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The Paradigm Shift in The Doctor’s Expectations After COVID-19

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Gone are the days when sales reps visit the physicians, shake hands, and provide the material in the hospital or clinics. The world’s ill-famous coronavirus has made it a reality

Well, the physicians are also expecting digital communication, e-detailing, relevant material, and individualized experiences for a long time, but, still, most of the pharma companies stick with the in-person meeting model, in addition to digital materials.

According to IQVIA survey, 36% of doctors were not contacted by pharma companies from last two months, and 77% of doctors believe that it’s important to maintain a contact with pharma companies during COVID-19.

It signals the doctors are interested in staying in communication with pharma companies, which gives unique opportunity to the pharma marketing segment to make the most out of the corona crisis.

Covid-19 crisis triggered the innovation in pharma companies, and the companies started rethinking the existing approaches to reach out to physicians and conduct face-to-face meetings. It seems the accelerating digital sales trend fueled by restrictions put on the physician’s clinic visit, will permanently turn to digital detailing.

Flipping to the digital switch is not just a need of the hour, but it has created immense opportunities for sales reps to brush up their skills, conduct meetings to identify the gap in the promotional campaigns, and optimize customer relationship management leveraging intelligent tools.

Going beyond the job duties optimization, the pharma companies can fill the void in physicians’ expectations, which are unmet from decades. Take a glance at the expectations that HCPs are having for a long time and that will surge after the corona outbreak, and how pharma companies will fulfill them a post-corona crisis.

Let’s dive in!

Remote engagement

Due to the Covid-19 impact, telemedicine has spiked, and this trend expected to continue for more time, but the physicians project that it will not become a norm. When we talk about the meantime, the abrupt decline in the interaction frequency with pharma reps can be resumed to previous times if they start engaging with the physicians digitally.

There are two things- less time and user-friendliness that will push the digital trend upwards because presently, the HCPs won’t spend the same amount of time that they were previously spending while communicating with sales reps, and won’t prefer to download the application on the phones rather they prefer to switch to a link with a  simple touch for video conferencing and screen sharing. The pharma companies need to replace the face-to-face interaction with multi-channel marketing to keep up with tech-savvy HCPs.

According to IQVIA survey, different doctors preferring different modes of communication while interacting with sales or marketing teams.

Re-engagement must be precise

It’s unpredictable to say when the pharma companies would return to pre-crisis interaction form and the support activities. The way is going to be highly uneven, depending on the shifts in HCPs and local authorities’ guidelines, needs, and expectations.  It’s all about the future.

When we talk about re-engaging with HCPs through digital channels, the new form of engagement requires appropriate timing, messaging frequency, and the nature of re-engagement. The HCPs are no more interested in receiving generic messages as a part of the non-personal promotion; instead, they like to receive the personalized machine output tailored to their needs.

Active personalized experiences

Remote detailing is not just a replacement for face-to-face meetings. There exist opportunities to sharpen the detailing offerings with personalized content creation, that’s what the HCPs are anticipating the most.

With no travel involved due to corona, the reps have more time to document the individual HCPs’ behavior and response during the communication, which, in turn, generates rich insights. When the reps work in conjunction with the marketing team, personalized messages can be created that engage the customers on various channels and address the needs for the short-term.

The personalized experiences help reps to meet the HCPs’ needs of supporting patients for specific medications and ensure they have a continuous supply.

Support in therapy areas

The physician consultant is reduced by a great margin after the pandemic. Due to stress, the health of the patients who are already suffering from some illness, their health has got worsen. The HCPs expecting the reps to help those patients who receive less attention during the crisis, and have trouble to access the doctor’s clinic. The doctors are expecting a few services during COVID-19.

The reps communicate with the HCPs regarding the patients and their chronic conditions; they can support those existing patients by delivering critical supplies

Bring coordination in the messaging campaign

Pre-pandemic, the HCPs have witnessed three or more reps waiting for the turn to complete the meeting. It was difficult for the HCPs to handle the number of reps in a day due to occupancy. When the situation replaced digitally, the bombardment of the messages should not be there because it’s overwhelming. The HCPs either overlook the messages or prevent the reps from sending messages or emails by blocking them.

In the new way of working (E-detailing), the messages should be sent on different channels at the right time and at an optimal frequency. The experimentation with distinct marketing channels is all-important to learn how to make the HCPs reach out- more effective with continuous improvements.

40% of the doctors believe that the ideal frequency of communication should be weekly so they must be reached out with relevant content accordingly for maximum results. The time preference can be considered to uplift the chances of conversion.

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Salestrip SFA is a best in class online pharma reporting software for medical representatives.


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