Why Did Pharmaceutical Selling Techniques Change?
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the way many companies do business, including how the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries communicate with healthcare practitioners (HCPs). This is why the field forces have implemented pharmaceutical selling techniques to fulfill their mission of helping HCPs find out about new treatments so they can treat their patients effectively.
According to McKinsey data, the landscape has changed for pharmaceutical sales representatives in various ways, for example:
- In September 2020, the number of HCPs and pharma sales representatives that made in-person contact was 70% lower than before the pandemic.
- Moreover, HCPs have become more adept at interacting with patients and pharmaceutical reps using digital channels and telemedicine.
- Almost half of HCPs who are open to remote sales rep engagement also conduct their patient consultations remotely.
Remote selling is just one example of a dynamic that continues to change but has already given several signs about what the new normal looks like.
We believe in the permanence of video conferencing between clinicians and sales reps. It is a real challenge to create a lasting connection that embodies empathy and closeness without developing the proper abilities.
If you are a forward-thinking sales manager, you can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to go beyond manual and time-consuming soft skill assessment capabilities and in-person training. Instead, develop these now essential skills with data and digital solutions. The best conversation intelligence platform helps you truly measure even the subtle signs in interactions, automatically and at scale.
Implementing the following pharmaceutical selling techniques in your field force just got easier with this approach.
HCPs Still Want to Connect with Sales Reps in the New Normal
A recent study from Accenture revealed that HCPs want to continue meeting with pharmaceutical sales representatives:
- 43% of HCPs are currently restricting access to their offices for professional reasons, and 44% of them say they will keep the restrictions in the future.
- Despite the pandemic, physicians still expressed a desire to learn more about new treatments from pharma sales reps. According to the survey, 88% of physicians are eager to learn more about new treatments.
- 4 out of 10 HCPs said starting a patient on a new treatment is now more likely because they can track patient response, have more access to information on new treatments, and have more time to educate themselves.
- 61% percent said they talked more to pharma sales reps more during this pandemic.
Again, the evidence shows the need for innovative pharmaceutical selling techniques to adapt your field forces to this rapidly changing environment but also to those practices that will stay for the foreseeable future.
Pharmaceutical Selling Techniques for Post-Pandemic Times
In short, modern pharmaceutical selling techniques enable effective remote contact between your field force and HCPs. Here are three upgrades you can implement right now:
Enhance video equipment
At this point, each sales rep should make it a default practice to use digital technologies to connect with HCPs remotely. As one of the main pharmaceutical selling techniques, first and foremost, we recommend you improve their technical devices so that these interactions have better quality: From upgraded tablets to ring lights and microphones.
Your field force must have everything they need for crisp audio and video transmission, facilitating conversation and enabling connection. At the end of the day, the mission remains to provide practitioners with treatments that can improve the lives of their patients. Improving tech tools could be an excellent first technique to apply.
Start tracking conversational skills
The conversational skills of each sales rep can make a difference, especially when interacting with an HCP who is eager to learn more about options to help their patients. Optimize your team’s performance using AI-powered, personalized feedback and creative content as part of your pharmaceutical selling techniques.
The leading platform can help you accurately measure and report the following skills, among others:
Trustworthy sales reps are genuinely interested in aligning with the practitioners’ concerns and priorities. The HCP is only likely to connect with a person they trust. By having consistent body language, voice, and messaging, trustworthy reps use transparent content to consider prospects’ needs.
Their perceived authority and reliability determine a person’s credibility. Credible sales reps have a greater chance of connecting with HCPs. The best reps combine their practical experience and knowledge with robust scientific sources. Moreover, they are comfortable discussing treatment specifics and benefits in great detail.
Engagement between sales reps and practitioners encourages emotional reactions and meaningful connections. As a result of their dedication and motivation, these reps compel HCPs to learn more about the treatment options available. When healthcare providers understand how they can help their patients improve their lives, they will be more likely to remember each conversation and act.
HCPs rate authenticity based on whether a sales rep appears genuine to them. The best representatives make their counterparts feel like friends and are consistent when it comes to their actions and beliefs. Despite the highly complex topic of healthcare options, their delivery is natural and straightforward.
In order for HCPs to connect with your sales force members, they need to be able to demonstrate confidence. The more confident the sales rep is, the more relatable they are because they deliver well-researched information about the treatment they are offering.
Practitioners feel comfortable and connected with reps who are likable. Likeability is often related to friendliness, relatability, and approachability. They’re confident and relaxed about their content, which is relevant to the HCP.
Enable on-demand essential skill training
A leading conversation intelligence and coaching platform could help your sales reps determine the essential skills they need to develop from the list above. From there, they can train to create more meaningful connections with their HCPs. Development sessions can take place anytime and anywhere and also provide them with an overview of their progress and achievements.
With automated feedback, coaching, and measurement, this AI-based solution scores your people’s performance along with critical behavioral dimensions, helping to develop your reps into emotionally intelligent speakers.
The Power of AI to Create Better Conversations
Even though this guide has provided some hints, it may be unclear how you can translate these pharmaceutical selling practices into actionable data. You can even ask how to assess your reps independently without spending countless hours on ride alongs or personalized mentoring sessions for each one of them based on their unique strengths and weaknesses.
As discussed above, pharma sales managers can benefit from innovations that have impacted other fields. You can accomplish these goals more efficiently and accurately using AI and data-driven science instead of traditional, more manual methods that are difficult to scale. Is there a platform designed to accomplish all of this? The answer is yes. Look at the following features so you can make the right investment.
Revenue intelligence capabilities
Integrate your platform seamlessly with other software for a thorough pharmaceutical selling techniques follow-up. Examples include video conference tools, scheduling, CRMs, LMSs, and learning experience platforms.
Automatic conversation scoring capabilities
It’s easy to get insights and intelligence from a leading tool without being there in person. It’s critical to save time, so you’re looking for the highest level of automation possible.
Virtual detailing-ready design and performance
You’ll want a solution that can identify and address skill gaps by providing your reps with analytics, feedback, and development plans to boost their communication and connection capabilities.
The process can include customized feedback, individualized learning paths, regular progress monitoring, and motivational milestones, along with tips and best practices for continuing professional development.
Experienced learning capabilities brought by this platform differ from online courses in the ease with which team members can practice and improve their skills. Support your team’s training with a tool that includes assessment tools, role-playing exercises, and video and transcript libraries.
Comprehensive manager insight reports
Reports and additional resources can help your reps improve their performances, enhance their presence, and connect more with HCPs. Ensure the tools you are considering can quantify behaviors and skills, provide scores and rankings, provide feedback on strengths, present improvement advice, and allow you to compare them.
Directly within the coaching and sales process, you will receive objective, comprehensive insights and analysis reports. With a technology partner who can help, you can save significant amounts of time and effort.
Using Quantified’s science-based and data-driven insights, you can monitor the performance of each field force member. As a result, you can empower sales representatives and the sales team as a whole to boost HCP engagement, improve trust, and ultimately ensure a positive patient experience through world-class in-person and virtual detailing.
Quantified lets you build better sales interactions by connecting the right patients with the right treatments through their HCPs and leveraging behavioral science, big data, and AI. Better conversations. Better outcomes. Request a demo today.