The global pause with the emergence of COVID-19 has pushed several frontline facilities to discontinue operations, adversely affecting pharmaceutical companies’ sales and working. As a result, the sales Reps are forced to turn towards a more digitized version of demonstration and sales as days continue to pass without any chances of the virus getting under control.
According to the reports, 42% of physicians require specific Covid-19 related information to better work. This report has also stated that 83% of the physicians cannot get such information from their pharma contacts.
While telephonic conversations and emails have replaced the physical meetings, they haven’t been able to bear many fruits. As a result, the communications have declined to 63% than usual times. Therefore, the top healthcare providers are now turning to virtual meetings and other means of communication, which will also stick with time, even after the pandemic passes.
The Challenge of Digitization
#1. With the advent of COVID-19, all kinds of communications have taken a back-seat with virtual webinars, classes, and meetings. While various virtual health tools have emerged, which helps companies better communicate with physicians and patients, the medical sales from pharma companies are still trying to get their way through to present themselves in the best way.
#2. It will not be wrong to say that digitization has its own set of challenges as in-person meetings possess more advantages. The lack of physical communication can have a weaker impact on sales and weaken the reps’ influence.
#3. According to a survey, it has been highlighted that only 77% of the doctors and physicians are available for virtual meetings. Furthermore, among these, only 60% prefer virtual meetups as compared to personal demonstrations.
#4. Communicating virtually can be difficult for people who don’t find it easy to convey emotions through body language and facial expressions. These features help create a bond that usually leads to a trust-buildup between the rep and the doctor.
Digitalization opportunities for Sales Reps of Pharma Companies
#1. This is a crucial time for pharma companies to bond with the physicians and doctors at these trying times, leading to better relationships in the future. This has provided an opportunity for pharma companies to improve their marketing strategies, resulting in better sales in the post-COVID scenario.
#2. According to research, personal meetups between doctors and sales reps have declined by 50%. To combat the situation, emails and virtual interactions had to be implemented, which resulted in a whopping 263% more engagement and traction during the same period.
#3. The scenario is an excellent opportunity for pharma companies to have a border engagement with physicians and patients through social media. Physicians also prefer these virtual meetups over face-to-face interactions as these meetings are brief and can be conducted as per the availability. Furthermore, the reps can easily reach the target group of consumers to communicate their message effectively.
In such trying times like these, applications such as Preferred Time effectively bridge the gaps between Pharma executives and physicians. Using this app, medical reps can connect with the physicians virtually as per their availability. Furthermore, physicians can either connect, deny, or reschedule a meeting with the calendar representatives. This platform not only allows virtual meetings but also enables the physicians to browse through manufacturer’s websites to stay updated about the latest innovations. A reliable and more comfortable way to communicate with sales reps also allows physicians to terminate unnecessary emails, walk-ins, or phone calls from pharma companies.
Apart from these features, this platform is also beneficial for the reps and pharmaceutical companies as they can increase their consumer base without visiting physicians located sporadically.
Modern technology has digitized the entire world in almost every manner. The current pharmaceutical industry is also rapidly becoming a digital world, and every sector is keen to use the latest digital technology in every possible manner. Pharmaceutical professionals such as doctors, medical sales reps, pharmacists, technicians, and others are now readily available online on different digital platforms.
According to a survey conducted by C Com Digital Marketing Agency, several pharma companies have to shift almost 35% of their operations to the digital platform. Telecommunication and virtual consultation look like the new normal in the medical sector as approx. 45% of patients are taking doctor’s help by telecommunication. And in-office visits to the doctors have dropped by 5% amid the current Covid-19 pandemic. In such a particular scenario, mobile apps have become a much-needed requirement in the pharmaceutical profession, as mobile applications are the easiest way to operate digital technology among all the techniques. These mobile apps help healthcare professionals even starting from the doctor’s prescription to making medical sales deals.
Why pharmaceutical professionals need Mobile Apps:
Online virtual sales meetings:
In the current coronavirus pandemic scenario worldwide, mobile apps for virtual sales meetings are proving handy to the pharmaceutical professional. Through these apps, medical sales reps communicate with doctors virtually, patients are taking their prescriptions online by physicians, and even patients are dealing online with their pharmacists for medicines. Everything is on sale virtually nowadays, starting from medical consultancy to purchasing and selling medical products. Mobile apps are making the virtual sales model look fantastic and easy to handle.
