While the Covid pandemic has made HCPs more comfortable interacting virtually with pharma and medical-device reps, other factors must be accounted for by companies seeking to engage HCPs once the Covid pandemic fades and a “new normal” takes shape.
In a recent Forbes article, Erin Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer for Serno, a physician-insights and -marketing consultancy, points out that the vast majority of HCPs want a mix of virtual and in-person contacts with medical sales reps. This will require reps to be more strategic as they approach each practitioner; she says that “the one-size-fits-all approach no longer works.”
What’s more, Fitzgerald notes that over the past several years “fewer providers are in private practice, making them beholden to performance metrics set by their larger organizations that might limit their ability to attend in-person events.” In fact, nearly 30 percent of physicians surveyed by Serno say they prefer on-demand access to pharma sales reps via technology, a figure that’s likely to increase over time.
With only 26 percent of pharma reps who responded to a separate survey by SalesFuel saying they receive personalized coaching on videoconferencing technology that’s tailored to their needs, Fitzgerald warns that “even the most advanced digital tools won’t help if reps are not properly trained” on their features and on when it’s most effective to deploy them.
Fitzgerald offers advice for corporate trainers, starting with teaching reps the finer points of whichever video technology they’ll use while also teaching them how to guide HCPs in using it, too. Building listening skills and empathy are next. For the full rundown, see the Forbes article.