The job of Pharmaceutical sales representatives is unique compared to the sales reps of other industries. They have to spend most of their time educating physicians and pharmacists on new medicines, prescription drugs, and medical equipment. And the hard part is, physicians and pharmacists possess more knowledge on the diseases and medicines than these reps.
So it is obvious that the industry now needs highly knowledgeable reps who are not just trained on the products but also on diseases, so that they can engage in effective conversations with the doctor, making more sales. But the real challenge is, how do you train these busy sales reps?
Considering the mobile nature of their jobs, classroom training is not a good idea. So, you need smart training options to quickly equip your sales people with the knowledge needed to make an effective sale. Here are a few training models you can adopt.
A sales rep must know everything about the product he has to promote; starting from the causes of the disease, how the product or medicine helps, precautions for its usage, how it is different from competitors’ products, and so on.
If all this knowledge is imparted at once, it can become overwhelming to the sales rep. So it is better you segregate the information and build concise learning modules that are digestible. These bite sized learning modules focus on 1-2 learning points and are ideal to avoid cognitive load on the sales representative.
Medical reps are always on the move, promoting different products. So a quick brush up of knowledge before meeting the doctors will be of great help. For example, how do they apply the product knowledge when they face the doctor- the clinical applications or indications of a particular drug.
These micro learning modules or videos ranging from 1- 5 minutes will act as performance support tools reps can access whenever they need.
Having product knowledge is just not enough for the medical rep, he must know how to handle the doctor and his objections. This is where experiential learning comes in. From the instructional strategy point of view, this can be achieved through scenarios, virtual environments, learning games, and simulations.
So all we need to do is gather real world situations and allow learners practice under some guidance. This is a powerful way of making learning stick for longer time. This way, learners will learn how to develop a dialogue around the product and make an effective conversation with the physician.
In this method of learning, learners can be given a chance to collaborate and learn from each other. You can also allow them to get information from forums and social platforms, when the need arises.This has the advantage of learning whatever they want and at the moment of need.
It is essential for companies to train their reps before they send them out into the market. Trainings available on just a click and constant reinforcement can work like magic. How do you support your medical sales reps perform their jobs? We would love to hear your experiences.