Healthcare vendors must cater their sales tactics to a new breed of buyers

Changes in legislation and a constant stream of technology and treatment updates have contributed to an ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

In this environment, sales teams for pharma, biotech and medical device vendors must keep pace with the shifting needs of their customers while ensuring sales materials are compliant and relevant to the needs of their prospects. This constant uphill battle risks decreasing sales productivity and therefore sales performance.

With new challenges, however, come new opportunities for innovation. Here are the top four areas in where sales representatives must adapt to today’s life sciences landscape, and the best ways for them to achieve and accelerate this transformation.

Prioritize Compliance
Sales representatives in healthcare have an added layer of gated information because of laws like HIPAA and ever-evolving regulations and innovations. New regulations like the EU’s GDPR point to how the global data landscape is becoming increasingly stringent. Because of this, pharmacovigilance is of utmost importance, and the industry is taking notice – proven by the fact that RegTech startups grew into a multi-billion dollar business over the course of a few years.

In the healthcare landscape, compliance is even more challenging for sales professionals, as medical science liaisons (MSLs) have some authority to share off-label content, while sales representatives can legally only share on-label content – causing confusion in the information sharing process. By eliminating non-compliant content from your sales team’s reach, you can help them feel more confident that the information they’re pulling from is the most recent and 100 percent compliant, avoiding potential legal issues and expensive audits or fines.

Steepened learning curve
As social media and communication technology advances, new sales practices and elevated standards in one region quickly spread, both geographically and throughout industries. However, life sciences companies typically only hold a few sales meetings per year for sales representatives to get together and share insights and best practices.

To foster the information-sharing process more efficiently between those in-person opportunities, sales reps should be enabled with technology, which will also help ensure those industry standards remain consistent and ever-improving. New technology in itself can be a challenge to adjust to – so, if you invest in tools to support your sales team and invest in training and education, they’re better prepared to use technology to maximum capacity.

UXpectations
Consumerism in healthcare is growing from the patient perspective, and buyers in hospitals and health systems are following suit. Research predicts that nearly half of all healthcare professionals will introduce mobile applications into their practice by 2020. In today’s on-demand climate of consumer-grade technology and information at a fingertip’s distance 24/7, sales teams must anticipate their prospects’ needs faster and in a more personalized way.

Hospital and health system buyers now expect the UX they see in their daily lives through apps like Instagram in every tech solution they use. When sales reps can point to the content their buyers need in a clean, recognizable format, it provides an added level of comfort with that buying decision. The transparency of a sales representative turning the screen toward the prospect and showing them exactly what they’re discussing builds trust.

Sales representatives as consultants
As buyers talk to potential vendors, their brains are constantly filtering what they hear through the question, “how can this give me an edge over my competition?” The best buyers may even ask that question in a sales meeting – and the best sales reps will be able to contribute to this kind of brainstorm conversation. One surefire way to be a valuable member of that conversation is to have access to information being discussed. Often this can include samples, Adverse Event reports, or documents with patient data, which are often gated and require a signature or documentation that slows down the process. However, with a streamlined mobile solution, a sales person can provide that important insight in real-time, making them a valuable asset in the brainstorming process.

Pulling it all together
Today’s advanced, yet easy-to-use sales enablement technology platforms with AI and VR capabilities can effectively arm sales reps with the tools they need for effective, productive selling. These “smart” sales enablement solutions help gain real-time insights and help the team keep up with changing regulatory requirements, reduce administrative tasks, and even show doctors a video of how a device works on an iPad. Partner with a sales enablement platform provider that values and understands the concerns your sales team has, that can adapt to your business processes.

Once you empower your sales force with the proper tools, content, learning and support, they’ll be able to spend more time listening to the needs of their prospective buyers and building relationships – resulting in improved revenue and a speedy ROI on your technology investment.

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