Global marketing and promotion tool:
Significant and substantial marketing and promotion of their products and services are the primary targets for any pharmaceutical professional. There are many mobile apps in the market that assure this goal is achieved. From a successful advertisement to a well-maintained delivery system, everything can be managed through these mobile apps. Using the right mobile app, pharma professionals can successfully achieve their designated targets with ease by promoting their product in the open global market.
A comprehensive management system:
For a pharmaceutical professional, a good mobile app can be proven as the best management system. A mobile app can manage appointments, commitments, revenue generation, product delivery time, and even job relations if adequately used.
A mobile app can also help pharma professionals to socialize online within the respective field and allows them to build and manage a large professional connection network.
Keep track of the new developed in the healthcare sector:
Technology is changing rapidly in the global style, and even the upgrades of a product are launching at a rapid pace. Tracking such new developments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector can be done quickly by using mobile apps. Mobile apps can be proved a compact encyclopedia of what’s new going around the world if carefully used. Many apps in the pharmaceutical industry keep track of every latest invention in society, starting from newly developed medicine to any other latest technological advancement.
Online training and assessment:
A study of C Com DMA shows that most of the pharma companies are committed to investing 5 to 10 percent of their marketing budget only on organizing webinars and online communications. This budget also includes their pharmaceutical representatives’ online training. There are some apps that not only allow the pharma professionals to train according to the current scenario but to assess their interpersonal skills and revenue generation. These apps can help a sincere professional to be the first in the line of success.
List of some essential and valuable mobile apps for different pharma professionals:
Preferred Time: Preferred Time is one of the best mobile apps that not only help doctors and medical sales reps to communicate virtually but also provides them with significant digital interaction with good flexibility, transparency, and convenience.
Medscape: Medscape is a unique mobile app that has been proven a reliable medical resource for almost every pharmaceutical professional like medical students and interns, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. At the point-of-care, it assists with all the clinical answers.
UpToDate: This app helps with different medical questions anytime. UpToDate is such an important mobile application used as an essential educational resource by colleges, authorities, and pharmaceutical professionals. It also includes a medical calculator that is mobile-optimized.
Nutricare Calculator: Nutricare calculator is specially designed for the medical professionals who work mainly in the ICU (Intensive Care Units). This app carefully analyzes a patient’s nutritional and metabolic needs, and to do so, it uses a data-based algorithm based on medical recommendations.
Lexicomp: This special mobile app summarizes drug and medicinal information for many medications. Adequately designed for healthcare professionals, Lexicomp provides detailed information about patient education materials and includes drug information such as its administration, dosing, and effects.
Pepid: Pepid is a mobile application commonly known as a clinical support app and mostly used by emergency room professionals. Using this app, a physician can diagnose relatively faster than usual based on lab reports and the patient’s symptoms.
Drug dictionary Offline: Drug dictionary is a mobile app helping medical professionals’ offline with all the information about medical drugs, including their dosages, side effects, consumption procedure, storage, precautions, etc.
Clinical Trial Companion: Specially designed for clinical professionals, this mobile app helps them to solve the four common issues of daily clinical trial engagements. These four problems manage a patient’s journal, helping in eating and resting during traveling, observing the conditions around, and appointment scheduling.
ITRIAGE: Itriage is a very precise mobile app reviewed by Harvard Medical School. The content present on this app helps the healthcare technicians to access vital medical information from the up-to-date and much precise database.
GMP Regulation References: One of the handy tools for pharmaceutical professionals worldwide that provides a summary of global cGMP altogether. It proves useful during patient safety-related decision making. It’s a good tool for GMP trainers for assuring quality and regularity.
In this 21st century, one can never turn around from technology. The latest digital transformations in the pharmaceutical sector might be among the most significant revolutions by taking the medical help and healthcare services door to door with ease. And, several Mobile Apps will undoubtedly play a major role in this entire process.
