For most pharmaceutical firms, sales and marketing are assumed to be the same department. However, they are two different areas. In the biopharma sales, there are three career opportunities including sales management, field sales and managed markets. There is also another career path which is known as sales training. The sales training department groups the sales and marketing function.
In the marketing career, there are two areas of functionality including marketing support and marketing management. Marketing management handles the launching of new products and the management of product life cycles. Marketing support comprises various diverse groups (under one umbrella), some are small and others are large.
However, all of them have one goal that is to provide support services for marketing managers. Distinction between the two areas depend largely on the size of the firm. Generally, marketing support groups consist of training and development, market analysis, commercialization, advertising and promotion, e-business, customer call center and strategic planning.
Highly integrated Biotech firms have their own marketing and sales mechanism, and also similar job classifications and responsibilities. Biotech sales representatives are responsible for marketing products to particular and extremely distinct clientele. For instance, biotech sales representatives endorse injectable protein products to specialist doctors like oncologists.
Such medicines are used for diagnosis of a particular condition. However, Big Pharma representatives promote customary pharmaceuticals to physicians including primary care doctors, internists. They market the products considering the mass market.
Most of the firms recruit sales representatives having some experience to promote specialty products. Big Pharma companies and biotech firms produce some specialty products. Especially, biotech firms produce highly specialized products while Big Pharma companies concentrate on products targeting physicians.
There is good opportunity in the biotech sales and marketing career, as most of the biotech-based drugs are in the developmental stage. Also for business development positions, candidates having experience in sales are preferred.