The motivated sales force is at the heart of every pharma marketing strategy. However, it’s hard to get ahead with those performance numbers if your team is an owner of a toolkit full of outdated marketing tools. This is the issue that one of our pharma clients has voiced. And the one that we happened to have had extensive expertise solving.
In many cases, it’s the upgrade in technology serving as the ultimate enabler for improving sales force’s skills and bring their performance to a whole new level. And we’re here to prove this point; let’s take a closer look at this case study.
3 types of pervasive issues:
Underperformance has been posing the main challenge in this particular team: field force was skillful and numerous, but still somehow lagged behind with HCP database expansion. However, the absence of sustainable database growth was just the tip of the iceberg, as it figured. Upon conducting a survey, we’ve identified three underlying types of issues that the team was calling out as their most pervasive challenges:
TIME: Not enough time… for anyone really
The nitty-gritty reality of reps crusade using traditional marketing methods has turned out to be more like a steeplechase. Just imagine: a rep who has 8 face-to-face meetings per day can spend half of their day just commuting and waiting. And even when pharma reps do manage to get to the HCP, the doctor has around 5 mins for them. Tight HCP’s schedule (on average, a doctor sees 21 patients per day) suggests a tight schedule, in which chatting with pharma’s salesperson is hardly included. This robs the salesforce team of the opportunity to deliver a quality presentation and for HCPs to grasp and retain any info that’s on eDetailing slides, which brings us to the next problem:
CONTENT: No good content for HCPs
Even if the rep manages to squeeze in for more than 5 mins of face-to-face eDetailing session, oftentimes that meeting doesn’t add any value to the conversation as the rep often ends up showing stale info – 51% of the time pharma reps follow the script of the slides that the doctors have seen previously. This factor extremely decreases chances of arranging a quality meeting with a pharma representative. No wonder that HCPs don’t take away much from that face-to-face meeting: they know it by heart!
TECH: nothing special; plain old tech stealing time
Sometimes, when the rep gets to the destination point, it may often turn out that even not working there anymore. Old CRM had no correspondence with real-life info about doctors (available or even working on-site). The circle of the discrepancy between methods and expectations has closed.
As a result – lots of time was simply lost for this team, actively leading to stale performance numbers. Growth had no place in such a marketing strategy and there was a clearly marked demand for a more flexible solution.
At the same time, numerous studies show – HCPs do need that information flow from pharma. And they do find time to look for it. The only thing is – all this happens digitally and on weekends, and doctors are in charge of the search and learning, not pharma representatives. A couple of stats to support our claim:
- Digital is in favour: 79% of physicians prefer to receive information in digital format. They do hate the pharma website.
- Reps are valuable: 56% of physicians consider that communication with medical reps has a valuable educational role, as well as is a source of trustful information about drugs
- Digital+reps is an untapped opportunity. 75% HCPs used or are interested in using online promotional programs such as webinars, self-guided virtual details as well as eMeetings with reps. In 48% of cases a doctor is more likely to access an online resource after a rep has told them about it
Seems like there’s an uncovered demand here, waiting to be discovered and capitalised on.
To this intricate, but all-too-common situation we had a tested and proved solution: Viseven Remote Detailer, which still places eDetailing at the center of the communication strategy. However, the trick here is to spice it up with a roughly equal proportion of the Remote calls platform as an addition to the regular face-to-face meetings. Epitomizing the goals:
- expand the opportunities to make a quality presentation (timing+content)
- increase the current database of physicians or create a brand new one.
- decrease budget expenses (in our previous cases, they did by around 50%)
Work with available physicians’ CRM database. Select the proper segment using advanced filter and categorization and tailor a balanced mix of face-to-face and remote calls. For instance, for every f2f meeting, the rep offers to organize the next meeting remotely or do it via a phone call. All data is fixed in CRM/Remote Platform. With remote calls, organizing this time depends on how the company decides to optimize the process, but in general, HCPs prefer a 50/50 ratio of remote to face-to-face.