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has created an unprecedented strain on society which requires them to deal with the ailment, find a cure for the ailment, fear the disease, and the physical, emotional, and financial duress of social distancing and lockdowns. In this ambiguous time, healthcare professionals, also known as HCPs, are facing extraordinary challenges–treating Covid-19 patients, providing effective treatment, and finding creative ways to tailor-made the treatments according to patient needs and medical conditions.
With the rapid spread of the virus across the world, several pharma companies have been forced to shut down while many others are aggressively finding solutions to scenarios where the pharma sales reps cannot make in-person contact with hospitals, clinics, and HCPs.
A study showed that almost 42% of physicians wanted specific Covid-19 related information from their pharma and healthcare contacts. The same research also showed that 83% of physicians claimed they weren’t getting the latest updates from their pharma contacts. Overall, pharma sales rep visits, including contact over emails and telephone, had declined to 63% than usual.
This decline in numbers has been attributed to the sudden shift of pharmaceutical companies from in-person sales models to digital automation.
The Challenge of Creating Innovative Solutions
Given the changing situations in the pharma and healthcare industry because of Covid-19 and its impact on humans and the healthcare system, medical reps have to find new, innovative ways to engage with their customers. According to a recent study, it was observed that out of 77% of doctors and physicians who preferred in-person contact with pharma reps before Covid-19, over 60% now preferred virtual meetups. This means that the standard procedures of in-person sales models have to be drastically modified to create avenues for digital connections between the pharma reps and their clientele.
The Opportunities for Pharma Reps
Research shows that the percentage of in-person meetups between doctors and medical sales reps in the last few months after the spread of Covid-19 dropped by 50% whereas the email and virtual interactions between the two increased by a whopping 263% during the same time.
Of course, there is an immediate need for pharma companies to change the way they interact with HCPs and consumers during these uncertain circumstances. However, these changes and shifts will also position the pharma companies for a successful future as the current circumstances become the new acceptable way of life.
Pharmaceutical companies need to reconsider their sales and marketing strategies and find innovative ways to promote their products. They also need to create ways to reduce the barrier between them and their HCP clients while leveraging technological solutions to facilitate virtual engagements.
The Future of Medical Sales Reps Post Covid-19
Medical Sales Reps, and pharma companies, will have to understand and adapt to the barriers they are faced with but at the same time, they have to factor in the new drivers and re-evaluate their communication methods. There are three primary challenges that the pharma reps will have to address:
Creating self-service channels – With more and more doctors and HCPs shifting to virtual meetups over in-person sales, medical representatives have to put more focus now than ever on initiating proactive communication via messages, apps, and emails.
Ongoing support for chronic patients – The urgency of the Covid-19 situation has made it difficult for non-COVID patients to connect with their doctors and physicians. Pharma reps need to acknowledge the problem and fill the gap by continuing to provide information and care on these patients to their respective HCPs.
Lack of physical accessibility – With norms such as social distancing and limited physical contact, pharma reps will now have to depend on the functionality and effectiveness of digital methods to schedule appointments and pitch their products to prospective and existing HCP clientele.
While the sudden, unexpected change in the medical and pharma industry has created several significant challenges, brands such as Preferred Time have shown their dedication and competency by offering alternative solutions to promote interactions between pharma sales reps and HCPs. Creating a virtual platform that allows medical reps and HCPs to create appointments according to availability, check rep portfolios before investing time in their products, connecting the both according to respective needs, and so much more has been made possible because of their virtual meet up app. It is initiatives like these that show no matter what the challenge is and how critical Covid-19 may be, they can always be fathomed.
With the world facing an unprecedented medical crisis for the past several months, one specific group of professionals have been bearing the impact of this challenge – our healthcare workers. Battling with the life-threatening Covid-19 virus from the front lines, these workers have had no choice but to adapt to the situation. Unfortunately, these circumstances have reduced the percentage of interactions between pharma reps and medical personnel. Many companies had to close their doors while several others moved from physical interactions to virtual.
Current situation of Pharma Industry
According to a survey in 2019, 47.3% of physicians were comfortable engaging in in-person pharma rep meetings, while only 9.6% of them preferred digital platforms. However, the new environment and the current situation have given pharmaceutical companies a chance to level the playing field.
With measures like social distancing and regulated lockdowns across the globe, pharma reps are re-evaluating their in-person sales model and moving swiftly towards automation.
