93% of life science executives expect virtual detailing, also known as e-detailing, to become an even more prominent part of their sales/engagement model in 2022 and beyond, according to Accenture.
Many physicians are no longer willing to schedule and meet with pharma reps, or at least not at the same frequency. A recent study of 1,285 doctors showed that nearly half have stopped taking meetings altogether. Almost 40% said they had no communication with a pharmaceutical rep – and this was before the pandemic hit.
This has forced pharmaceutical and MedTech companies to shift how they approach healthcare professionals (HCPs). It’s also why Pfizer recently announced it’s cutting positions from its U.S. sales staff to focus on a more digital sales approach. At the same time, we see the role of MSLs and KAMs gaining momentum (hybrid mode).
E-detailing continues to evolve as one of the life science tech trends in 2022.
What is e-detailing?
E-detailing uses digital technology to market, promote, and generate product advocacy and recommendations for life sciences products. Electronic visits (e-visits) and robust digital engagement and product material allow for greater detail and meaningful interaction even as physicians increasingly reduce the amount of in-person visits they’re willing to schedule.
E-detailing includes digitizing engagement and educational materials that allow use on-demand or during virtual visits. When physicians can access the information they want on their schedule, they’re more likely to engage. For life science companies, this also allows greater personalization to customize content.
6 benefits of leveraging e-detailing to match individual HCP needs
When you match e-detailing to individual HCP needs, you can improve performance and efficiency in several ways. Besides the obvious benefits of reducing travel costs and saving time, e-detailing offers several advantages over a fully in-person sales/engagement strategy.
1. Increased HCP engagement
An HCP survey by Accenture revealed that 87% of HCPs want all virtual or hybrid models moving forward. If you want to improve HCP engagement, you need to provide the information they want and ensure it’s easy to use on an HCP’s timetable.
Because e-detailing is digital, it can be interactive and provide varying levels of depth depending on how immersed a physician becomes in a particular piece of content. It can include video, graphics, and forms to capture attention and drive leads.
Engagement is also at a much deeper level with e-detailing. While an in-person meeting may only last two to four minutes, physicians are likely to spend more time with relevant and engaging digital assets. The rep's involvement in using omni-channel engagement tactics properly and actively results in overall higher top of mind and advocacy.
2. Track customer engagement
E-detailing platforms allow you to track engagement. Because you can see what was viewed, how long it was viewed, and what customers interacted with, you better understand the interests and areas of focus for HCPs and which content performs better, resulting in continuously updated and customized content.
Closed-loop marketing tracks each interaction and touch point, allowing reps, MSLs (medical science liaisons), and KAMs (key account managers) to share the outcome of each lead with marketing. This data creates a better understanding of lead sources and, in turn, increases sales and engagement effectiveness.
3. Provide a consistent, high-quality experience
By controlling the messaging, e-detailing allows you to create a consistent, high-quality experience. Analyzing data lets you see what content resonates best with your customer, so you can continually optimize your messaging for maximum effectiveness.
4. Produce targeted communication
You can also take a more personalized approach by targeting individual companies, practices, or physicians with targeted communication. The more relevant you make content to individual practitioners, the more effective your communications will be.
5. Make updates simpler
As information is updated, revised, or supplemented, e-detailing makes it easy to ensure all your digital content is current. Digital content reduces operational costs while providing access to the latest, compliant version of marketing and sales material.
6. E-detailing has multiple uses
While e-detailing can replace face-to-face contact when not possible, it can also be used to augment in-person visits. The same materials supplement or enhance personal interactions.
The e-detailing landscape: 5 most common types of e-detailing
E-detailing can be employed in several ways. Here are some common approaches life science companies take.
Remote e-detailing allows you to connect virtually rather than having to be in the same room. As everyone becomes more comfortable using video conferencing software, remote meetings are commonplace. With e-detailing, you can create highly-produced virtual meetings with interactive elements.
Self-service e-detailing works for you 24x7 and allows HCPs to interact with your content at their own pace. Self-service e-detailing captures data that helps you track customer touch points and analyze intent.
E-detailing helps solve the challenges of today’s multichannel environment. You can create landing pages, microsites and interactive content that works cross-channel to ensure you’re engaging with HCPs in their preferred channel.
Multichannel e-detailing creates consistent delivery across channels, in a seamless way, including digital assets, websites, on-demand content, mobile apps, emails, webinars, etc. It eliminates information silos and provides a comprehensive approach to messaging.
The best e-detailing platforms allow for omnichannel engagement and make it easy to move seamlessly between channels. For example, a conversation might start with an email or chat and then move to your website, virtual video or face-to-face meeting, or a phone call.