- Prepare Content Templates for Campaign
Email channel (invitation, product info, follow-up)
eDetailing channel for remote calls
Self-detailing channel (supplying additional info for independent learning after a remote call session)
- Prepare the scenario for reps to be able to skillfully conduct the call
- Train the Reps (1-3 roles in “Doctor-rep” format training within one team)
Content preparation (and the special place of the emails)
Viseven Remote Detailer allows to demonstrate interactive presentations and capture feedback from one-to-one or group meetings with physicians. But it’s not enough just to have a great remote communication tool, we’ve got to develop a strategy of its implementation that would be in line with this field forces capacities.
A special place in this strategy is reserved for the email as a remote communication channel. It serves as a sort of middleman to the remote call itself. Suggest for a preoccupied and hard-to-reach physician a new channel of communication, which enables them to get valuable information about new drug developments whenever they need it, through a preferred channel (remote call, self-detailing). Consider inserting key message and the topic which you will be discussing during the future call. It can also be used as a squeeze-in option, when the rep doesn’t have much time to expand on the subject during the face-to-face meeting.
Email is also a great retention tool – like a glue, it helps to consolidate all the info from the previous calls, and connect it to the new information. This is trust building happening in real time.
Possibilities to choose the Approved Email Template:
- Follow up email with interactive questionnaire;
- Send a link to the interactive presentation for self-detailing;
- Track KPIs from follow-up activities.
Ultimately, our goal is creating a workflow using the content and channels that HCPs prefer. Viseven Remote Detailer, powered by eWizard platform, is the only currently existing solution that allows both to conduct remote meetings and manage content supporting them.
Tool implementation step-by-step
- Schedule remote activities for Reps (invitation by phone or by email, call, webinar
- Choose approved content from Presentation Library
- Demonstrate the interactive presentation from any rep’s devise upon convenience
- HCP can connect from any device
- Easy switch between slides and presentations;
- Access to slide-by-slide call script;
- Allowing HCPs interact with the presentation and input individual data.
- Capture the feedback (KPIs) from every physician/device during group meetings – every participant can interact with content
Measured engagement and efficiency of remote interactions. Reps gain access to actionable insights at the point of decision-making from account record.
- Actual call duration;
- Popular devices and platforms used by HCPs to connect;
- Call recording;
- Interest rate: duration, reaction to every slide.
- Customer insights: number of patients, prescriptions, therapy of choice, patient profile, etc.
- Interactions history across channels.
- Growth of the base of the HCPs. Most HCPs were so satisfied with the format, they immediately agreed to the second session. And most in this case means not 60, it was 91%
- Time-wise – more freedom and flexibility both for the salesforce and, most importantly, for the doctor. The direct result of this was the drastic increase in the duration of the call – from barely 5 mins to up to 25 (!) minutes
- Content-wise – suitable content retains the audience for longer and allows to expand. The format of the content presentation helps as well – everything is happening on the HCP’s screen.
- Budget-wise – every call is so much cheaper to make happen, than paying a visit to the doctor with no guaranteed interaction or even chance for a conversation. Their budgetary performance just reached a whole new level – balancing out face-to-face and remote calls really paid off.
To sum it up, the tangible results were as follows:
- Improved customer engagement: deliver the relevant information according to physicians interest and in a way they prefer to collaborate
- Increased productivity and reach: coverage, frequency, quality and duration of meetings to 20 min
- Streamlined content strategy: use and reuse only approved content, to make sure that all the messages sound according to Brand concept.
In no way do we suggest that remote calls can replace the actual face-to-face meeting. Shouldn’t rely on the digital tools too much – is used wrongly, emails and pharma websites may come off as way too ad-pushy and impersonal.
However, this case study clearly demonstrates how remote communication channels supplement eDetailing campaigns mind-blowingly, as well as bring palpable easy-to-count results. Incorporating remote calls into HCP engagement strategy brings staggering results that no amount of even the most successful mix of traditional media could bring.
So – good news: #remotecalls #eMeetings #virtualdetailing– no matter whether you’ve already added this tool to your pharma marketing strategy or only thinking about it, it’s a choice of a strategic nature. And this can be realized in the course of only 1 (one!) month! Contact our team of experts on implementing remote communication tools and join our ranks of reinforced field force!