Every organization knows digitalization is today one of the columns that supports success. But putting it into practice is not always as easy as on paper. The PMlive website held an interesting webinar about the sales reps in the digital age, where some of its speakers emphasized the main problems that pharmaceutical companies face in their digital strategies. Because there’s something truly in all of this: pharma industry have spoken for a long time about a digital revolution and the importance of focussing its strategy towards new technological environments, but the reality is that the transition from traditional to digital is not so easy for most of the companies.
There is a great scope for improvement for laboratories in its digital strategy
In this sense, Tim Van Tongeren, DT Associates’ Managing Partner, said in his speech that there are several reasons why companies stay away from digital excellence, but all are interconnected and are part of the same problem: the organization and culture of laboratories, which often makes it difficult to adapt into the strategies lead by the team responsible of digitalization.
Van Tongeren explained 4 points to reach the digital success, which we detail below because not for being obvious and full of common sense are less certain:
- The process must be lead by a team with experience and know-how to make it viable. There isn’t much more to add, we all know that going hand to hand with expert and fully trained professionals is always a guarantee of success in digital transition and in any workspace.
- It must have a real interest of all the people in the company to integrate new features to work. Only if different teams in the organization understand the opportunities of new technologies in their daily work and in their relationship with the client, its implementation will be effective and efficient. Digitalization has to be part of the company philosophy.
- The strategy must be accessible for customer and provide him a good experience. Otherwise, a real impact won’t be achieved no matters the resources the company allocates to it.
- It’s necessary to be disciplined in integrating all the changes in the structure, which obviously requires a training. There is not only the tools, we must implement the digitalization process step by step and with the proper training so all employees can successfully integrate it in their way of working. According to Van Tongeren, many laboratories fail precisely at this point.
Multi-channel strategy for sales reps
One of the main conclusions of the webinar, and which attended all the speakers, is that every sales strategy must be based on multi-channel. Physicians still prefer face-to-face visit, but they also expects to have access to information through other channels. According to Ariel Salmang, VP International Bussiness Development of Across Health, in its relationship with laboratories 66% of physicians prefer face-to-face meetings and 50% is in agreement of participate in training sessions, but 30% agree digital promotion and 42% are in favor of digital education.
Harnessing the mix face-to-face and digital can improve one of the main challenges of marketing teams: the engagement with the client. In this sense, digital tools offer a comprehensive way to go towards personalization and individualization in sales strategy. Adapt the message and marketing plan to the circumstances is a clear advantage of the sales reps “digital meeting” (with iPad) but also eDetailing seems a wonderful way to strengthen the meeting, by giving the prescriber greater accessibility to data and relevant information, allowing perform remote sessions, encouraging feedback and, especially, amplifying the the prescriber’s perception of accessibility in their relationship with the pharma company.
Examples for a good use of digital strategy
Which specific channels work best in a mixed strategy (face-to-face and digital) depends on each customer and their special needs at all times, but if something is clear is that the tools to get to know him well -and give him exactly what he wants when he demands it- are already between us. The challenge is learning how to properly use them.
*You can watch the Sales Reps in the Digital Age webinar here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5518/156763