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Remote communication – new edition: find out how to

How did the lockdown affect the pharma universe? Of course, a much bigger focus on digital. But how did the pandemic situation affect and change the scope of communication? Look at this clear-case scenario: traveling is restricted, in-person engagement is limited, and office meetings are something gone (at least for a couple of years to come), namely all the measures to mitigate the risk of the virus expansion. Throughout the world CEOs of leading companies decided to allow their employees to continue working from home and come back to the office only if they feel ready.

The coronavirus outbreak in the USA led to the resettlement of the American employees to their home offices, while remote work leveled up to 62% in April.

The work-from-home trend is gaining popularity in every part of the world. Such a move is altering industries without exceptions, even working spaces of many healthcare professionals “moved” to any home-space due to no access to numerous hospitals. Hence the majority of all “customer-facing” medical representatives are converting to communicate with doctors remotely.

These days virtual tools for communication are gaining momentum and firmly anchored in companies’ engagement strategies all around the globe. Availability and spread of advanced technological solutions ease communications and allow both to collaborate productively with customers and inside teams. Remote detailing became crucial for life sciences and pharmaceuticals in terms of adapting to these new times and seizing a lot more opportunities in HCP engagement.

New rules of engagement

A brief overview of digitalization: In the beginning, digital was kind of a nice-to-have idea added to pharma marketing promotion. Then it became indispensable but still part of other offline activities (for too long medical reps’ visits were the only channel to approach a doctor). But next came the COVID19 situation, and digital turned into not only a needed means but into the real solution.

For example, in China, as the fastest-growing digital country, 61% of HCPs are willing to engage in remote meetings.

Besides maintaining the medicine manufacturing there are 2 giant challenges, namely, how to sustain steady relationships between pharma and HCPs, and an urgent need to provide medical representatives with sufficient materials and trainings that help conduct remote meetings accurately. These and some more challenges require pharma to gain flexibility, implement an agile content management system, and select an advanced technological supplier.

When physical presence and an office space are no longer needed, what are the key benefits for the pharmaceutical industry?

  • Cost savings
  • Enhanced coverage (as no special equipment is needed)
  • Increased HCPs’ loyalty
  • Higher call frequency
  • Constant personalization (thanks to the flexible technology)
  • Steady support for physicians

Also, in the light of recent events, these were appeared to be of immense significance:

  • Integration with any CRM system: no need to change it
  • Video connection is always available
  • Expanded opportunities to connect to a few HCPs simultaneously

Due to the latest research, only 26% of US remote workers admitted that if it were up to them, they would return to their offices once businesses reopen.

…and what about HCPs?

Physicians, of course, are dedicating lots of their time to patient care. Switching to remote communications with pharma representatives, doctors save working hours to connect with patients or whatever professional activity they stick to. Therefore, the format of video call would suit them far better, and this is not only because of restrictions, but mainly due to convenience. 

Let’s highlight a few wins of remote detailing for healthcare professionals:

  • Place and time control of a remote meeting
  • Access to the latest medical resources and materials
  • Professional support in any situation and at any time

Choose the right solution to meet new pharma’s needs

There is a huge number of top-notch solutions presented on the market, how to choose the one for yourself? A good example is Veeva CRM Engage Meeting that has to be one of the most advanced solutions for many years. It is a 100% compliant solution for life sciences that can easily become a part of an HCP’s natural workflow. It’s easy to meet HCPs’ needs with Veeva Engage, always be successful and compliant.

However, not each pharma company can afford such an advanced solution. The reasons can be different. As an example, this would be a much better fit for large pharmaceutical companies as Veeva’s solution is still more tailored for their requirements. In some cases mid-level and emerging enterprises should opt for a solution that is designed especially to fit their needs.

In this regard, a good option is a flexible content authoring solution that allows both creating eDetailing for remote calls and running online meetings that can be effortlessly plugged into any CRM system. What is more, at the end of every visit such system allows to collect and store medical rep’s personal KPIs, such as the number of calls, duration of remote calls, and rate of interest to each presentation. Such solution involves not only the remote call channel but also other channels to empower your communication with – email, webinars, websites, or landing pages.

See the great practice to enhance HCP-to-MedRep communication via web-based audio and video, screen sharing and remote control capabilities

  1. Pre-call

A medical representative is provided with a laptop or tablet for the project and takes part in trainings to learn to work with the platform.

  1. Invitation

An invitation email is sent to HCP (during a face-to-face call, for example)

  1. Confirmation

After the remote meeting is confirmed, an email with a link to join a call is sent to the physician automatically.

  1. Reminder

A quick notification should be sent 1 hour prior to the remote session along with a link to join a meeting.

  1. Remote call execution

Sharing of a presentation between a medical representative and HCP during a remote call is done via a browser. What is more, it does not require the physician to install additional plugins or applications.

  1. Follow-up

HCP survey and a follow-up email with all the materials are sent immediately after the remote session.

  1. Post-call analysis

Why is call quality assessment of high importance? Recording and analyzing your reps’ calls after remote sessions can generate numerous insights regarding the overall performance and strategy view – and used for future communication enhancement and improving conversation skills. Call recordings could be also used as a training or educational resource for others, so it turns out to be an important step in much more solid HCP engagement.

Such a post-call activity is good practice – it allows managers to identify the team’s pain points in communication, let us say, some technical issues during remote eDetailing, technical skills gapping, difficulties with explaining some product info, etc. The same goes for listening to the best practices – it enables a medical representative to evaluate their own performance while comparing to the best ones, and in return find out how to improve personal communication skills.

After launching remote detailing just in a couple of months Viseven team  gathered numerous insights and improved the following:

  • Integration with AWS Chime to expand Remote Calls functionality, completely change and improve UX&UI, and deliver excellent performance
  • All in one independent solution that provides excellent communication service, supports KPIs collection and pulling the data back to CRM
  • ONE-to-MANY communication, so that MedRep can choose whether to have an individual call with HCP or organize a mini-conference for a group

In such a new time of change and uncertainty, Veeva and other CRM providers offer excellent remote detailing solutions that really have the potential to transform and reinforce the pharma-physician relationships. However, the key is to choose the one that will correspond with your business needs. Launch virtual communications in a safe and easy way to overcome any challenges the world of Life Sciences might be facing right at this moment. Feel free to write to our team of professionals who will eagerly demonstrate a demo to show the eWizard platform in action.

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