Tips for Professional Sales Coaching for Your Pharma Field Force

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Discover the Power of Video Skills in Professional Sales Coaching

The pandemic has changed virtually everything, including professional sales coaching. Before covid-19, development program topics focused on measurable variables, manual observation, and analysis procedures. Today, it is imperative to pay closer attention to subtle yet powerful skills related to video conversations with healthcare professionals (HCPs).

McKinsey researchers analyzed the behavior of sales reps in different business-to-business (B2B) industries and found some interesting insights regarding remote interactions:

  • Compared with low-performers, top sales representatives spent 22% more time on external interactions, and those interactions didn’t have to take place face-to-face. 
  • According to a recent analysis, 70 to 80% of customers prefer to interact remotely since Covid-19.
  • 90% of small deals were completed without any face-to-face meetings.
  • In the wake of Covid-19, video has become an increasingly effective way of communicating with customers. Since the pandemic began, sales reps’ digital interactions have increased by 41%. 
  • A notable finding from another recent study suggests that 76% of sales leaders believe remote sales interactions effectively make sales prospects as in-person interactions.

Based on all of this data, a professional sales coaching program should focus on improving skills for making video calls where closeness and meaningful connections flow between the sales representative and the HCP. 

Video conversations are helpful in the pharmaceutical industry context as far as they provide practitioners with valuable information about new treatments for their patients. The high level of technical details emitted during these calls must also bring along a spirit of mutual trust and understanding. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an effective way to measure these skills, as you will see later on in this guide.

The Case for Successful Video Communication

It takes more than just traditional sales skills to succeed in virtual detailing. The rep of the future needs training in personal presentation, building virtual relationships, and developing a credible online presence.

As a workplace collaboration tool, video communication is relatively new overall. Still, with the rapid expansion of remote work, it has quickly established itself as a primary means of getting messages across internally and externally and at all levels in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. 

Your field force may project a particular image of themselves as HCP advisors and professional allies based on how they appear in the video. Regardless of how experienced they are with face-to-face communication, video calls will be different ways to convey their message and intention.

When your reps communicate in person, they usually only have to focus on their content and delivery. The in-person settings, whether a restaurant, a conference room, or an HCP office, are generally ready for the meeting to take place. But when there’s a physical distance, a couple of devices, and an internet connection in the middle, your reps suddenly turn into lighting experts, audio engineers, and technical staff.

Video calls require them to create an environment conducive to success, from upgrading their equipment to choosing the right background and outfit. Simply looking straight at the camera instead of at the HCP counterpart’s eyes on the screen can make all the difference in how meaningful the connection becomes. Every missed opportunity to successfully meet with a practitioner can result in less shared information about treatments that can make someone’s life better.

But, how are you able to measure their skills, detect their strengths, and personalize the coaching program? Typically, this requires multiple hours of observation, analysis, and one-on-one sessions. Today, thanks to AI, these processes not only take place automatically but they’re also supported by science and data with the best platform on the market.

For this reason, every professional sales coaching program should start by shifting to a video mindset. Having more fruitful interactions and longer-lasting connections will benefit both sales reps and HCPs, and partnering with a leading tech provider can be an excellent first step towards it.

Video-Focused Tips for Professional Sales Coaching 

As you have already seen through this guide, successful video communication is about more than the background your reps choose or the color of their clothing. Just like in-person communication, a message’s language and delivery determine how strong it will be.

In many ways, the shift toward video conferencing has presented new challenges for field forces to engage, educate, and inspire HCPs by allowing them to see how the ideal treatments can help their patients.

Experts in the field identified specific characteristics to lead to successful virtual communication, how they align with in-person best practices and how they differ. With the help of this data, they were able to provide critical insights for delivering stellar communication via a single conversation intelligence and coaching platform.

Storytelling, authenticity, and presence are essential in in-person communication, whereas engagement, clarity, and presence are critical in a virtual setting. To improve your field force’s professional sales coaching skills, take the following tips:


Sales representatives who engage practitioners encourage their emotional involvement and strong relationships. Motivated and passionate, these reps attract HCPs’ attention and invite them to learn more about each treatment. On the other hand, the more engaged the HCP at the time of the interaction, the more likely it is they will remember the conversation.

Watching a sales rep over a video conferencing platform in their office or living room can be a somewhat isolated experience. Furthermore, since HCPs are sitting at their computers with a full schedule and pressing patient matters, distractions are much greater than they would be in a face-to-face setting.

Coaching can help your reps keep practitioners engaged remotely by tailoring every message to the specific clinicians they talk to. If they’re writing a key message guide, they should do extensive research to see who the healthcare professional is, why the treatment is important to their practice, and how they can include their needs and concerns.


Distractions such as those described above, in conjunction with the rapidly rising issue of screen fatigue, mean that, no matter how engaging a conversation or meeting is, HCPs’ attention spans are shorter than ever. 

Ensure your reps do not keep their counterparts online any longer than needed. Coaching for clarity can begin with asking themselves, “Does this really need to be a video call?”

If they can communicate part of the information they need to share via email or phone call, they should attempt to do so first. If not, they can practice covering more information more quickly with the HCP on screen, ensuring they are constantly conveying deep, scientifically supported knowledge.


Even if you’re in a management position, you’ve probably experienced this: It can feel physically awkward when you talk to your computer screen and not to your counterpart in person.

Similarly, if your reps also experience this discomfort, you should teach them it is evident through the camera. You can individually coach your reps to practice looking directly into the lens while speaking, so it appears they are looking directly at the HCP’s eyes. You can also coach them to avoid reading scripts that can make them look stilted and inauthentic. 

The ability to demonstrate confidence is something else that helps improve video call presence. A confident rep is more accessible to relate to because they are knowledgeable and deliver well-researched material. Their style is open and relaxed and is conducive to building relationships.

If you want your field force to have even more presence, you can also coach them on credibility. This reinforces the perception of a person as an authority figure and a reliable source of information. The likelihood of HCPs engaging with pharma sales representatives is significantly increased when they are credible. The best reps combine their own practical knowledge and experience with information from outside sources. Furthermore, they are comfortable describing the treatment and its benefits in great detail.

Tracking and coaching on these tips might seem impossible with your current tools and bandwidth. However, a sophisticated AI platform for professional sales coaching can help you accomplish this automatically and at scale.

Quantified taps into the skills that make video communicators extraordinary. With primary and secondary research, we discovered trends about the present and future of video communication, the influences on how we are perceived over video, and the communication gaps that impact pharma sales reps as they shift from in-person to virtual interaction.

Through Quantified’s AI technology, sales reps are able to establish better human connections and get into video-first professional sales coaching processes. The QC Score is our exclusive way of measuring communication effectiveness. You can assess skills against peers, industry benchmarks, and aspirational standards. With Quantified, sales results are enhanced by evaluating customer interactions and key behavioral dimensions and providing automated feedback, coaching, and performance measurement. Request a demo now.