It is an undeniable fact that the job of pharmaceutical sales professional is really tough. This is because the main challenge that these people face is that they need to sell their products to doctors who are more knowledgeable and skilled than them. Pharmaceutical sales representatives must make a solid impact on the clients and convince them to take the product. To do this, they need to have the appropriate answers for all the questions that a doctor might pose on him. This is possible only when the sales representatives have a thorough knowledge on the product and this can be achieved by training them before they are commissioned to sell the product.
What is the effective training strategy to train pharmaceutical sales representatives?
The biggest constraint in training pharmaceutical sales representatives is that these people spend most of their time in travelling, to meet the physicians to sell their products. If we are training them through traditional methods (classroom), it is difficult to bring them all together at one time. Also, their valuable selling time is lost in the classroom. But through e-learning, we can overcome this constraint, as we can deliver the training anywhere, any time to suit the convenience of the trainee. This means that they can access the training modules when they find free time.
In addition to the core benefit that it can be accessed anywhere, anytime, here are some other benefits of e-learning.
1. Curriculum-based courses for comprehensive knowledge
A pharmaceutical sales representative cannot blindly go to a doctor and start promoting a product from his company. Also, having knowledge only on the product is not enough when you deal with a doctor. The sales person must have an in depth knowledge of how beneficial their product is in preventing a disease. He should in fact have as much knowledge as the doctor himself. For this to become a possibility, we can create curriculum-based courses, where the representatives will be able to learn all about anatomy and physiology, various diseases for which the company has medicine, and about drugs suitable for a particular disease. You can include selling techniques in the curriculum.
Recently, we developed a curriculum-based course for one of our pharma clients. The aim of this course was to impart knowledge to the sales representatives on the use of one of their drugs, which was used to treat a disorder related to brain. This course was divided into four modules. The first module covered the anatomy and physiology of the brain; then the second module included the symptoms of the disorder and its related topics; and then the third module covered how the drug was effective to treat the disorder and how it was better than the other drugs available in the market. The course ended with a clinical application.
Have a look at the screenshot below to get an idea about the clinical application. A scenario was created between a doctor and pharmaceutical sales representative. Through this scenario, we explained to the learner all questions that a doctor can possibly ask and how he should react and reply to them effectively.
Even after taking the training, pharmaceutical sales representatives might get nervous when they are selling the products due to lack of experience. This kind of scenarios would give him an idea of what situations he can expect when selling the product and what he needs to do.
2. Bite-sized learning to reinforce the knowledge
I think it is very hard to imagine a world without mobile devices. Such is their impact on us. When they are so important in our lives, why not use them as a learning platform by creating bite-sized learning nuggets? These learning nuggets can help sales representatives to access information anywhere, any time and on any device. While waiting for a doctor or while travelling, sales representatives can simply go through these modules and reinforce their learning.
3. Update the new products launch quickly
In this competitive world, to remain in a top position, organizations constantly need to improvise and update their products in line with the changing requirements. However, the challenging part is to train sales representatives on these new updates. Through traditional training methods, it takes a long time to create awareness in learners about the new updates, as the instructor has to first gain knowledge on the product, bring all the sales representatives at a place and then train them. But with e-learning, the modules can be updated easily and within a short time period.
These are a few benefits of e-learning in the field of training your pharmaceutical sales representatives. I hope you find this blog informative. Please do share your views on the same.