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.
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.