The tools used in pharmaceutical sales training are evolving. Key drivers of this evolution are technological advancements and healthcare industry changes that increase demands on healthcare providers’ time. If you’re a pharmaceutical sales trainer, ensuring that training tools and processes are keeping up with the times is essential. Benefits of doing so include:
- Control that comes from a consistent sales message
- Better customer relationships
- Improved productivity from sales reps
- More sales
- Better management of territories and accounts
- Improved sales rep morale
- Lower turnover among reps
Effective Training Settings Vary With the Situation
The classroom is far from the only setting for pharmaceutical sales training. In fact, effective training all but requires a well-rounded approach that puts pharma sales reps in a variety of settings so they can develop and polish skills outside the controlled environment of the classroom. While traditional classrooms may always be necessary for certain situations, other effective settings for pharmaceutical sales training include:
- Training in the field with a trainer or manager
- Refresher training, which may be delivered electronically
- Corporate training, which may take place at corporate HQ
- Training provided by consultants
- eLearning modules, which are becoming increasingly important
Transitioning from Traditional Pharmaceutical Sales Training to eLearning
While not all pharmaceutical sales training can be delivered electronically, much of it can be, and for some companies, a transition is required from traditional classroom training to eLearning. There are several ways to accomplish this. Perhaps the easiest way to start is by re-purposing existing hard copy materials into electronic form so they can be read on laptops, tablets, or smartphones.
Development of high-quality multimedia content in the form of videos, quizzes, and even games can help trainers successfully move beyond traditional classroom walls. And many companies are investing in virtual knowledge bases to develop central repositories of all training content so it can be located, searched, and disseminated efficiently. It’s also important that sales trainers and managers develop techniques for measuring training effectiveness as it moves beyond the traditional classroom.
Gamification in Pharmaceutical Sales Training
A pharmaceutical sales training tool that is worth watching is gamification. Gamification tools, which are often custom-developed, immerse pharmaceutical sales reps in game-like scenarios that allow them to learn new skills with the help of immediate, personalized feedback and then practice those skills in the course of the game until they become second nature. Gamification of training receives high marks from those in training and from the companies they work for due to games’ “immersive” qualities and the fact that they are engaging in a way that traditional training sometimes cannot be.
Using e-Detailing to Cope With Increased Pressure on Doctors’ Time
e-Detailing techniques make up an important skill set in today’s pharmaceutical sales training. This is simply a way to make better use of the increasingly squeezed time of physicians and other healthcare providers, and it makes better use of the sales rep’s time too. One type of e-detailing is virtual live e-detailing, where physicians are provided with a device pre-loaded with software and a webcam that makes it easy for doctors to learn about products and contact sales reps with their questions. Reps who offer virtual live e-detailing have enjoyed longer interaction times with physicians at a much lower cost in terms of time, allowing them to increase the number of sales calls in a given day.
e-Detailing portals are another option for delivering information efficiently. This option is particularly well-suited for specialists who can be hard to see in person. Scripted e-detailing allows physicians, at their convenience, to view interactive screens concerning products. Although scripted e-detailing doesn’t include live interaction, links on each screen allow doctors to contact sales reps instantly. Scripted e-detailing and e-detailing portals deliver precise information efficiently at a lower cost than traditional sales calls, with the convenience of after-hours access.
Tools of the trade for pharmaceutical sales training are never completely static, though best practices and results keep many training tools around for the long term. How pharmaceutical sales training is delivered is changing, due to technological advances that allow exciting, engaging training that doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom. Today’s training also incorporates techniques that allow pharmaceutical sales reps to reach physicians more conveniently and efficiently, allowing them to reach out to more customers and potential customers every day.
At CLD, Inc. our job is to provide pharmaceutical sales trainers with the tools they need to develop an outstanding team of pharmaceutical sales reps. With a broad range of tools and techniques, plus an extensive collection of free online resources, CLD is your partner in traditional training, eLearning, gamification, and custom learning programs. The result is a pharmaceutical sales force that is empowered to exceed expectations and help physicians deliver better healthcare. If you would like to know more, we invite you to contact us with any questions you may have.