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What Does the Field Require? Five Ways to Keep Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Engaged

September 18, 2019

Pharma sales reps wear multiple hats and bring many skills to the table. In several industries, the sales rep position does not demand more than a high school or an associate degree with little or no past relevant experience. However, sales reps in life sciences are a unique breed who often carry a degree in medicine or pharma and even past experience of working in a hospital. 

Thus, apart from being confident salespeople, as domain experts the pharma sales reps are expected to do some pre-call planning that includes

  • mapping their call goals with the Home Office Call Plan
  • reviewing appropriate materials before the call
  • preparing to justify the safety and efficacy of the proposed drug treatment
  • arranging appointments with HCPs in their assigned hospital networks
  • organizing or attending medical conferences
  • keeping up with the latest clinical research
  • reading about the dynamic regulatory environment
  • staying updated about the ever-fluctuating healthcare insurance landscape

Sounds like a lot, right? Wait, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

No pharma sales rep is glued to their desks 9-to-5. They lead the most hectic lives shuffling between tools and teams to derive insights about physicians with most potential to convert, reviewing reports for insights that can help build the right schedule to achieve their weekly sales goals and preparing post-call notes that enter in the CRM for Home Office to view. 

According to InsideSales.com, sales reps only spend 37% of their time selling.”

What if we told you that none of these have to be done by them manually? What if we told you it is now possible to seamlessly serve these insights on a platter to your sales reps?

So far we’ve discussed the Home Office’s expectations from the sales reps. But has anyone ever asked what does the field require to successfully deliver on these expectations?

1) Information Access for Successful Pre-call Planning – Sure, AI is rewriting the enterprise technology landscape for many businesses. However, with so much on their plate, pharma sales reps require more than mere artificial intelligence. Conversational AI is the intelligence backbone that your pharma sales organization needs. The Commercial Excellence team at one of our large pharma clients’ is using whiz.ai to let loose their institutional knowledge that is trapped in enterprise data. All that reps need to do is ask whiz.ai in a natural language using voice or text! Whiz.ai connects the field teams to data, insights and workflows that empowers them to be more productive.

2)  Techniques and Sales Best Practices– Because of how the data is stored, scattered and managed in a large enterprise it becomes difficult to share and learn from other field reps’ success. However, whiz.ai’s continuously learning AI surfaces personalized insights for the sales reps. It captures and learns from other reps’ search patterns, preferences and business context to create automatic alerts and contextual visualizations. By leveraging machine learning and crowd intelligence whiz.ai surfaces best use of data so everyone can benefit from each other’s success.

3) Better Sales Tech Experience – No need to switch applications last minute, connect to VPN or review lengthy excel sheets! whiz.ai provides a seamless user experience by becoming their single gateway to all enterprise systems. It integrates with your cloud applications: Email, Slack, CRM, Skype, HRIS, BI, ERP systems providing your sales reps the ability to quickly pull previous call notes from the CRM, schedule an appointment with a physician in her vicinity, get the negotiated contract document and do more by simply texting or speaking to whiz.ai on mobile, tablet or desktop. 

4) Sales Data Visualization –  A picture is worth a thousand words! whiz.ai leverages its powerful Visualization AI to help sales reps see through the fog of data. Based on the query raised it responds with a bar chart or line graph of the data. whiz.ai is pre-trained on reporting, charting, and calculations to instantly respond to ad-hoc requests from sales teams thus reducing the administrative burden on IT and commercial ops. Sales reps can just ask whiz.ai to provide a comprehensive list of sales opportunities, then identify the low hanging fruits, set the right priorities and focus on the most promising sales activities.   

5) Data-driven Decision-support –  Each call’s objective varies depending upon previous interactions with the HCP. On one call, the rep maybe explaining the product to a physician, on another he may be checking the inventory of samples or replenishing the stock, and on another he maybe advocating for an expanded contracted. So, providing pharma reps the resources like physician’s prescribing data, formulary data, post-call notes, and insights about a physician’s prescribing habits and formulary opportunities become crucial. Using whiz.ai, sales reps gain ubiquitous access to all this information helping them decide the next best action. The idea is not to challenge the ability of the sales reps’ to make decisions, it is to enhance their success rate with the right support system that drives correct judgement.  

Time is money. If you ask me, it is your sales team’s number one asset. The question is, how well are they investing it?”

It is hard to get your best customer’s attention. And when you’ve got this limited time in front of the physician the best way to move the call, conversation and sales forward is by preventing those “cookie cutter” sales presentations and “data dumping”. 

Give your sales reps an opportunity to see things differently and give them the data they never had before.”

Interested to put your sales team’s time to best use? Request a demo of whiz.ai. 

About Rohit Vashisht

AvatarSerial entrepreneur, analytics guru, and AI visionary. Founded Sverve, later acquired by Bloglovin’. Held leadership positions at large enterprise software companies and spent time in private equity. Engineering BS from I.I.T, with MBA from NYU. Loves to read, play cricket, golf, and being extroverted.

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