Today, given the pandemic catastrophe all over the world, healthcare professionals, including clinics and hospitals, are increasingly refusing in-person interaction with pharma sales reps. And some pharma companies have voluntarily suspended personal interactions and face-to-face meetings. Instead, virtual communication between the reps and the medical staff have elevated. And, word is that this progress will most likely continue even after the COVID-19 threat has been eliminated.
It is believed that going forward, virtual sales and the ability to conduct it right will play a significant role in deciding the future of pharma firms.
Changes in the Pharma Sales Model
Considering that the status of pharma reps’ in-person sales model amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely critical, here are a few ways that the sales reps can continue to carry on their work effectively:
Be more active in leading online promotions – While technologies such as artificial intelligence have made regulating digital promotions extremely easy, it is noted that physicians and doctors are more likely to respond or consider personalized promotional emails and messages.
Support existing patients – Covid-19 has made it relatively difficult for non-COVID patients to reach their doctors. This is even more critical for patients with chronic diseases. Brainstorm with your team and try to find alternative ways to extend therapy and support to such patients.
Be more personalized than ever – The ongoing situation has proven to be an excellent opportunity for pharma companies to build a rapport with their customers and offer tailor-made solutions according to individual preferences. This is also a great time for pharma sales reps to figure out how to enhance digital channels, to offer direct support to patients on special prescriptions, and ensuring that they are adequately stocked.
Control client communications – One thing that nobody likes is to be bombarded with promotional messages and emails multiple times a day. It is not only overwhelming but can also lead to client dissatisfaction. Keep a controlled check on the kind of promotions you send as well as its frequency.
Keep yourself up-to-date – The past few months have presented a brilliant opportunity for reps to log some extra training hours. Conduct meetings with your team and ensure that everybody is on the same page about what is happening within your company as well as outside.
A virtual meeting app such as Preferred Time connects pharma sales reps with healthcare workers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, making sales meetups extremely convenient and hassle-free. It not only helps them schedule online meetings depending upon the availability of the sales reps and medical professionals but also enables them to browse through the manufacturer website for the latest products and innovations. Lastly, it also helps keep up with the current norms of social distancing and staying safe by restricting physical interactions.
Medical Sales Reps play a vital role in driving the success and growth of the Pharma and Healthcare industry. Irrespective of how small or big your organization is, if your medical sales reps aren’t efficient and effective, it can hamper your business way more than you can imagine. Keeping up with the evolving competition and to steer clear from the unnecessary worries, the Pharma and Healthcare industries are rapidly progressing towards automation. Mobile apps for medical sales reps in such sectors serve as the best tools to optimize the efficiency and performance of your sales reps and bring out the best in your available workforce.
Evolution of Digital Automation for Medical Sales Reps
Since the advent of digital marketing tools, the Healthcare and Pharma industries have grown in significant numbers. The utilization of mobile apps by consumers as well as medical sales reps have also increased manifold. Here are a few numbers that help showcase the journey as well as what the future holds for the industry:
- As per recent surveys, the global market of consumers using mobile apps for healthcare needs is supposed to reach approximately 100 billion USD by 2021. This is a fivefold growth from nearly 21 billion USD in 2016.
- Another research shows that in the first quarter of 2020, there were approximately 45,478 healthcare and pharma mobile apps available on the Apple App store alone.
- As per the statistics, there are a total of 3,285 healthcare apps available on Google Playstore worldwide.
- From 2014 to 2020, the global market for medical apps is expected to grow from 4.5 billion to approximately 51 billion USD.
Top Benefits of Mobile Apps for Medical Sales Reps
The numbers, as mentioned above, prove the popularity and urgency of using a mobile app for medical reps. Let us now take a look at some of the top benefits of mobile apps in the Pharma and Healthcare industry that will highlight why your business needs it right away.
Time-saving and cost-effectiveness
Using a mobile app for medical sales reps allows your employees to create and submit reporting solutions right from the field instead of running back and forth to the office. The real-time connectivity with your back-office workforce using these mobile apps offer your reps to not only keep you updated but save a lot of time and money that would otherwise be wasted in commuting.
