I remember when I left University a friend of mine took a job as a Medical Sales Representative, he was paid the most of us University levers, he also had a company car. He needed to car as what he did was drive from doctor to doctor leaving samples. His day was taken up in terms of meeting people and having conversations.
Not so easy in a virtual world.
The Pandemic is transforming the world of sales and marketing and certainly so in the world of Pharma sales, in this research we have found
About 60% of surgeons believe that restrictions on in-person sales representative access are likely to persist even after a Covid-19 vaccine is available.
Of the 75% of physicians who preferred in-person visits from medtech representatives prior to Covid-19, 47% now prefer virtual exchanges or less-frequent visits.
Many physicians once skeptical of virtual interactions with sales reps now report these exchanges are high quality.
Covid-19 has changed how medtech and pharma representatives interact with physicians, and the new protocol is likely to endure even after a vaccine or treatment is available.
The other week I was on a webinar, I was invited on to talk about digital, digital disruption, digital transformation and the use of social media strategically within a business.
There was a question from a medtech and pharma who made a comment that I've always get from medtech and pharma Institutions.
But We Are Regulated
"But we are regulated". It shows a massive misunderstanding of digital, digital transformation and using social strategically. Let me explain, but let me first set the seen of where we are with the global shift to digital buy all of us, consumers, buyers and companies.
It's worth quoting from the report
"In the aftermath of Covid-19, however, physicians are likely to shift more marketing and training events to virtual settings. These interactions are often critical opportunities to build relationships with surgeons, and digital exchanges will require sales reps to develop new skills."
Businesses Have Switched to Social Media
Even before the pandemic there was a switch to working online, but Covid19 has accelerated that.
Worldwide social media users: 4.14 billion - 53% of the world's population use social media in other words, more people use social media than don't use it.
Simon says that "two thirds of the working population in the world is now active on social media."
Social Media Isn't About Cat Photos
Many people still think that social media is a cat photos and posting photos of your lunch and in the business-to-consumer (B2C) world it could be about that.
I'm talking about having a tried and tested methodology that is designed to help you sell, not Linkedin training but a methodology to use social based on modern psychology.
Social Media In a Regulated World
At this point people from medtech and pharma businesses (and Financial Services companies) are screaming at the screen "but we are regulated". Here is why you shouldn't be using content that impacts on your regulation in the first place.
Banning Content That Would Impact a Regulated Company
First and foremost, you have to understand, social media is NOT posting things about your company, it's products and is NOT using words like "Guaranteed". Not because you shouldn't under regulation, but because, nobody is interested in the first place. In fact, all of the words and types of posts that are banned in a regulated world, should be banned from any companies social media feeds anyway.
Content That Works In a Regulated World
Based on our research, (so based on data and not based on an opinion) the above pyramid of content shows what gets engagement and shows what content does not.
All of the content that is impacted by regulation companies you shouldn't be posting in the first place. There is no place in the world in 2020 for "buy my product because it's great" which is the way that companies market today. There is no place for this in a regulated world either. So we know we shouldn't do it because we live in a regulated world and we know we shouldn't do it because it gets no engagement and we know we shouldn't do it because nobody is interested.
So what conclusion should we come to? Of course, don't do it.
Who's doing this? - Case Study
This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite and he got 6 C-Level meetings from this post. The post took him 10 minutes too create. He does have posts that have got a better response, the one about Led Zeppelin for example.
This usually shocks people.
How can a post about Eric's 16 year old son get 18,000 views and 165 likes?
But better still, how can a post like this get 6 - C-Level meetings?
Because, all of Eric's post are strategic. He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.
He doesn't always post humanised content, I'm using this as an example.
You Need a Methodology on Social
The other problem with social is that people post and hope. We often see VPs posting and all of their directs liking the post, this is just a "random act of social". It's unlikely to move the needle and unlikely to generate you anything such as a business.
Everything that Eric posts on social is strategic. He, using our pyramid of content, knows which content to post and when. Because he knows which type of content will get him the best effect. He also knows how to monetize that content. (This is all part of the methodology we teach in our training and coaching).
As we now know, none of this impacts on the issues of regulation.
I'm sorry to say, that there are no excuses for banks, wealth management, insurance companies, professional services, life sciences not to embrace digital transformation through social. And as our clients in these industries know, there is a great opportunity for revenue, net new clients, competitive advantage; even in a pandemic.
This article concludes with the paragraph ....
"Digital models have emerged as a safe alternative means of delivering healthcare services during the Covid-19 pandemic—both to patients needing treatment and to physicians seeking pharma and medtech sales services. It is likely that some, but not all, elements of the virtual model will endure. As a result, pharma and medtech companies’ migration to virtual selling will need to evolve over time, with careful consideration of customers’ evolving attitudes toward virtual selling."
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
About 60% of surgeons believe that restrictions on in-person sales representative access are likely to persist even after a Covid-19 vaccine is available. Of the 75% of physicians who preferred in-person visits from medtech representatives prior to Covid-19, 47% now prefer virtual exchanges or less-frequent visits. Many physicians once skeptical of virtual interactions with sales reps now report these exchanges are high quality.