In 2021, almost 70% of healthcare providers (HCPs ) are digital natives.1 They’re just as comfortable going to
the supermarket as they are ordering groceries through an app. Technology has opened up new avenues for
these doctors to receive goods and information—and most are starting to expect the same of their meetings
with sales reps.
Eighty-five percent of doctors want access to reps through “virtual services” such as online meetings.2
Flexible and convenient, they provide the opportunity for deeper engagement; remote calls last 14 minutes on
average, vs. 6 minutes for meetings attended in person.3
But in the US, only 8% of HCPs are getting a true multichannel experience that includes communication from
face-to-face, email, and virtual meeting channels.4
Tips for Success: Empowering Reps with Remote Meetings
The best customer engagement strategy blends in-person and virtual channels so that reps can customize
where, when, and how frequently they speak with HCPs, according to the HCPs’ preferences. With 20% of doctors
refusing to or restricted from taking in-person calls,4 virtual meetings may be the only way reps can speak with
hard-to-see customers and access previously out-of-reach prospects.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined six tips to integrate remote meetings into your existing customer
engagement strategy and scale quickly for success:
1. Understand your customers and their preferences
Designing the right strategy requires accurate and complete customer data—which is more
than just names and email addresses. Complete data provides a clear and detailed picture of
your customers, including:
- How often you’re communicating with them
- How quickly they respond to your outreach efforts
- Which channels they prefer
Once you know how frequently—and through what channels—your customers want to be
reached, you can decide how remote meetings can enhance their journey.
2. Determine the best use cases for remote meetings
Identify clear, tailored use cases that align to both customer preferences and your company’s
business objectives. Some examples include:
- Remote detailing and sampling
- Establishing relationships with no-see providers and specialists
- Engaging hard-to-reach HCPs
- Deeper dive follow-ups
- Medical engagements
3. Have a change management plan in place
Change is an iterative process. Establishing a solid foundation for launching and scaling the
program will help ensure success:
- Start with a pilot—testing the solution with a small group of reps allows your
organization to quickly capture insights and fix what’s not working. Looking for
inspiration? Check out Pfizer’s considerations for going digital.
- Generate awareness through internal marketing—get teams excited for the launch
with company-wide announcements through email, social, and intranet sites. Be sure
to provide links to important trainings and information on the solution.
- Scale slowly but deliberately—give customer-facing teams time to adjust to the new tool.
After training users on the system, consider having them host one remote meeting per
monthso they can learn how to best integrate the new technology into their workflows.
- Customer experience matters most—doctors will also need time to learn how to use
the new tool. Make sure to train reps on the customer’s experience, including browser
vs. mobile, so they can provide necessary guidance and troubleshooting.
4. Optimize content for digital
- Start with existing content—take a look at your library of approved content. In most
cases, you can reuse content with just a few tweaks.
- Customize content for digital viewing, including mobile—when creating content for
digital channels, think about the size of your content as well as colors, fonts, and
images. Complex diagrams with contrasting colors and small fonts won’t translate well
on an iPad. Keep content simple, clear, and succinct. For more tips, take a look at this
infographic on best practices for optimizing digital experiences.
- Revisit talk tracks—ensure reps have sufficient speaking points for longer (14+ minute)
5. Identify metrics for success
Establish clear markers for success to best understand how your organization can continue to
evolve your remote engagement program in the future. Some metrics include:
- Number of meetings—are you securing more meetings?
- Length of meetings—are your meetings longer? If so, what types of content are
performing better in longer meetings?
- Number of no-see HCPs reached—have you scheduled calls with customers or
prospects who were previously inaccessible through face-to-face meetings?
- Number of follow-up meetings established—are you scheduling more follow-up
meetings? How many of these meetings are in person vs. virtual?
6. Get feedback from customers
The most important marker for success is HCP experience. Find out whether your customers
are getting value out of remote meetings:
- Survey customers—send customers a short survey after your first virtual meeting.
Be sure to keep the survey short (5 minutes max) to avoid drop off.
- Ask for feedback directly—leave a few minutes at the end of your call to ask customers
about the tool.
- Analyze customer data—monitor customer engagement through your company’s
CRM to understand which channels HCPs prefer, and what content resonates through
the digital channel.
- Tweak your digital strategy often—engaging customers with the right mix of live and
virtual touch points is an ever-changing process. A steady flow of customer feedback
will help you analyze and revise your strategy so you can continue deliver the best
experience to your customers.
Finding the balancing between in-person and online meetings is just one of the many ways technology is
changing the way pharma delivers value to customers. To learn more about leveraging digital in channels such
as email and events, check out Veeva’s Guide to Digital HCP Engagement.
“We had the pleasure to launch Veeva CRM Engage Meeting to all Grünenthal affiliates
in an incredibly fast manner, less than one month. It was a very innovative project that
has had a lot of impact on our teams and customers.”
– Florent Edouard, SVP Global Head of Commercial Excellence, Grünenthal
1 Across Health and Veeva: Intelligent HCP Engagement
3 Data generated from early adopter program