10 tips for great remote detailing
By Dante Murphy, VP, Engagement Strategy
Since 2019, marketers have gone from 41.1% utilization of remote detailing to 66.7%, an incredible 62.3% increase.1 And while the share of remote conversations has declined slightly since the onset of COVID-19, they are expected to stabilize at double their pre-COVID levels next year, rising from 22% to 44%.2 That being said, because most remote detail experiences compound the limitations of content developed for an iPad with the limitations of videoconferencing, only half of HCPs recently polled rated remote interactions as better or the same quality as in-person interactions.2
To deliver more value and impact, the pharmaceutical industry will need to make remote detailing a focal part of their marketing plans, rather than a contingency.
10 tips for a great remote detailing experience
Below are some tips to follow for developing best-in-class remote detailing experiences.
BEFORE THE CALL:
1. Design the remote detail from the ground up
Don’t expect your existing materials to work well as remote presentations. Transitions and interactive features need to be refigured—or eliminated entirely—for a remote detail. Ensure content is formatted for landscape presentation, be cognizant of file size and bandwidth limitations, and minimize the use of video and sound, which can degrade over a videoconferencing connection.
2. Train and rehearse sales staff on remote detailing
Sales reps have honed their “game” for in-person presentations and will need new training and plenty of practice to have the same effectiveness at remote detailing. Train them on every aspect of the remote detail—from the importance of do not disturb mode to how to play the role of tech support for the HCP if needed. Provide them with ample opportunity to rehearse and refine their skills as well.
3. Focus the first interaction on getting the logistics right
When calling a HCP remotely for the first time, be prepared for technical glitches. Even the most tech savvy HCP may encounter technical limitations beyond their control. Have a humble agenda, and use the first call to iron out the logistics and set the foundation for the relationship. Be sure to confirm the date and time of the call and use automated reminders with the necessary links and instructions.
4. Ensure content is easily shareable
Because the rep can’t hand a reprint or white paper to the HCP, it’s important to have any supporting material in a digital format. The HCP may want to view or save the document during the call, so direct access while the context is fresh is essential.
DURING THE CALL:
5. Present effectively with focused segments
Start the call “face to face” with cameras on and build rapport before sharing digital content. Once content is shared it is much harder to facilitate the emotional parts of a conversation. Ensure that any content that will be shared on screen is easy to read and clearly conveys its message.
6. Know when to pivot to “face time”
Once the rep has shared digital content, they should pivot back to “face to face” mode and summarize or reinforce any key messages, and confirm the HCP has understood. Probing for questions while face to face on camera is more likely to elicit a response than when digital content is still in focus.
7. Share supporting content in real time using chat or file transfer
As mentioned above, have supporting content ready to share with the HCP via the chat or file transfer. This allows the HCP to review it in real time, just as if the rep were to hand them a reprint.
AT THE END OF THE CALL:
8. Plan and schedule the next call
While the HCP is at their computer with a calendar nearby, schedule the next call. Agree on the topic to be covered, and promise to send an invitation that includes the meeting link and summary.
9. Extend the invitation to others in the practice
Nurses, PAs, access coordinators, and other non-prescribers play important roles within every healthcare practice. Pull together content that addresses their needs or questions and seek opportunities to connect with them—either with the prescriber present or without.
10. Use triggered emails to clarify a point, complete an interrupted conversation, or set up the next call
Many pharmaceutical companies bemoan the low utilization of rep triggered emails. However, triggered emails are 3 to 5 times more likely to be opened than cadence-based CRM communications when the recipient either requested the information or was told that a follow-up email would be sent.
Remote detailing is here to stay. By planning for it as a core strategy rather than a compromise, pharmaceutical companies can extend their reach and the impact of their field sales force. To learn more about how to best optimize virtual engagements with HCPs, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1. Mahoney S. The 2021 MM+M/HealthLink Dimensions Healthcare Marketers Survey Published March 10, 2021.
- 2. Sermo. Current & Future Remote Engagement With Pharma Sales Representatives Published May 1, 2021.