Regular tasks and targets to meet deadlines
Mobile apps such as Preferred Time enables your pharma sales reps’ complete access to their overall work schedule as well as set daily tasks and targets, including but not limited to appointments with doctors, hospitals and pharmacists. Additionally, the exclusive video meetup facility of this app helps your business follow the norms of social distancing while continuing to grow your business. Last but not least, they also receive regular notifications and important reminders, so they never miss an appointment.
Create and manage portfolios
One of the most significant advantages of running a Healthcare and Pharma business with a mobile app facility is the ability that it brings your medical sales reps an opportunity to create their portfolio and showcase their previous work. This allows the target clients to not only filter businesses according to their requirements but also to build trust.
Given the current circumstances worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to go door to door chasing sales leads from doctors, healthcare workers, and physicians are too restricted. And, even if you could make visits, chances of getting an actual appointment is rare. With virtual meeting apps such as Preferred Time, and time management hacks sending virtual meeting requests, and being notified of when an online appointment is scheduled is highly convenient.
Interestingly, the need fora mobile app for medical reps not only caters to the current pandemic situation but also extends beyond it. Industry experts claim that by 2025, the market for mobile medical apps is forecasted to grow over 11 billion USD. Apart from pharma sales reps, pharma and healthcare manufacturers, as well as medical personnel such as doctors and physicians, have started switching to such apps to connect. This shows how important it is for every medical business to create an online presence and to evolve the ways they conduct operations.
The start of 2020 brought a massive change to how the world functions. From individuals to companies, the perspective towards life and work changed drastically. While digital workers and professionals working on the internet had to make slight adjustments to their work norms, field personnel such as pharma representatives had to alter their total operations. Following the protocols of social distancing and limited human interactions, almost all businesses had to take their work online.
Face-to-Face Pharma Meetings increase
As per the reports of IQVIA Korea, there was a 17% decrease in the offline marketing of pharma post the first wave of COVID 19 in February 2020. Additionally, the medical conference industry sunk by 68% globally.
As per the reports of IQVIA Korea, there was a 17% decrease in the offline marketing of pharma post the first wave of COVID 19 in February 2020. Additionally, the medical conference industry sunk by 68% globally.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe, most pharmaceutical companies have witnessed a sudden shift from the clinic and hospital visits to an increasing number of virtual meetings and use of various digital sales tools. This shift from personal to virtual is seen in medical conferences, pharma sales rep meetings, advertising, and promotions, as well as final sale decisions. Industry experts also believe that the pandemic crisis would prove to be a further boon to this way of doing business for pharmaceutical companies.
By the beginning of April 2020, the promotion of pharma products shot up by 84.5% digitally. Thanks to the pandemic that made us all realized how crucial medical aids are for the survival of humans and how easily things can function on virtual screens.
why virtual meetups are the new trend instead of face to face meeting between pharma and doctors
Time-saving and cost-effective
If there is an extremely tedious aspect of being a pharma rep, it is the unscheduled, undetermined physical visits. Unlike your existing and regular clients, visiting prospecting clinics and hospitals in the hopes of getting some facetime with the doctors can be bothersome and expensive, especially when the doctor is unavailable or doesn’t have the decision-making power. A virtual meet not only puts you face-to-face with a doctor who is available for the meeting but also guides you to the right person-in-charge of making purchase decisions. With time management hacks for medical sales reps, the sales reps could either close a million-dollar deal or have a door shut right in front of their face.
Build Your Portfolio Online
A virtual meeting app enables you to build your online portfolio and showcase your details. This means that when a doctor or a medical practitioner decides to connect with you, they would already know about who you are and what you offer. This simple yet effective step saves both you and the medical personnel a lot of time which would otherwise be wasted in introductions.
No more waiting to be connected
Gone are the days when you visit a practitioner’s clinic and wait an hour (or more) for them to find time to interact with you. With virtual meeting apps, you can send a meeting request to potential clients and be notified when they are available. Once a physician confirms the appointment, you get notified and arrange your meeting accordingly. This way, you don’t have to spend hours getting to and from one place to another for a 10-minute discussion.
Connect to manufacturers online
Your online portfolio on a virtual meeting app is not only visible to doctors and practitioners but also manufacturers. This means you have more chances of connecting and networking with medical associations, pharma manufacturers, and medical companies searching for suitable pharma reps.
