How remote communication solves your challenges

6 solutions from one technology

how-remote-com-solves

The rise and rise of
remote engagement

Remote engagement has achieved tremendous growth in pharma and medtech. Introduced as a way to communicate at a distance while maintaining much of what’s valuable in face-to-face contact, it is now being used to solve multiple commercial challenges.

The number of use cases continues to grow as Sales and Marketing explore what else it makes possible – and other departments, such as Market Access, investigate what it can do for them.

This booklet explores six applications of remote HCP engagement that are either already widespread or just starting to occur. For each, we explain what’s happening, what’s next, and then pull out a key lesson that you can apply.

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1. Improve your face-to-face engagements


What’s happening

Pharma and medtech companies haven’t jumped ship from traditional rep engagements to wholly digital communications. More and more, it’s clear that new technologies can enhance existing practices and get more from what’s already in play.

Remote is a great example. With face-to-face contact still highly prized, companies are looking to improve these meetings and deliver increased value to healthcare professionals. This is being done by scheduling remote sessions before and after each meeting.

The first remote call sets the agenda. Reps establish the topic of interest to the customer and prepare for the meeting. The follow-up enables the rep to respond to questions and confirm agreements – with all engagements capturing data through customer interactions with content.

What’s next

Some remote sessions will be short, covering ‘housekeeping’ issues, and others will be deep dives into specific topics using on-screen presentation tools. The ability to ping-pong between online and physical meetings will become increasingly expected.

The bottom line

New technologies don’t have to be introduced in opposition to established practices and remote is another case where that’s proving true.


2. Increase your customer

reach


What’s happening

Large numbers of potential customers are currently considered uneconomical to reach, when factoring in rising sales force costs. Remote changes the equation. With the efficiencies that the technology provides, it is now possible to access many more potential customers – even if they are not considered to be the highest priority.

The high acceptance, and in some cases preference, by healthcare professionals for remote engagement has perhaps been surprising. Positive customer feedback seen even in countries where it was thought that physical meetings were essential due to cultural issues.

What’s next

Remote technologies are changing many companies’ minds about which customers are economically viable. Old assumptions are being challenged and new kinds of market segmentation appearing.

The bottom line

The lower cost-per-contact made possible by remote technology is enabling companies to expand their audience without impacting their budgets.


3. Drive your key account

strategy


What’s happening

More channels mean more options.  Digital technology has enabled Sales and Marketing to shape their communications to match the needs of different customer groups and their own strategies. Remote engagement, in particular, increases flexibility because it combines the benefits of face-to-face meetings with the ability to scale that digital provides.

In practice, this means that remote can be used for both high and low priority targets in a key account strategy. It can be used to supplement vital face-to-face contact in key accounts, increasing the number of engagements. For lower priority contacts, it can replace many physical meetings while ensuring that contact is maintained.

What’s next

Companies are exploring the right channel mix based on customer potential. On-demand channels with self-guided material can be activated via pre-approved email and then reinforced with remote meetings for low potential customers. For high priority targets, detailing meetings can be supplemented with remote sessions and mini-webinars.

The bottom line

The flexibility of remote engagement makes it central to many companies’ key account strategies.


4. Overcome geographical barriers


What’s happening

In some markets, the country’s geography makes it difficult to reach healthcare professionals. In hard-to-reach places, regular face-to-face meetings are difficult to arrange or unpredictable due to weather condition.

In some markets, it can be economically impossible to reach more than 20 percent of customers in traditional ways. In such cases, the ‘anywhere, anytime’ benefits of remote communication are clear and obvious. And many companies were quick to empower their sales force in these regions with the technology.

In some markets, it can be economically impossible to reach more than 20 percent of customers in traditional ways. In such cases, the ‘anywhere, anytime’ benefits of remote communication are clear and obvious. And many companies were quick to empower their sales force in these regions with the technology.

What’s next

As early adopters, these markets can offer great insights. Colleagues around the world, looking to apply the technology for other reasons, can benefit greatly from their experiences. The real experts in remote engagement are often those for whom it is a necessity and therefore has become an everyday tool.

The bottom line

Remote communications shrink distance and remove barriers. ‘Edge cases’, where geography makes this a daily necessity, have a lot to teach other markets.


5. Raise your value to

customers


What’s happening

Remote technologies are being used by customer teams to connect healthcare professionals with internal product experts. The ‘anywhere, anytime’ nature of the technology makes it easy to enable a conversation with your medical department to answer specific questions or provide detailed information.

This adds value where the demand is highest: the provision of medical and scientific knowledge. Remote-enabled scientific
discussion with internal experts is a high-value service for priority customers, giving a powerful reason for them to engage. It also can be deployed quickly to solve specific issues or misunderstandings by any stakeholder.

What’s next

Many roles that were previously internal-only are increasingly acquiring a customer-facing aspect, especially in the Medical Department. Healthcare professionals and other stakeholders are keen to engage, so expect greater use of remote technologies to enable this at scale.

The bottom line

Life science companies’ knowledge remains much in-demand by customers and remote technologies are enabling healthcare professionals greater access.


6. Add value to inside sales

teams


What’s happening

Because remote technologies benefit both life science companies with its cost efficiencies and healthcare professionals with its convenience, more and more companies are applying it to solve their business challenges and engage customers in new ways.

One such use is by ‘inside sales’ teams, either in-house personnel or call center vendors. Here, remote technology can supplement the previously audio-only experience they provided.

Inside sales teams can connect HCPs to a visual e-detailing experience either via a link in an email or a shortened, personalized web link that can be read out over the phone. This approach not only gives HCPs a better experience but also enables interactivity that produces rich data on individual contacts.

What’s next

Expect a ‘remote first’ attitude with the technology being the central communications element in an increasing number of cases.

The bottom line

Remote engagement has already established itself as the answer for a number of business needs and remains ripe for creativity.

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