Pharma Sales Skills that Correlate with Positive HCP Sentiment

After monitoring tens of thousands of interactions between pharma sales reps and HCPs, our team at Centerfirst saw a huge opportunity to identify the top two leading indicators of sales success. These leading indicators help pharma companies adjust their sales strategy before results come in, making sales reps’ interactions with HCPs more impactful than ever.

Virtual pharma sales leaders now have an advantage.

With traditional, face-to-face pharma sales operations, identifying leading indicators has proven difficult. However, as pharma sales teams invest more money and resources into virtual (inside) sales, they have one huge advantage: Virtual sales calls can be recorded. By monitoring a sample of these recorded calls, we can now help pharma leaders proactively benchmark sales success.

We call our process the Sales Accelerator, which adapts our independent, benchmarked quality monitoring process to identify key insights about sales reps and HCPs.



How Sales Accelerator works:

  1. Assess and Configure: During step one, our team reviews your current approach to face-to-face and virtual engagements, helping define the objectives of each in order to effectively train and measure goals. We assess opportunities related to quality monitoring, gaps in technology, and other program needs.
  2. Train and Align: Next, we coach pharma sales reps for improvement and ensure they’re ready with the proper soft skills, messaging, and technology.
  3. Measure and Accelerate: Finally, we help pharma leaders accelerate sales performance, keeping two key leading indicators in mind.

Here’s what our analysis of 5,319 sales interactions found.

To uncover key insights, we analyzed 5,319 virtual sales calls and found two sales skills that had the highest correlation to positive HCP sentiment.

Two most effective sales skills:

  1. Engaging in two-way dialogue

  2. Managing the call with active listening

Pharma sales reps who engaged in two-way dialogue and managed the call with active listening had a .71 positive correlation with HCP sentiment. The sentiment was measured at the beginning of the call and again at the end of the call as a means of determining message effectiveness.

In a recent webinar hosted by Reuters, Sirsij Peshin, Vice President, Global Commercial Operations at Pfizer, said that for virtual sales, “We must move from autopsy analysis to biopsy analysis.” In essence, virtual sales teams need to be more proactive and less reactive.

What Peshin went on to explain was that we need to use leading indicators throughout the selling cycle to make course corrections, instead of waiting until the sales results come in to adapt. Only quality monitoring can provide the insights necessary to conduct an effective biopsy of virtual sales calls. Now, even more importantly, we have identified through analysis the two specific sales attributes to monitor for that can lead to sales success.

Learn how Sales Accelerator can kickstart pharma sales.

After implementing our Sales Accelerator solution with one client, their virtual sales partners commented on the process, saying, “Centerfirst’s real-time monitoring and the sales performance dashboard made all the difference because I could see the results of the calls and coach the representative on the performance plan feedback to immediately see change.”


Gathering insights from monitoring for the two sales leading indicators we’ve identified and coaching for continuous improvement gives our clients an advantage in the booming, highly competitive pharma virtual sales space.

To learn more about Centerfirst’s Sales Accelerator solution, download our Sales Accelerator overview, or contact us to talk with a representative.

Back to Blog