In fact, new applications of SFE are popping up. In some cases, pharma companies are required by the government to run studies to demonstrate, based on physician reports, that their PSRs are limiting presentations to approved indications. Other SFE research examines how decimated field forces can accomplish more with less.
Several interesting considerations result from these trends. First, marketing researchers must now develop working relationships with those in sales operations and with PSRs themselves, as well as have a working knowledge of the sales process in the industry and at their own companies. Relatedly, the marketing researcher must help ensure that all major stakeholders are of one mind in terms of what the sales force is supposed to accomplish.
In brief, research related to SFE will be challenging, exciting and important new work. Let's get to it.
Richard Vanderveer is group CEO, GfK US Healthcare Companies