Preferred Time App, an up and coming virtual meeting that connects pharma reps, manufacturers, and medical personnel, promises to deliver all the features mentioned above and then some. On the one hand, it allows doctors and physicians to keep track of the latest developments in the pharmaceutical industry as well as connect to pharma reps according to their availability. On the other, it enables pharma and medical sales reps to filter clients and interact with physicians, medical associations, and societies in an organized manner. For doctors, it will be a smart way to say goodbye to an unnecessary face-to-face meeting with pharmaceutical reps. Last but not least, it helps everyone limit physical contacts to only when it is needed, hence assuring Covid-19 safety and health measures being appropriately followed.
According to a survey done in 2019, by the pharmaceutical market researchers with 30,000 doctors from 30 countries globally said that about 21% of Korean docs and 25% docs globally prefer digital mediums compared to a face-to-face meeting with pharmaceutical reps. This means the need was always there. The changing situation will further increase the need.
“Time is money,” we have all heard that phrase that highlights the importance of time. For medical sales reps, it definitely has a paramount significance. Because by managing time efficiently, the sales reps could either close a million-dollar deal or have a door shut right in front of their face. Making a constant effort and spending time on certain activities could enable them to hit the monthly target or while spending time erroneously could lead them right to perdition.
Mastering time management is one of the most difficult soft skills for medical sales reps as they have a myriad of important tasks at hand. That makes it quite challenging to prioritize them based on urgency and importance.
Time Management Hacks for Sales Reps
- Always prepared to take a detour
- Focus on one task at a time
- Stop procrastinating on the difficult tasks
- Keep the Momentum Going!
- Schedule Your Day Around Your Leads
- Follow a Sales Sequence
- Avoid Distractions
- Optimize Meeting Procedures
These time management hacks help in efficiently manage time both in-office and on the field as well as boost productivity.
1. Always prepared to take a detour
As a medical sales rep, it’s better to organize your lead prospects by location and note the last contact lead. If an appointment flakes on you, it’d be easier for you to reach nearby prospects rather than going back to the office and cooling your heels for the next scheduled meeting.
Remember prospects cancel meetings at any time, so it’s always better to divert your focus to other profitable ventures. You can start prepping for the next prospect that’s on your schedule. If there isn’t any other scheduled meeting, then do follow-up calls for prospects and generate new leads. Keep in mind, prospecting is a thought-out process that requires a tremendous amount of effort and time. When someone stood you up, it’s the best time to utilize it for prospecting.
2. Focus on one task at a time
There is no such thing as multitasking. As a matter of fact, people who claim multitask are just simply quickly switching between tasks. And make quick switches deteriorates focus and decreases productivity as the brain has the readjust each the person making the switch.
From a medical sales perspective, a different mindset is required to perform different tasks. Let’s say giving a presentation of a product requires a different focus than managing your pipeline.
For example, in prospecting, generally, you probably do it by dialing your leads, expect a call or voice message to proceed to follow-up call or an email, and then document your activity in the log. It’s time-consuming and isn’t productive to keep repeating the cycle.
On the other hand, you can streamline this process by filtering all the important clients who would be available for your call or respond to your voice messages. You also need to leave personalized voice messages or follow-up emails to these prospects and put them on logging activity. In the way, you can further schedule the time you may want to reach them out again.
By following this process, you would be able to get more response from your prospects as well as boost your productivity.
3. Stop procrastinating on the difficult tasks
We have all been there where we just don’t want to deal with a certain task. Whether it may be logging activity, prospecting, doing follow-up calls or writing emails, etc.
We can all find various ways to divert our attention to avoid those important and urgent tasks we dislike doing it. However, indulging in other tasks will cost a lot of time, and at the end of the day, you probably have to do it anyways.
So, it’s better to swallow the bitter pill and complete that uncomfortable task and get this over with. As a matter of fact, do that task first, so you can do the rest of the tasks with a peace of mind.
4. Keep the Momentum Going!
When a medical sales rep succeeds in achieving a goal, they take a break to fully enjoy their achievement. Don’t get us wrong, it’s good to feel excited about meeting the sales target. However, it’s also the ideal time to keep going forward and make some more calls and set up more appointments with your leads, general physicians, and surgeons.
