Is Your Pharma Sales Rep Training Working?

March 15, 2019 | Alec Shirkey
Is Your Pharma Sales Rep Training Working?

In today’s market, a pharma sales rep must win the attention of busy healthcare providers, stay on top of complex industry regulations, and have subject matter expertise when it comes to the products and the competitive landscape. Because of this, reps often need specialized training that prepares them to have in-depth, meaningful conversations with physicians and other medical professionals.

Like most other reps, pharma sales reps are also under pressure to achieve performance targets – which is only getting tougher. In fact, roughly 2/3 of new drug launches fail to meet pre-launch sales expectations during their first year, according to McKinsey & Company.

Because of this increased pressure, pharma sales reps are constantly on the road, working diligently to meet their goals, which makes training them a big challenge.

“Dumping informational emails and invites to mandatory training sessions on your reps after a long day of visiting busy doctors is exactly the type of ‘show up and throw up’ delivery method that you tell your reps not to use when approaching healthcare providers,” said Karl Tiedemann of Greyhealth Group.

The truth is that old-school corporate training simply doesn’t get the job done in the fast-changing pharma industry.

Watch the video above to learn how technology can help pharma companies achieve sales readiness.

Key Challenges of Pharma Sales Rep Training

It’s one thing to know that pharma reps have completed required training courses. It’s another to know, with confidence, that each rep is ready to do the job effectively.

One problem with traditional training methods is that they often don’t incorporate assessments that ensure reps can apply what they’ve learned during training and deliver value messaging that goes “beyond the pill.” Reps who haven’t mastered key knowledge and skills risk wasting precious time in front of tough-to-access healthcare professionals.

Another issue is that traditional training often isn’t continuous. You can’t take reps out of the field regularly for on-site training programs, but in order to adequately prepare them to sell, they always need to be up to date on the latest changes in your industry.

That’s why today’s pharma reps need sales readiness programs, powered by technology, that provide the training, coaching and content needed to make the most of every opportunity in the field.

How Sales Readiness Supports Pharma Sales Rep Training

  • Improve sales effectiveness: Physician access is only getting more difficult. Prepare your reps to seize their moments of opportunity – and prevent unprepared reps from going “off-script” in front of buyers – with a readiness strategy that incorporates video coaching assessments.
     
  • Keep reps in the loop: Pharma reps might have a lot on their plates, but they need to be seen as experts by healthcare professionals. Continuous readiness helps every field force member stay ready with the latest competitive and regulatory changes by ensuring that reps can understand and apply new information to their buyer conversations.
     
  • Reduce training costs: Continually flying reps to national headquarters for on-site training isn’t an efficient use of their time or your training budget. Deliver learning to reps in “bite-size chunks” – wherever they work. This can not only improve learning retention, but it can also reduce training-related travel costs.

The right technology can support all of these areas. A platform like Brainshark, for example, allows pharma companies to easily create engaging content, deliver on-demand training courses, and provide video coaching assessments that validate message mastery.

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