As one of the most quoted studies in pharma marketing claims, the average sales rep has about 6 minutes of facetime with a physician as they go for a call. Trouble is, this study was published as far back as 2012. Things have changed quite a lot since then.
With a major cut in sales rep departments, an increase in digital pharma marketing spending, the emergence of new pharma brands, and the evolution in multichannel advertising, the pharma marketing landscape has been vastly changed. On top of this, physicians’ time for reps is cut short because of various reasons. It’s only reasonable to suppose that those initial six minutes are now cut to a mere three.
So how do you present your product’s main advantages in such a short time frame? Here are some ideas from our own experience.
1. Have a variety of digital channels ready
One of the cornerstones of successful marketing is personalization. In order to get close to physicians, sales reps must adapt to their preferred type of content, as well as the channel. With digital, you can provide ample choices to your HCPs instead of forcing them to settle for just one.
No matter what the aspect of their lives, physicians can choose digital channels – social media, websites, apps, emails, webinars, eBooks, you name it. A great sales rep will have all of these tools in their arsenal, and they can change according to what the HCP prefers to use for communication. Instead of wasting time, they can just push the preferred channel and present key information in three minutes or less.
2. Actively listen to HCPs
One of the best ways to make sure a call lasts longer is to focus on the HCPs’ thoughts. Squeeze out more than three minutes per call by allowing physicians to ask questions and raise their concerns. By letting HCPs voice their opinions, sales rep calls can be expanded by quite a lot.
If sales reps spend the majority of time talking at the HCP instead of with them, the HCPs will cut the call as short as possible. Sales reps should aim to understand their audience and address their needs in the best way possible.
3. Know your information
Three minutes is about the duration of an average song, or how long it would take you to get dressed as you wake up. In other words, it’s an awfully short time frame to present your key data to a physician. However, it is absolutely possible, if you know what to talk about.
Firstly, sales reps should not rely on paper. They should not read data points while in front of a physician – they should know the facts like the palm of their hand. If there’s something the physicians need to know – sales reps should say it, and not let the physician find it out from a reprint or a slide on the tablet.
Speaking of information, one of the biggest issues that HCPs have with sales reps is that they repeat data that’s already familiar to them. Try to present new facts and key findings from your research. If there’s data on a study published ten years ago in the physician’s therapeutic area – they’ll probably know about it.
Although sales teams have regular meetings to stay informed about the products they’re marketing, they’re only human and sometimes things get forgotten. In the world of pharma, this happens far too often. As one research states, just 30 days after a sales meeting, sales reps will forget 85% of relevant information for the product they are presenting. This is a devastating statistic and yet another reminder that sales reps need to be familiar with facts at all times.
4. Provide valuable information for the patients
What’s the number one mistake that sales reps make when they enter an office? Focusing too much on the hard sell and promoting their brand. Reps who force the product instead of establishing a relationship with the physician usually have their time cut short.
Sales reps should focus outright on what the product offers for the patient and what kind of value it provides for them.
5. Stay in the loop
At BlueNovius, we’ve been actively collaborating with more than 50 pharma brands for over a decade now. We know that sales reps’ time with HCPs has been on the decline. This is why we came up with some strategies to make the most out of the time spent in front of physicians.
We think that three minutes is more than enough. In fact, our most popular pharma marketing tool, PubExplainer, allows you to present your key medical data in half of that time – just 90 seconds. We can turn your scientific publication into a 90-second medical video that physicians will love. You can lay out your most important information in video form, leaving more room for the HCP to ask questions. You can find out some great ways to use PubExplainer in one of our case studies.
Over to you
Do you want to help sales reps maximize their three minutes with HCPs during calls? We know the marketing strategies that work flawlessly. Reach out to us today and make low-see and no-see physicians a thing of the past.