As you could expect, being a vet is a busy occupation in the UK – lots of patients to see, keeping up with the latest developments etc. Manufacturers aim to build a relationship with the vets, help them to keep up and strive to be in constant touch with them. But in a recent large scale survey of UK vets, CM Research discovered that the employed vets, and locums, do not benefit as much as the owner/partners.
In July 2011 a total of 569 UK vets shared their opinions towards veterinary suppliers and their sales reps.
Results indicated that almost all practices received a visit from at least one sales representative over a period of 3 months, with only 5% claiming to not have received any. On average, a veterinary practice receives the visit of around 5 sales representatives.
However, even though most practices receive visits, not all vets speak to sales representatives. Almost one in four haven’t personally spoken to a sales representative in the past 3 months. Most see about one per month, or even less.
Interestingly, those that do speak to Sales Reps tend to be primarily owners/partners. In a way, owners/partners are concentrating all the knowledge and new information that sales reps try to share, making it more difficult for suppliers to communicate new information with all practising vets. While owner/partners make up about a quarter of vets in a vet practice, they tend to almost half of all sales reps visits. Most of these visits were made by the larger supplies, like Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Novarits. Not surprisingly larger practices received more visits than smaller ones and their vets personally saw more sales reps. Rural practices received more visits that urban ones.
While there was a close link between increased sales rep visits and high overall evaluation of the supplier, there where instances where vets did not see the benefit of these visits and thus evaluated the supplier quite low. The bottom line is that there are sales reps that vets want to see and those that they have to see, especially if you are an owner/partner.
The survey itself offers a comprehensive view of how veterinary suppliers and their sales representatives perform, who has the best reps and where are the current performance gaps. 569 UK Vets were asked about specific performance measures across areas like support, administration, delivery, etc. For example, the one area where vets were most unsatisfied was with the availability of “free samples”. For more info on this survey contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.