The environment is now dictating accelerated digital transformation for Pharma. The days of 'dipping the toe in the water 'and experimenting on low yielding brands or cash cows are over. Digital marketing is mainstream, and our customers are more receptive than ever to a blended virtual and physical engagement model.
There is no room for complacency in this newfound world of opportunity.
As we mentioned in our last blog, Pharma representatives will be back on deck in no time. But it is time to accept that over 70% of HCPs are digital savvy-digital natives, fully expecting an omnichannel engagement approach.
Many HCPs have, out of necessity, already integrated virtual interactions into patient consultations and treatment plans, as well as the day to day running of their business during the global pandemic. Even those who are less digitally savvy, who may have been reluctant until now to engage with Pharma virtually, have had to learn new skills on the fly to stay in touch with their patients and to protect themselves and their colleagues.
With a little upskilling to work differently, and making good use of data analytics to make decisions, our commercial teams will be able to add more and more value to direct and indirect customer interactions.
Customer engagement opportunities
There are three types of call opportunities that your field force needs to master
- Traditional Face to Face;
- Remote [push and pull]; and
- A hybrid, driven by content type, customer demand and preferences.
It should be noted that during remote engagements, preparation is more critical than ever to smoothly address any customer situation that may emerge within a planned call. We know that not everyone has become an expert in all technologies or has learned at the same pace. Switching between technologies and content, based on the needs uncovered before and during the call, will take some finesse, and can only be mastered through training and practice.
In times of social distancing, the field force may even be required to continue to run group education sessions, but likely not in person.
For example, several representatives in one market, have continued to organize lunchtime visits to large clinics, but do not run these sessions in person. Catering was delivered in advance and paired with a pre-agreed webinar or live interaction, broadcasting into the clinic lunchroom.
The skillset required of the representative in this changing environment is obviously very different to that required for a traditional face to face event. As shared with Actando, even
small events may include a small team vs. only the coordination by one representative. We are seeing companies forging new collaborative ways of working based on the customers’ needs and a new look at how content is served up in the CRM to enable seamless presentation and tracking for analysis later.
Download our live remote engagement best practices:
Training needs and opportunities have multiplied overnight, putting pressure on scarce internal resources, but appear to have resulted in new working relationships. Marketing is moving from a measured release of content to a more dynamic engagement model across multiple channels. The result is a broadening of responsibility among the cross-functional team to improve the tailored customer experience and impact. Marketing is working hard to ensure there is good relevant content in the right channels ready for the representative to utilize and also promote when appropriate.
The time for The Omni Channel Rep has finally arrived.
As many experts including McKinsey  are saying, we will not return to the previous state of affairs. A critical success factor in our success moving forward will be how we reshape our operations and continue to engage HCPs and patients in flexible ways matched to their preferences.
If you are interested in our immersive learning solutions on remote engagement, contact Actando.
The Actando Consulting Team