-par
really no better than something you’d see on tablet PCs six years ago. Doctors won’t waste their time with these.”

According to the study, enthusiasm for sales reps using tablets varies by specialty. General surgeons, infectious disease or HIV physicians, anesthesiologists and OB/GYNs are most likely to want a sales rep to use a tablet. Dermatologists and rheumatologists are less inclined to believe tablets are needed during rep meetings.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck and Abbott reps are usually the most likely to have an iPad at product discussions during office visits, according to the study.