4 Tips to Overcome Challenges of Remote Reach to Doctors and Medical Health Professionals

Introduction

Since 2020, COVID-19 has disrupted the way pharmaceutical companies interact with doctors and healthcare professionals (HCPs). Now, as most markets have resumed pre-pandemic activity level, it is no surprise, that many pharma industries and companies went back to the pre-COVID normal for HCP engagement, with more face-to-face interaction. Today we bring you 4 tips to overcome challenges of remote reach to doctors and HCPs.

Even though face-to-face interaction is coming back, remote doctor and HCP engagement is here to stay. Globally, there is still, an appetite among HCPs to hear from pharma companies about the latest innovations in healthcare. Does that hold true in Nepal – a predominantly generic market with very low product differentiation?

Our Observations

In the last few weeks, we explored how generic companies can create better value for doctors and  HCPs by integrating services into the product mix and thinking beyond medicines.

team of Health Care Professionals and Doctors attending training workshop of BaAma Consultant

As far as engaging with doctors and HCPs is concerned, some of them seem to have become comfortable with remote digital engagement. Due to the growing number of remote interactions, total doctor interactions will increase as difficult-to-access healthcare providers in uncovered areas are covered.

That said, adapting to the new hybrid phygital (physical + digital) era is still unclear to most pharmaceutical companies. The change is met with fear and trepidation instead of an appreciation of how this new era offers exciting opportunities for further growth. Probably because it involves investing in the right infrastructure, resources, and expertise to manage remote HCP engagement.

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How can pharmaceutical companies reach their target doctors and healthcare professionals (HCPs)?

So, how can pharma companies ensure they have the capability and capacity to reach their target doctors and HCPs, providing them with the information they need and using the channels they wish to be reached on?

How can pharmaceutical companies reach their target doctors and healthcare professionals (HCPs)?

Doctors and HCPs must understand what they want from remote calls in order to accomplish this. It is the same thing that they want from any communication: relevant information that’s personalized to their needs and delivered in an engaging way — all conveyed as concisely as possible. 

The best remote experience is always the one that delivers the most benefit to HCPs. That means great content presented with skill. As more companies implement remote engagements, it’s the value delivered makes you stand out from the competition and maintains access to doctors and HCPs.

Challenges to Hybrid (Phygital) Communication with Doctors and Health Care Professionals

The key challenges to hybrid working continue to be the same as in-person interactions. In Nepal, since products do not differentiate, doctors had reduced interest in Medical Representative interaction in in-clinic calls even before Covid struck.  It is clear that this trend has been accelerating as new ways of working are emerging. 

Challenges to Hybrid (Phygital) Communication with Doctors and Health Care Professionals

Pharmaceuticals Industries and Companies that were able to utilize customer insight, analyze customer preferences, and create doctors’ personalized content received much greater welcome on digital channels and later in-clinic too. Call time increased significantly according to industry estimates, and better quality positively impacted productivity.

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How to overcome challenges of remote reach to doctors and HCPs?

You might what to know how to overcome challenges of remote reach to doctors and HCPs. Companies can overcome remote access challenges by implementing the following simple strategies:

How to overcome challenges of remote reach to doctors and HCPs?

1. Creating proper insights and analytics 

Building the right insights and analytics capabilities by understanding what data points to collect, retain, analyze, and insights from is very important. 

For any pharmaceutical company, to have proper knowledge to know what kind of data is needed and what data must be used more often before

2. Skilling employees to understand new ways of working.

New ways of working require orienting the selling process into a serving process. The serving mindset needs to focus on customers and serving them in the most appropriate way is key to establishing long-term loyal relationships even via remote reach. 

For this Medical Representative training program, soft skill training or a workshop, digital marketing strategies, and customer engagement strategies in Pharmaceuticals should be taken wisely. This helps in increasing and boosting your skills to know more new ways of working in the Pharmaceutical industry.

3. Rethinking their content and communication strategy

In the remote world, Doctors and HCPs have no obligations to interact with your content if they find it irrelevant or not add value to their needs. Therefore the content has to be refreshed frequently, almost in real-time. 

It has to be personalized to an individual customer level and it has to be set up in a chronological manner to ensure that cross-channel working is not hampered. If an email reaches the doctor before the medical representative does, or an LBL fails to reach it on time, the relevance of the whole omnichannel conversation is lost.

4.Measuring HCP interactions the right way

An added complexity to remote interactions is in attributing the success of an initiative to the right channel or person. 

Which part of the whole journey convinced the doctor to prescribe? Was it the experience, was it the relevance of the content or was it the medical representative who called at just the right time? 

This is viewed as a complexity largely because we continue to incentivize the outcome (sales) and not the customer journey (process). Hence learning how to measure remote interactions the right way is important but quite complex at the moment.

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Conclusion

So how are companies learning how to do this? 

Let me know your experiences and any thoughts you might have on the subject.

Also, if you or your company provide a marketing service with sales force such as a medical representative, first-line managers(FLM), sales manager, and you may need productivity training or workshop related to the competency development of the sales force, then we BaAma Consultant Service Pvt. Ltd. provide services like soft skills training from an experienced trainer, digital marketing strategies and customer engagement strategies in Pharmaceutical Industry from a well-experienced trainer- Mr. Diwakar Rijal who has worked in this industry for many years. 

We have been providing a digital doctor engagement strategy, job training, digital marketing strategies, and consultant service for various clients in Nepal. 

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