Dear Pharma Colleagues! I and my long time friend Javed Akhtar have started writing a book about Pharmaceutical Sales Profession. It reads like a story and will take up all aspects of Pharma Sales. I and Javed started as Medical Rep in 1975 and went through various stages. Javed got assigned to training and left as Head of Training at GSK. I stayed in the line management and reached the top in various companies. This is not exactly our story but it is the story of all of us; the Pharma Salespeople. Reproduced below is ‘PART IV’. Kindly read and give your reviews and comments here or at 

Making of a Pharma Salesperson – Part IV

Field Work

Nadeem took Jamil to three more doctors in the morning. Two were very busy. They had to wait, and the doctors asked them to keep their visit quick and short. Nadeem did all the talking and asked Jamil to observe.

When they finished fourth call, it was early afternoon. Nadeem took Jamil to a quick roadside lunch and then both went to office.

“Now I shall discuss with you about the working” Nadeem started. “As you saw, our work has two parts. We go to pharmacies to get information and also orders, if they need something. And we go to doctor to promote our products. We present our products and request the doctor to prescribe our medicines to his patients. This is how we create demand for our products. When the prescriptions go to pharmacies, they see the demand and buy our products from our distributor. This is our sale. This is how we achieve sales targets. Some doctors have a pharmacy inside the clinic from where the patient can buy medicines. In such cases, we get order directly from the doctor. You will know which doctor will prescribe and who will buy.”

“What is my target?” Jamil asked

“This is your target for one month. Every month, you will have the same target for the next three months. Then it will be reviewed.” Nadeem gave Jamil a sheet of paper on which names of products were written and certain number of units were written against each product.

“Let us first plan the working in your territory. We have a format for making weekly work plan. You will plan in a way that you will complete your entire territory in one week. Next week you start again and repeat it every week. Our thinking is that we must visit our selected doctors every week. It is very competitive now. There are many companies, many products, and many medical reps. If we do not follow, we lose customers and lose business.” Nadeem explained.

Jamil took the format and looked at it.

“Ok. On the left side, you have days from Monday to Saturday. The right-side column is blank. You will write the name of the area or road which you will visit on that day. For example, today is Tuesday. We visited Tariq road today in the morning. In the afternoon we shall go to Hali road. Please write this in front of Tuesday. I shall guide you about the plan for the first week. Then you can keep planning yourself. You can always ask me if you have a problem.” Nadeem was helpful and encouraging. “You will not come to office every day. Every Saturday, we have a weekly team meeting at 2.00PM. You must come to attend it.”

“Here is the doctor list which was prepared by the medical rep who worked in this area before. It is somewhat incomplete, but it will give you a good idea about the doctors in your territory. You will add more doctors when you visit your area. Before you add a doctor, you must get information about him from the nearby pharmacies.” Nadeem handed him few sheets of paper. Jamil had a look at these. The list was made as a table showing the doctor name and the road on which his/her clinic was located. Other columns were blank. Jamil felt he has at least something to start from.

“You must know and understand our reporting system. This here, is the form for Daily Call Report or DCR. It has many columns. You will make DCR daily after you finish work in the evening. But you will keep it with you. When you come for team meeting on Saturday, you will give me DCRs for the full week. Remember, do not try to make full week DCR in one day. Some medical reps do it, but it is wrong. It adds to burden and makes the quality of report poor.” Nadeem advised.

“Do I have to make any other report also?” Jamil asked. “Not for now” Nadeem said briefly. “You must keep your Doctors’ list updated and make Daily Call Reports on time. We shall discuss more later”.


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