April 2021: Every pharma sales leader knows that pre-launch HCP targeting is crucial to a successful brand introduction. In our experience, identifying and adequately profiling targets may be the most critical task in the pre-launch phase. Why? Because in addition to driving launch potential at the individual HCP level, these key steps can guide decision-makers as they develop the commercial strategy, properly size the sales force and assign the appropriate targets.
Despite the fundamental importance of HCP targeting and profiling, experience shows that missteps abound. The most critical mistake pharma can make is waiting until launch to start the process, especially considering that one of the highest costs of a product launch is the sales team. Failure to develop a right-sized and geographically optimized sales team — and failure to deploy that team to the best targets — can result in a poorly designed sales team wasting their time on unproductive and/or excessive targets. In the end, less frequent contact with the correct targets at launch leads to a lower share of voice, especially in competitive markets where time is of the essence.
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