How to Boost Pharma Sales AI Training with AI Insights

Pharmaceutical sales opportunities are notoriously high stakes. With current trends suggesting that healthcare practitioners (HCPs) will continue to cut back on the amount of time devoted to one-on-one meetings with sales reps, every nuance of each interaction carries significant weight. In response, forward-thinking corporate decision-makers nationwide are turning to cutting-edge pharma sales AI training to optimize the impact of every human interaction.

Sales managers and team leaders supported by the most recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are using the objective assessments and actionable data provided by the next generation of sales training platforms to gain valuable insight into the exact practices and behaviors fueling representative success rates.

Once you know how they’re using the technology to empower their sales reps, it’s easy to see why companies are reporting sales performance increases of more than 20%.

Why Decision-Makers Use Pharma Sales AI Training to Elevate Team Performance

Pharma sales reps need an in-depth understanding of the mechanism of action for each drug they sell, including the chemical receptors they target and the biochemical pathways involved. They also need to know which conditions each medication treats and accurately convey their therapeutic benefits, safety profiles, possible side effects, and the most recent data available related to patient outcomes. That’s a lot of information.

Although sales managers strive to ensure every member of their team has access to introductory videos, pamphlets, product samples, and data from recent studies, most still rely on the same methods of measuring field force effectiveness the industry has relied on for decades. 

Periodic observation, coaching sessions, client feedback, and role-play exercises often fail to explain why some pharma reps consistently meet and exceed management expectations while other equally knowledgeable reps do not.

AI-supported training platforms offering life-like detailing simulations, on the other hand, are designed to assess human interactions objectively. 

For product and messaging certification and new hire onboarding programs – common use cases for AI for pharma sales – reps are scored against a custom rubric designed to measure knowledge accurately and consistently. Unlike human-administered role-play certification exams, AI can avoid bringing subjectivity into the scoring. 

AI can do more, as well, by understanding how effectively reps get their point across. Conversations are scored according to more than 1,000 nuances of verbal and nonverbal interaction. This provides information sales managers and team leaders can use to streamline their coaching processes and empower every member of their field force to perform at the same level of proficiency.

How Artificial Intelligence Amplifies the Benefits of Pharma Rep Role-Play

The role of the pharma sales rep is clearly evolving. Most find it increasingly difficult to arrange one-on-one meetings with prescribing physicians. Instead, they’re relying on technology to influence HCP prescribing decisions in virtual spaces

Today’s healthcare professionals, however, are unlikely to form lasting relationships with reps who repeat the same information they can find on a manufacturer’s website with minimal effort. Most HCPs expect their reps to arrive prepared to share comparative data, provide real-world insights, answer complex questions, and address their concerns.   

Related: The Buyers Guide to Supercharging Pharma Field Force Sales Performance

With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the managers of today’s most successful pharma field forces incorporate role-play exercises into training strategies to assess rep recall, regulatory compliance, overall focus, and areas for improvement. Despite their best intentions, most sales leaders find they’re being pulled in too many directions to work with individual team members as consistently as they should—not that their reps are complaining. It’s a workplace necessity most would rather avoid.

Empowering your field force with virtual practice partners and pharma sales AI training, on the other hand, transforms that narrative by providing multiple advantages proving far too impactful for decision-makers to ignore.

Sales Reps Practice Their Skills More Often

Pharmaceutical sales managers often rely on role-play exercises to fine-tune product pitches, reinforce compliance standards, and assess team readiness before new products launch. Many will also attest that even their most confident top performers balk at the thought of having their work scrutinized in hypothetical scenarios for subjective evaluation. Standing in front of their peers and improvising, even with familiar material, can be stressful.

Pharma sales AI training eliminates the need to have reps team up in groups or even in pairs. Instead, their work is evaluated objectively—in private. Their first interaction with a virtual role-play partner assesses their current level of proficiency and provides clear, actionable behavioral guidance to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their very next meeting. 

Current data confirms that pharma reps with access to top-tier AI-generated sales platforms practice refining their performance six times more often than those required to role-play with coworkers or management.

