When a recent study showed that 51% of doctors consider sales reps to be redundant, the news was anything but shocking for pharma marketing veterans. Doctors have been cutting down on the number of visits for years, and the new study offers a glimpse of why it’s getting tougher and tougher for pharma to book that face-to-face meeting.
Over one-half of physicians stated that they don’t want to see sales reps as they are providing them only the stale information they already found on the internet themselves. The numbers are particularly worrying in oncology where 68% of oncologists said that sales reps continuously present information the doctors already know.
So, is it time for pharma brands to close their sales department?
Don’t worry, sales reps don’t have to change their jobs just yet, they just need a change in approach. Here’s what you need to do to get HCPs to continue to open the doors to your sales representatives.
Tell physicians something they don’t know
Showing physicians stale information is the number one reason why they don’t want to see your reps anymore. In a recent study, the majority of physicians stated that sales reps are wasting their time showing them the information they already know or have found themselves. Therefore this is the first problem you have to solve.
Stating the important information about your product or device should remain the focus of your sales visit but make sure to enrich your presentation with important, but lesser-known information that could further educate and engage physicians without straying too far away from the topic.
Visualize your presentation
Sales reps’ visits include conversations followed by brochures, pamphlets, and similar materials but this approach seems to be stale as well. The times have changed and it’s time for sales reps to use some new tricks to freshen up their act.
A recent study showed that HCPs are more satisfied with sales reps who use tablets during their visit, so make sure your reps have one in their hands next time they knock on the physician’s door. Tablets can be used to visualize the data and show the processes sales reps are talking about.
Reps can use them to show graphs or videos that explain the effects of their medical product or device. Not only that this will breathe new life into your sales rep’s presentation but a medical video will also make your meeting more impactful and more memorable.
Provide patient learning content
Just like educating your HCPs about new products or devices is important for you, educating patients is important for your physicians. It’s time to connect the dots and make your sales visit patient-centric and help physicians excel in their job.
Make sure your sales reps have plenty of educational materials they can leave to the patients as well. They can be written materials, medical posters, or even videos doctors can play in the waiting room while their patients are waiting.
Go beyond the pill
Your sales reps meet physicians to talk about your medical product or device. That’s quite all right. But studies have shown that you’ll have an easier time reaching your HCPs and leave a bigger impact if you spend a part of your sales rep visit talking about things not strictly related to your product.
Physicians expect sales reps to provide a wider variety of content that they can use in their practice or share with their patients. Reps will have a better reputation in the doctor’s office if they offer a set of beyond-the-pill solutions doctors can use to empower patients and increase adherence.
In the digital age, it’s up to sales reps to bridge the gap between digital and face-to-face communication. These four easy tricks will help them make the most out of their visit. And establish meaningful and long-lasting relationships with the doctors.