Don’t underestimate the power of momentum. When you have it, you will have plenty of more reasons to pat yourself on the back if you just keep moving forward.
5. Schedule Your Day Around Your Leads
The most ideal time to get connected with the potential leads, general physicians, and surgeons is during lunchtime. Generally, doctors have a hectic schedule, and it takes hours to get in touch with them. Nevertheless, they do take breaks during lunch, which is an excellent opportunity to meet with them and make an impact with the compelling sales pitch.
6. Follow a Sales Sequence
We aren’t fans of relying on repeated sales pitches, however, in the medical sales profession, you are dealing with the same nature of prospects almost every time. So, instead of creating a new strategy to reach every new general physician or leads, rather formulate a strategy that can easily be personalized accordingly.
It’s also wise to review the tried and tested strategies and implement them if they are applicable again and again. Let’s say you utilize the knowledge you found on Crunchbase in the majority of the recently closed deals. When you know it’s worth, you can use it again on closing other deals again.
7. Avoid Distractions
It’s certainly quite challenging to keep your focus on work, especially when you have tons of distracting websites just a click away. If you have Google Chrome, install Block site that would prevent distracting yourself from time-wasting websites, or you can use these instructions to block websites on your Mac.
8. Optimize Meeting Procedures
You can efficiently manage your time, but what about your leads? As we mentioned earlier, doctors, general physicians, and surgeons have a tight schedule. Even if you didn’t get stood up and manage to schedule a meeting with them, it would take hours to get in touch with them. To streamline the medical sales processes, the Preferred Times app is made to overcome this barrier between the doctors and medical sales reps for good.
Medical device salesmen go through months and even years of learning about their products and how to sell them. They navigate earning qualifications, building knowledge of the medical field, and networking just to stay competitive.
This can be a tall task for any medical sales rep and an overwhelming one for newer sales professionals. So in a field with so much competition and many required skills to harness, what can a sales rep do from the onset of their career or with their newest opportunity in order to stand out? More importantly, how might they create trust in their new sales relationships?
Here’s a starter’s list:
1: Be Accessible
From promptly arriving at a clinic as the day begins — even before the physicians themselves — to being just a phone call away when they call upon you, making sure you’re accessible builds your credibility with physicians and their staff.
2: Be Easy to Work With
This one should be obvious, however, many salesmen can often be tough to work with. Being organized, responsive, and prepared requires organization on behalf of the sales rep.
For example, simply being proficient in all matters of your device, guaranteeing it is ready for a physician when needed, understanding and researching their cases are all ways your organization makes the life and job of a physician easier.
3: Make Your Device Simple to Embed
If a device is difficult to use, physicians won’t like it. Of course, there are some things a salesperson can’t control, like the adaptability of a wire, but salespeople can do their best to set their physicians up for success. Ensure the implanter is proficient with the device as well the lab or any additional staff.
4: Remember the Patient
As a sales rep, it’s very easy to get lost in the technical side of your device and any challenges you may run into long before that device reaches the person it’s ultimately intended for: the patient.
At the center of all the work you and a physician do is the patient — the person who will live with the device you’ve made available to them. The best sales reps never overlooks the patient, and neither will the physicians and medical staff who help them.
Outside of the doctor’s office is a world of purchasing advisory groups, medical staff, executives, and even sales rep associations in which you will learn from and work alongside. Learning all the people involved in the purchasing process, their responsibilities, key concerns and challenges, and even their impression of you versus a competing salesperson can be key in sales achievement.
6: Be Open to Feedback. Even Negative Feedback
One thing we’ve learned is that the people implanting your devices have long memories. Be ready and open to negative feedback about your devices, constructive feedback about your own organization, and even observations about earlier sales reps and team leads a physician may have worked with in the past.
This feedback is valuable and like complaints, should be acknowledged and taken care of (when needed) thoughtfully.
In today’s realm of leaning on essential frontline workers, pharmacists carry an integral role in delivering healthcare directly to those in need. And to a medical sales rep whose job will change dramatically due to COVID-19 — a role that has traditionally relied on much face-to-face interaction with clients and pharmacists alike — the pharmacist is one person who will remain critical to your success.
