Virtual Meetings for Medical Sales Reps Post-COVID: A Challenge, or an Opportunity
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.