Yesterday I was on a webinar that was given by Gartner, where they said something that really stood out.

"Buyers are looking for a seller free experience" 

But, of course, life sciences is different, surely people will have to have face-to-face meetings?  It would seem that the pandemic has put pay to that, will people want to go back to face-to-face meetings as we come out of lock down?

This article states ...

"Every biopharmaceutical company has changed the way they work in response to COVID-19. For most, this has been a significant opportunity to rethink commercial operations and accelerate the move to digital as a way to better serve healthcare providers (HCPs). Thinking has shifted from short-term problem-solving to long-term digital transformation efforts.

Moving ahead, digital will become more than just a way to communicate, but also enable key services from drug sampling and HCP consent to medical inquiry management. Companies will better meet HCPs on their terms with the information and services they need through any channel, any device, at any time, in every therapeutic area.

For digital adoption to take hold, rep relationships will be key to opening the door to more digital opportunities with HCPs and advancing the adoption of new digital approaches. The ability for reps to work in a digital, virtual environment will certainly be critical, but relationship-based selling will continue to be just as important.

“Without a doubt, digital is the way to go,” said Andrew J. Moore, MD, hematologist and oncologist at Southeast Cancer Center, at Veeva Summit Online"

This survey by Accenture, taken during the pandemic shows that only 10% of doctors want to go back to having face-to-face meetings with sales people.

For a sales force that is used to making meetings and then having face-to-face meeting this is causing a massive upheaval.  Of course Life Science companies, have always made profits, and some are benefiting greatly from the current pandemic.  So it's not like these companies are going bust, but behind the scenes a transformation is taking place. 

I was on the phone to a CEO today and one of this salesforce had said to him "I cannot sell if I cannot see somebody face-to-face".  If one sales person said this, I wonder how many people are thinking it? 

Accenture say in the report

“Our pharma clients started focusing on messages that were much more germane and relevant for the time,” Pressburger (the report author from Accenture) said. “HCPs (Health Care Professionals) have said, and this research confirmed, that it is dramatically more useful and relevant for them and of better quality. As a result, the companies who are focusing on that are getting more time with doctors and building better relationships.”

The report goes onto say

"The research showed major differences from the initial days of the pandemic. Gone is the scramble to figure out simply how sales reps can use digital technology; today, there's a more evolved focus on what reps should talk about."

"The old way, with reps getting a few minutes of in-person time to quickly recite product benefits, will give way to support and assistance messages. Why? Because the reps doing it now are gaining real rewards—and docs will keep asking."

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 in the form of case studies, what we are doing for other businesses to transform them to digital.  No hard sell, just practical examples.

DLA Ignite is a global business and we understand that a "cookie cutter" approach to digital does not work, we have to take into account local language and cultural sensitivities.  Which is why we have built teams across the globe, that can support you by country and industry sector. 

For more information contact me here, visit our website, or visit our Linkedin company page and contact one of the DLA Ignite team members.