The Importance of Analytical Data Insights in Pharmaceutical Sales

Updated on February 7, 2023
Hand using laptop with database reports and online work concept

Data is everywhere — from the political opinions we read in newspapers to the entertainment we watch on TV and even Sunday football. Nowadays, denying the importance of data is impossible because information dominates nearly every aspect of our lives and shapes our world in ways we don’t even realize.

Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars annually to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize new drugs. These companies are always looking for ways to increase efficiencies, lower costs and improve production, sales and distribution effectiveness.

Data has long been a crucial component of pharmaceutical research and development, but most companies still rely on old-school methods for commercialization insights. When organizations capture vast amounts of information from patient surveys, clinical data and other sources like wholesalers, pharmacies, prescribers, payers, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and syndicated data and store them in massive databases, they cannot make analytical connections between them quickly. As a result, all that data sits waiting to be transformed into useful information.

With so many variables involved in data analytics, sorting through copious amounts of information to draw adequate conclusions can take a lot of time and be overwhelming, especially for those without formal training.

Every organization collects data. Data is not the issue — what is needed is meaningful insights that unlock effective business decision-making.

“Let Me Get Back To You” Kills Sales

No matter how good pharmaceutical sales representatives are, they still encounter an almost unavoidable obstacle — telling a doctor, “let me get back to you,” when asked about potential products. When doctors are overbooked, they don’t have time to return calls or meetings — and wasted time means missed sales opportunities. Understanding physicians is one of the essential pieces in medical sales. Doctors were already busy individuals, but the pandemic has only added more strain to their schedules, resulting in them focusing less on sourcing new products. 

Pharmaceutical sales representatives are expected to be experts who know every detail of every product they sell. Yet even the best reps often feel unprepared when doctors ask them tough questions about coverage, affordability and product availability. Until recently, it has been difficult to empower reps with the analytics required to extract meaningful and impactful details. They need the ability to pull the information they seek rapidly so they aren’t wasting precious time going through the chain of command to find answers.

In the past, acquiring valuable data demanded a significant amount of effort. You had to rely on reports that could take weeks to compile or even longer if done by hand. Today, however, the digital age gives companies access to tools that can quickly reveal meaningful data insights.

Continuing to invest in and develop these tools and systems will allow companies to easily access their data and quickly deduce what it all means, which is crucial to better addressing issues stopping them from being more successful.

Analytical Insights Create Meaningful Change

State-of-the-art tools that deliver easily accessible, meaningful insights enable companies to better understand their products, target markets and, most importantly, drive scripts, profitability, efficiency and excellence. For example, the Pharmafusion platform, which combines industry data, company data and proprietary information to equip businesses with easily accessible analytical data insights, revealed many doctors were unlikely to prescribe any of the new products offered to them but enjoyed receiving the freebies. When the company followed what the data revealed and shifted the focus of its marketing strategy to doctors more likely to prescribe those products, sales increased.

Due to their time constraints, busy doctors can’t always search out and locate stock of every new product thrown their way. Even if a sales representative can foster a good relationship and land the deal, doctors might not prescribe the said product to patients due to lack of availability.

Live data insights allow companies to track how many prescriptions they write for each product over time, enabling them to forecast demand better and ensure they have enough products on hand. Pharmaceutical reps are also better equipped to know product locations so they can more easily point doctors in the right direction. Being prepared with this information leads to more sales revenue since doctors can prescribe more freely without worrying about running out of stock or purchasing more if they need it quickly.

In the digital age, every company needs to understand how to harness data to win over customers. The pharmaceutical industry needs to catch up to utilize the information already available properly, but meaningful strides are being made to address this problem. 

Pharmaceutical Data Analytics: The Bottom Line

The power of data analytics is one of the driving factors behind the success of companies like Amazon. The ability to make informed decisions based on real-time data can make or break a business.

Sales reps need analytical insights to close deals, but pharmaceutical companies can also use analytics to learn about their target audience and focus resources on developing solutions that will bring these patients the safest and most efficient drug options to help support them. 

Data insights are essential for every company looking to grow and succeed in today’s fast-paced world. You can win over more customers by gleaning actionable insights from your data — propelling your marketing money further by more efficiently reaching new customers without wasting time or money. With new increased revenue, your business can focus on more drug discovery, development and improved patient outcomes.

Jonathan Retano 3 copy
Jonathan Retano

Jonathan Retano is the founder and CEO of Pharmafusion, a cloud-based analytics company providing turnkey pharma analytics to emerging and top-20 global pharma companies and the life science industries. Based on more than 25 years of wide-ranging industry experience, the Pharmafusion360° platform provides quick and comprehensive access to nearly 100 critical data sets. Through the Pharmafusion platform, Retano provides real insights that drive scripts and increase revenue. In just five years, Retano and his team have won more awards than any other organization in the pharma analytics field.