In the simplest terms, a pharmacist is a rep’s sales partner. You’ve gone through the product training, honed your skills and built strong relationships with physicians, and finally, it all comes to a head with prescriptions being filled at the pharmacy and eventually to the patients themselves.
Naturally, this means strong relationships with pharmacists in your region can be just as important as the relationships with physicians and therefore, should require your attention and care just the same. An authorized pharmacist is a pharmaceutical expert, specializing in pharmaceutical disease management, while the physician specializes in simply diagnosing the illness and method for treating it. This means physicians rely on informed, trustworthy, and reputable pharmacists to train their patients to use metered-dose inhalers, blood pressure monitors, and injectable medications effectively.
Meanwhile, the patient relies on their pharmacist to instruct them in the proper use and dosages of their mediations, they inform them of the expected results or side effects to look for, and even care instructions in case of a negative response to a prescription. For all these reasons, the sales rep relies heavily on a quality pharmacist for support in both patient education and follow up with physicians, working as another source of feedback to the medical professionals that are a rep’s client base.
So how do you, the medical sales rep, work with a pharmacist in a way that sustains success with your clients?
Approach Pharmacy Calls As If You Are Presenting to a Physician
A diligent medical sales rep will regularly approach his calls with a pharmacist with the same focus and urgency of presenting to a physician, be it sharing clinical trial data or being open to feedback on a product’s impact, positive or negative, on its patients.
However, pharmacists don’t want you to sell them your product. This isn’t a pitch, as they’re not the person prescribing your drug. They are, however, the person who can ensure your product is being put to effective use if equipped with the most up to date information and data. So let them know as soon as you open the call what you intend to cover. Do you need approval to show solution vouchers or coupons? Would you like to advise the pharmacy staff about another medicine dispatch? Knowing and sharing your intentions immediately can make each interaction more productive for your overall success, and reminding the pharmacist who you are will help you build a stronger relationship over time.
Delivering your information thoroughly is important, as pharmacists need to know the specific dosing, methods of application, harmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) profile, and events of symptoms aligned with your product. The better equipped they are with this information, the more productive their meetings with physicians and patients will be, in turn.
As COVID-19 has introduced new challenges to person-to-person visits in clinics and the ways in which patients even receive their medications, an informed and prepared pharmacist is an even more powerful ally to the sales rep than ever before, ensuring their products are used effectively and with the best results possible.
Success in medical device sales, as in many sales professions, comes with delivering the right message to the right person at the most opportune moment. Establishing oneself in the field requires knowing who’s who and having relationships that are rooted in qualities like accessibility, integrity, and credibility.
A couple of months ago, we were meeting with the Regional Vice Presidents of Sales at a medical device company. Two of the VPs brought up a common observation: It’s standard for medical device sales reps to have a cursory knowledge of what their current clients use, but they may not know why their clients may use one device or another.
In the conversation, we dove into the main factors behind why a physician uses a particular product or device:
This is what the physician used as far back as their residency and now they’re proficient with it. For an experienced doctor, it’s likely now simple to use and doesn’t require any new training.
The physician has an established relationship with a company and opportunities for building on their own practice in return.
In the same light, physicians often have a relationship with a rep inside as well as outside of the or lab or clinic. Familiarity, trust, and continuity have a major impact here.
This is, after all, a business, and profitable deals and agreements can secure the longevity of both emergency clinics and independent practices alike.
With these factors in mind, we considered what it would take for a physician to move from a favored company, existing sales rep relationship, or new device altogether:
Often, physicians prefer not to be left behind in their field, passing up on new innovations that would otherwise drive patients to their practice.
If physicians don’t follow the most significant trends in their training, independent medical procedure center or clinic, the physician may appear ineffective among their colleagues and leaders in their field.
Once again, this is a business, and profitable deals and agreements can secure the longevity of both emergency clinics and independent practices alike.
If a sales rep’s company and product can offer at least one advantage over the status quo, they offer physicians the opportunity to make a change.
Time and again, conventional sales training methods overlook some of these factors when preparing medical device sales reps to build their client base. Establishing these considerations in their structure — looking beyond just the traditional dos and don’ts of regional coverage and arranging appointments — can be key in training newly recruited employees as well as setting up existing sales reps for success.