Tablet PCs have found inroads into the pharmaceutical industry in a big way, with many companies providing tablet PCs or iPads to their sales force. It has changed the way Pharma sales personnel could interact with Physicians, Hospital Representatives and Pharmacies.
Tablets PCs or iPads provide several benefits in the Pharma industry, particularly the sales personnel.
1. Dynamic and real-time content is more effective to capture a Physician’s interest and make the most of the limited time available for the sales call. Tablet PCs overcome the limitations of laptops such as longer boot up time, low battery life and limitations of design of traditional laptops.
2. Enables real-time management of sample inventory and ensues better response time. Electronic signature against samples delivered, speeds up the process.
3. Better equipped to handle objections, as information can be easily accessed searched from a central repository.
But, are the sales personnel using the new devices given by their companies?
According to a benchmarking study by Best Practices LLC, training is critical when devices such as iPad or tablet PCs are deployed to the field force. The study states that if medical representatives or sales personnel are not comfortable using the devices, they may just not use them and your investment would just go waste.
Enabling Effective Use of Tablets through Training
It is important that your sales person understands and realizes the potential of the tablets, for improved job performance. This needs to be done in two stages.
1. First, build resources that support selling. They can be short videos, eLearning modules, PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents that convey complex drug information, products, their features and USPs. Additionally, you can also convert any classroom training material or eLearning material, to make it compatible to tablet PCs.
2. Secondly, develop training material that teaches representatives about using the device for selling.
Here are the areas that require training for sales reps using tablet PCs.
a. How tablets help gain attention of the prospective buyer/physician.
b. How to access supplementary information from a central repository, when addressing client queries.
c. How to use tablets to complete administrative tasks such as record client visits, expense reporting, logging drug samples issued etc.
Ordering a bunch of tablet PCs, loading them with CRM software and sales collaterals and handing over to the sales force, is just not enough. It is critical that organizations invest time in training their sales force to use the mobile devices such as tablet PCs or iPads, so that their usage is maximized to improve sales efficiency
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