Rather than conducting on-site dinner meetings or speaker programs, life sciences companies can leverage virtual assets to conduct webinars and interact with multiple participants. This is a great way to include everyone that works with the HCP, like nurses or physician’s assistants who might not otherwise get a chance to engage.
Exceed HCP expectations with these 5 e-detailing best practices
Use these best practices to optimize your performance and exceed HCP expectations.
1. Ensure the takeaways are clear and concise
If you can’t communicate your message clearly and concisely, you run the risk of losing customer attention. Research shows you have less than three seconds to grab someone’s attention.
However, that’s just the first hurdle. Once you have your customer’s attention, you must quickly make your value proposition clear. Early in the interaction, clearly communicate what’s in it for the HCP and their patients, how you can help them achieve their goals, then ensure all your supporting stories, materials, scripts, etc., align.
2. Create strong visuals through storytelling
There’s a long-standing truism in sales, “facts tell, stories sell.” When you tell a compelling story using strong visuals, you’re likely to hold someone’s attention, make an emotional connection, and leave an impression.
Storytelling has been shown to impact brain chemistry. Not only does storytelling tend to improve engagement, but it’s also more memorable and can engender greater trust. Implement items in your e-detailing materials and meetings to build and support your narrative, such as:
- Specific use cases
- Patient profiles
- Challenges faced by HCPs
You want HCPs to focus on these and visualize your products improving their practice.
3. Make content responsive
Include interactive tools within your e-detailing platform, such as chats and surveys, and different formats like audio and video.
As HCPs engage with your e-detailing, take control of your content automation to deliver relevant and engaging content at exactly the right time. The right sales enablement platform also tracks customer sentiment, so you know what content customers prefer to guide their journey.
4. Integrate e-detailing with your CRM and marketing platform
Effective e-detailing means tight integration with your CRM and marketing platform. You need to be able to track interactions, engagement, and sentiment across every touch point to create a more holistic view of your customer. When information is siloed, important details can slip through the cracks.
Reps, MSLs, and KAMs need the capability to access past interactions and know which products, solutions, and types of content work best with specific types of HCPs. Sales reps can also engage with HCPs in real-time to assess their needs and behaviors and adjust their content when needed.
5. Segment and customize
Segmenting your customers helps you deliver more relevant content to the right person at the right time. You can segment customers based on specialties and customize at scale with the right e-detailing platform.
Segmenting the different types of HCPs, for example, into their specialty and adjusting the content you send them so it’s more customized and helpful will increase engagement.
What to look for in an e-detailing platform
An e-detailing platform can help accelerate your sales and deliver consistent digital messaging for your entire marketing and sales effort. There are a few key factors to consider when evaluating platforms.
1. Content management
You need to be able to create, edit, convert, and share content in any way you want. This requires interactive content management and automation tools to create immersive content, embed rich media, set permissions, push content, and personalize your marketing.
2. Consent management
You need an easy way to obtain and track user consent. An e-detailing platform should allow for consent management, including recording consent and signatures for follow-ups with physicians. You also want a platform that enables your sales reps to manage channel permissions with a few clicks.
3. Content sharing
You should also look for an e-detailing platform that fosters the simple sharing of compliance content. For example, rep-triggered emails can be personalized to improve engagement.
4. Remote detailing
Once you’ve gained someone’s attention, you want to easily connect with them through any channel and initiate a screen broadcast or session. You should be able to move between channels simply and start remote engagements with a few taps.
5. Closed-loop marketing
You need to be able to track every interaction and customize content based on customer behavior. A fully-integrated e-detailing platform will allow you to personalize at scale to deliver more relevant content.
6. Mobile dashboards
Mobile dashboards allow your sales reps and managers to access reporting in the field, offline, or from wherever they’re working. You should be able to track progress, sales rep activity, and customer interactions on the go.
Pitcher: The solution for e-detailing and sales enablement to close your marketing loop
Pitcher acts as a single point of contact between managers, marketers, and field reps to ensure consistent communication and messaging to the customers.
Mission-critical activities and HCP-facing informational tasks are created, assigned, and handled easily, increasing data visibility for every team member and cutting down on time-consuming detail capturing and administrative work.
Using Pitcher’s consent management module, reps can manage channel permissions with a few swipes of the screen. With robust tracking and measurement, you can gauge interest and sentiment to target future interactions and continually optimize your sales cycle.To learn more about how Pitcher can help enhance your e-detailing and increase HCP engagement, book a meeting or schedule a free, live demo today.
Get fresh insights monthly, straight to your inbox. Subscribe to the Pitcher newsletter here.