Assessments of Performance Indicators Human Observers Often Miss

Many sales representatives argue that role-play exercises are too far removed from prescriber priorities to translate to real-world encounters. In other words, they don’t provide much-needed insight into overcoming specific challenges as they happen. 

AI-driven software overcomes that obstacle by providing realistic-looking avatars programmed to respond as your organization’s ideal clients—”people” with a range of priorities and specific needs grounded in behavioral and social sciences. Predictive responses ensure representative readiness for critical conversations.

Although it’s the moment-to-moment interactions most likely to determine an HCP’s interest in prescribing specific medications, sales managers on ride-alongs evaluate a limited number of skills. Virtual “sparring partners,” on the other hand, are designed to observe and evaluate every nuance of visual and verbal performance—behaviors and habits human observers often miss—that can positively (or negatively) impact credibility, likeability, and other traits driving favorable outcomes.    

Enforcing Precise Skills Driving Sales Rep Success

The continuous capture of individual rep selling behaviors forms the very foundation of providing personalized, context-relevant coaching within a dynamic learning environment. The data-driven sales benchmarking of key revenue-driving sales rep behaviors creates a data-driven coaching culture that’s not just insightful. Gamification optimizes rep engagement on a coaching platform capable of integrating seamlessly with third-party applications.

Dramatically Reducing Sales Rep Onboarding Times

Providing a structured, comprehensive onboarding process is essential for building a strong foundation of sales success. Even the most experienced pharma reps need time to learn product specs, sales processes, and corporate culture. Like sales reps in other industries, it takes months before new hires are ready to interact with HCPs and much longer for recruits to achieve full competency. Although online training models and virtual workshops are helpful, they simply can’t replicate the benefits of one-on-one interaction.

Related: How to Measure Sales Coaching Effectiveness in Pharma

Sales managers and team leaders supported by AI-powered role-play exercises and automated coaching have a consistent, sustainable way to provide guided learning journeys—an advantage shown to shorten onboarding time by as much as 42%. Sales managers also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their reps are expertly coached and ready to sell once their training is complete.

Insights Helping Managers Improve Their Training Strategies

The data-driven insights generated by pharma sales AI training platforms provide managers and team leaders with a comprehensive overview of individual skill sets they can use to refine their training strategies and one-on-one coaching sessions. That’s an important distinction. Platforms that provide an in-depth analysis of the key behaviors driving industry success also identify which reps set the benchmarks—meaning team managers can improve their training strategies based on data-driven analysis.

When AI-driven platforms also offer leadership development, management training, and “coach the coach” capabilities, your sales managers and team leaders have access to the same advantages of AI-enhanced role-play exercises and automated coaching as your field force. In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, that alone can be a game-changer.

Although sales manager positions are often filled by reps demonstrating impressive skills in the field, many organizations don’t place a lot of emphasis on the ongoing training their management teams need to refine their leadership capabilities and coaching methods as the industry continues to evolve.

Discover How AI Training Insights Can Boost Sales for Your Organization

Most pharmaceutical sales reps have extensive knowledge of biology, chemistry, statistical analysis, and other healthcare-adjacent fields. They’re the professionals you rely on to generate leads, nurture long-term relationships with HCPs, and influence the prescribing decisions driving the current and future success of your business.

Their sales managers and coaches don’t have time to create role-playing scenarios capable of supporting the needs of every rep on their team. They often end up guessing about their reps’ performance strengths and weaknesses based on previous evaluations or assumptions. Pharma sales AI training platforms leverage objective assessments of sales rep/prescriber interactions and provide data-driven insights and actionable guidance for optimizing the impact of each conversation.

If your sales managers and their teams could benefit from the advantages of advanced technology developed to give your field force more control over their successes, visit Quantified. Our cloud-based AI-powered coaching platform is a proven program that leading pharmaceutical organizations have been deploying across their field and medical teams to improve customer engagement, message delivery, audience perception, and field force effectiveness. 

Request a demo today to start boosting your pharma sales through AI insights and coaching.