The pharmaceutical and healthcare sector has been forced to change the way it connects, educates and engages with HCPs through new digital channels because of Covid-19. The days when a pharma rep can walk into any doctors' office at a specific time and expect to see the doctor if they were patient enough, could soon be a distant memory. A study conducted by the NIH (National Library of Medicine) reveals that 88% of doctors use their mobile phone frequently to stay updated on new trends, drugs or treatments. So what can sales reps do to stay connected with HCPs?
ROAD TO THE HYBRID SALES MODEL
In order to achieve the same degree of pre-pandemic efficiency, pharmaceutical companies must coordinate both face-to-face interactions and remote calls. Those that are able to adapt to the needs of physicians and improve their digital reach will be able to elevate and transform their relationships to another level. In-house training is the key to sales success and sales reps' ability to adapt to this new model.
There are currently 3 types of doctors and healthcare professionals:
a) Those who prefer only "face-to-face" interactions.
b) Those who think that only remote sales reps will exist.
c) Those who expect a hybrid interaction between sales rep and HCP.
At Compettia we have worked with 9 of the world's TOP 10 pharmaceutical companies and have developed many different plans for increased communication and the creation of new channels for interaction between sales reps and HCPs. For this reason, we have collected the main considerations for this transition to a new hybrid sales model. Let's get started!
#1 - Product launch and reinforcement of the knowledge
Before 2020, pharmaceutical companies delivered information on diseases, products and current news mainly through sales reps. With a high frequency of visits, it was natural to deliver this wealth of information and studies to doctors. Companies must now redesign product launches towards a hybrid promotion of products they have already launched and those yet to come.
The product launch is one of the most important moments for brands in the pharmaceutical industry, so it's essential to be successful from the start. In the past, launches were done through visits, meetings and face-to-face training. Now it is impossible to do face-to-face, and at the same time HCPs are not prepared for it to be completely remote. How can you make a successful product launch while using a hybrid model? Train sales reps before, during and after the product launch to maximise in-market results, avoid lack of awareness, lack of impact on HCPs and lost sales and market opportunities.
One of the key considerations is the internal training of everyone involved throughout the patient journey. How? At your next cycle meeting, kick off or sales training, introduce the a tool like Atrivity, the gamified app for training the pharmaceutical industry. You can store all the content about a pathology in one place and create fun automatic challenges or competitive challenges between sales reps. It's a method that will allow you to deliver all the necessary information, increase knowledge by more than 25% and individually reinforce gaps in knowledge.
#2 - Hybrid events
Most events pre-pandemic were "face-to-face", which benefited communication and strengthened the bond of relationships. At the same time, it was costly for companies in terms of staff travel, audience accommodation and lost days. In 2021, events could be face-to-face, remote or hybrid. The big questions surrounding this are how can I deliver the same experience at remote and hybrid events? Is it possible to ensure that key messages are understood by all participants, regardless of how they attend? How can I strengthen relationships during a remote or hybrid event?
In addition to this, since the onset of the pandemic delegates have not been able to properly visit many of their HCPs, so messages, product and pathology information need to be referenced. So what is the solution? Effective in-house training is the key to achieving sales targets. Deploy continuous training that engages HCPs through a digital omni-channel strategy that is non-intrusive and less demanding. More than 75% of physicians say they were happy to interact with pharmaceutical companies during the pandemic, as the vast majority were virtual.
HCPs are not ready to embrace this new concept 100%, which is why sales reps are the ones who need to be the driving force in the industry and motivate doctors to participate. For this to be successful, it is imperative that sales reps fully master it through effective internal training. This type of gamified content is easy to consume anytime, anywhere without the need to stop operations. The game dynamics engage doctors to complete challenges in a fun way and measure the results afterwards to reinforce weaknesses.
#3 - New scientific data. How to deliver it?
The delivery of scientific information to doctors is one of the main and most valuable functions of sales representatives. In times before the pandemic, all material offered to the doctor was through face-to-face visits, as they frequently scheduled visits and it was fine for doctors. Now, the frequency at which a sales rep visits a doctor is minimal and when a clinical study is published, it is essential to deliver the updated information in a short period of time.
With the vast majority of visits being remote or hybrid, how can delegates have the opportunity to explain clinical cases in detail or deliver information quickly and efficiently to HCPs? With Atrivity's gamification solution it is possible to deploy all relevant content and information in a tailored way to the specific products, doctors or divisions that need it. All content is stored in each user's personal content library allowing them to review it wherever, whenever and as many times as they want! One of the main advantages is the ease of creating and delivering content with 20 to 60 times more impacts.
This way you can allow sales reps to explain in detail the clinical information about any product or pathology and ensure that HCPs have understood it correctly. In addition, by presenting the information through Atrivity's game dynamics you will reinforce the doctors' commitment to internalise all the data without the need for them to stop operations.
Atrivity team’s conclusions
The hybrid sales model is here to stay and internal training is essential for reps and doctors to adapt to it. Engaging HCPs in a non-intrusive way, coordinating messages across channels and providing easy access to information are key considerations. For pharma companies, keeping both sales reps and HCPs engaged by viewing their content through Atrivity will allow them to increase their level of knowledge and retain it better later. Now is the time for healthcare companies to be closer than ever to HCPs in order to improve patients' quality of life at such a crucial time.