January 18, 2023

Field Reps to Trusted Advisors: Adding value to F2F, email, and video interactions

Dr. Deepika Salwankar
David Logue and Mehrnaz Campbell in conversation about evolving roles and responsibilities of field teams

With the return of teams in the field, yet challenged by restricted HCP access, we need better hybrid engagement throughout the customer journey to achieve pre-pandemic levels of meaningful interactions.  Customer-facing teams are not just sales reps anymore – customers are receiving value through personalization, field-triggered emails, and connecting HCPs/ stakeholders to the right content and the right colleague. Field-based colleagues need to be enabled and empowered at each stage to create that value with data and insights at the right point in time.  

David Logue Chief Strategy Officer at Tact.ai explores the changes in the field team's new roles in conversation with Mehrnaz Campbell, the founder, and CEO of Cheemia, with experience in UK healthcare for over 36 years, initially as a nurse and then 30 years in various sales and marketing leadership positions with pharmaceutical companies.

Why don't we start with customers, what are the Health Care Providers looking for?

Mehrnaz: The HCPs are more open to digital channels and prefer them because it is much more flexible and faster to receive information through digital channels. But since their workload has also increased, they are getting more emails hitting their inboxes, more digital content that they need to read and digest, and more remote consultations with their patients. And then obviously Pharma sales professionals are trying to reach out to them, so they are getting more contacts from Pharma.

And to manage this information (so that they do not get burned out) the HCPs filter it out at the end of the day. When you get all these digital interactions and data being thrown at you (a Human) would like to connect with another Human-beings, because talking to another person is much more energizing than reading emails.

I think what the HCPs find is when they have a meaningful conversation with an industry /sales professional, the sales professional can help them join the dots. Because within the healthcare environment a lot of silos exist, the HCPs are not able to navigate their way around without the help of field reps. The key here is that all communication needs to be relevant, address HCP’s pain points, and be timely delivered when they need it the most.  

When we think about this human-to-human connection, obviously when we are having a personal conversation or meeting somebody, we personalize our interaction. So how can a Pharma company best personalize interactions with their customer?

With customers, especially HCPs, but this includes all customers, you need to think about their role and priorities and what they are trying to achieve. Like what is their primary goal and what matters to them the most.

You need to think about your brand proposition and the key messages you have and find a match between their needs and your propositions to find what hits The Sweet Spot.

For example, if you are talking to a nurse practitioner you know their pain point is different than a consultant. A consultant is probably more concerned about efficacy data or side effects, and the clinical evidence that supports that. A nurse practitioner is probably more concerned about impact of that medicine on the patient's tolerability &ease of use; and a pharmacist or a payer might be more concerned about cost of medicine and how that's going to affect their budget or how it is going to be processed through insurance. So, your field teams really need to think about who they are talking to, what matters to them and then lead with the proposition and the key message of your brand that hits that Sweet Spot in a timely way!

How do we continue to add value to every interaction and not waste time whilst we're trying to address the customer pain points?

To not waste time, you must be relevant. You need to know what you will say and be focused on addressing the customer’s pain point. If we are not relevant, then are we just making noise.

We need to build a reputation that the HCP’s think that a conversation with us adds value to them. So, in digital meetings, I would say the time we used to spend driving to see the HCPs now needs to be spent on doing some research to find out or review the information data that we have on that account or that customer. We need to see what's going on in their world, what Publications they've had or what the people that they read and listen to are. Then look at our previous notes and check documentation around that account for the guidelines, the shared care protocols, or their policies. That can help us have a smart objective for every call we have with them, so that we make it count.

How do we help field teams remember the previous conversation or how we provide pre-call insights before an important conversation?

Each company has its own systems and processes. And it needs to be something that works for you like we capture the core conversation on the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, we make notes for follow-up, but the CRM system (depending on which one you are using) might not be able to give you the reminders to do things when they're due or at the right time.

Digital /electronic medium creates the opportunity for us to share information across the team. So, people can see what was being said and if the team needs to notice something or follow up.

We need to play more effectively as tag team, we're not lone wolves working on our own, we are a collaborative team. And medical marketing, sales, we all need to be able to kind of tap into the same data sources to be able to see what we are trying to do with HCPs. How are we trying to add value to them and how we can collaborate on a digital platform that allows us to share information.

Learn more about the Field Reps to Trusted Advisors: Adding value to F2F, email, and video interactions session- https://www.tact.ai/vid/field-reps-to-trusted-advisors-adding-value-to-f2f-email-and-video-interactions

Dr. Deepika Salwankar
Dr. Deepika Salwankar
Community & Content Manager at Tact.ai

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