Back in March 2020, the healthcare industry was propelled into unprecedented territory. Remote solutions were implemented within days, rather than weeks or months, and the healthcare industry witnessed 10 years of change in one week.
Effective HCP engagement strategies have evolved at pace, but one thing we can be sure of, is that sales representatives must have the ability to interpret HCPs’ issues and truly understand the needs of both the customer and their patients.
Talking to a customer without understanding their needs will not necessarily drive effective HCP and patient engagement, or a change in prescribing behaviour.
Maximising HCP Engagement
Digital advances have opened up a variety of channels for sales reps, and HCPs are adapting to different modes of communication. Digital channels have breathed new life into HCP engagement, but just because you introduce multiple channels doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. True multi-channel is about engaging the customer in their preferential style.
Customer expectations and needs are constantly shifting and, over the last decade (with the added impact of the pandemic), as well as selling brands on behalf of our clients, we at have also balanced our time to ask HCPs what they want from their engagement with the industry.
For maximising HCP engagement, not only do businesses need to adapt to new technology; they also need to adapt to customer preferences. We all have our own preferred way of buying products and services, so why are HCPs any different? Depending upon value proposition, brand characteristics, and the customer preference of interaction, access to HCPs will vary. However, if you approach the HCP with multiple channel options and understand their preference, accessibility will be increased.
Content – What HCPs Want
The pandemic has undoubtedly advanced individual capability to use digital technology, and we know from experience that a high proportion of HCPs are happy to receive brand information without dedicating time to face-to-face visits. We can also reflect on the fact that most other industries that sell consumer products wouldn’t contemplate a face-to-face ‘cold call’ philosophy as their primary communication model.
Channels – Balance Traditional and Digital
Meetings between HCPs and sales representatives are the traditional method of interacting with HCPs. However, these methods are outdated. Medical professionals are under more time pressures than ever, and in the current climate, face-to-face meetings are not always possible, even if desirable.
Pharma companies need to continue to engage HCPs in new and innovative ways, but to get the best results, they have to be driven by customer preferences.
Common Digital HCP Engagement Methods
Omni-channel account management is an alternative to the traditional, key account management sales model. It combines the skills of qualified sales professionals with new tools and techniques that optimise their engagement with customers, and it lets them develop channels that are tailored to the individual preference of their customers. We’ve seen superb results using a combination of in-person engagement and HCP digital engagement.
Face-to-face meetings can still be facilitated by Omni-channel Account Managers, if this is the HCP’s preference. It allows reps to build relationships and have personal interaction, but unlike the traditional sales model, we don’t make cold calls. All our meetings are ‘warmed-up’ first, so that both parties support the objectives and value of the meetings.
Email is one of the fastest and most flexible HCP engagement strategies. Once we have permission to use email, many HCPs prefer this method of communication because it doesn’t involve a lengthy conversation, and they can review the content at their own pace.
Video conferencing and screen-sharing is a simple interface for fast, online meetings. It’s very effective, and our customers have commented on how easy it is to use both and how valuable they’ve found the meetings. We can engage with HCPs without wasting time on the road or waiting for a clinician to become available.
Advantages of HCP Engagement
Over the last decade, we witnessed first-hand how face-to-face selling was becoming increasingly difficult. While many companies advanced their brand strategy, they often overlooked the most important aspect of selling – putting the customer at the centre of all their actions.
We deliver exceptional customer experience by understanding our customers’ needs and communicating with Healthcare Professionals through their channel of choice.
As HCPs become more accustomed to digital experiences in our changing world, traditional sales techniques are making less of an impact. There’s never been a more crucial time to harness new opportunities and re-imagine your sales solution.
HCPs are open to new approaches and different modes of communication, but a solid case is made for a hybrid approach to digital interaction, which will integrate new online platforms with current field processes; simply because face-to-face contact continues to be important for some HCPs.
Star OUTiCO provides flexible, talented, and driven teams for healthcare companies. From start-up biotech to blue-chip pharma companies, we have been recruiting and deploying contract sales resource for over 16 years. From Primary Care teams to specialist Omni-channel-enabled KAM resource, our teams make an impact.
Effective digital participation in most industries necessitates a considerable amount of change management. A well-coordinated digital plan means that the right new processes are designed, reviewed, and streamlined to help the company grow. Each company’s speed and magnitude of transition can vary based on the current landscape, history, and internal capabilities.
For commercial success, the pharma industry needs to harness digital evolution and adopt new and innovative ways to access their customer base, which will deliver a broader channel mix. In addition, pharma sales reps should be multi-channel communicators who put their customers’ preferences at the heart of every sales interaction.
Build your HCP engagement through the expert services of Star OUTiCO today. You can contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01225 336 335. You may also request for a call-back by visiting our contact page at https://www.staroutico.com/contact-us.