1 February 2021
Nowadays, due to the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, organizing online training for the sales force is an essential task for companies operating in Pharma & Life Science, which are among the most affected by last year’s changes, and in many ways.
For example, many surveys have found that the relationship between HCPs and their patients has changed radically and remote interactions with patients are now more common than ever. Also interactions between Pharma Companies and HCPs have transformed themselves.
As a matter of fact, due to the pandemic, Pharma companies have been forced to change the way they interact with stakeholders and undertook a path of digital transformation that brought Sales Reps to engage their contacts mostly remotely. To do this, they needed to become familiar with instant messaging tools and multichannel solutions for engaging customers in various different ways, such as Trueblue’s Rep Digital Suite, which allows reaching HCPs through various channels and tracking customer engagement.
However, if we take a step back we will for sure notice that it doesn’t have to be easy to tackle this major change in such a short time. How was this possible? Thanks to intensive and innovative online training for the sales force.
Training as a Key Point for Achieving the Corporate Strategy
As far as concerns training, there is a particular moment for Pharma Companies when knowledge is spread and new important strategies are kicked-off, i.e. Cycle Meetings. Well, we all know what Cycle Meetings entail. Dinners with colleagues, guided tours around wonderful cities, fun team-building activities… But above all, full days of meetings with the whole team to discuss about business strategies and to train on new products in the market and solutions adopted. Cycle meetings can last from a couple of days up to a whole week if, for example, they also include training on new technologies adopted by the company to facilitate business. Usually, you get out of cycle meetings exhausted but also excited, full-power and ready to start the quarter with a renewed energy and motivation.
So one of the big challenges of this year for SFE Managers and Training Managers of Pharmaceutical Companies was:
How can you share the same Information and Motivation to your Sales Team, during a worldwide pandemic?
As for many other aspects of our everyday life, the only solution was to shift towards digital and organize online cycle meetings and online training for the sales force that could resemble face to face meetings as closely as possible.
At this point, an obvious question arises, that is, what do you need to organize a great online training for your sales force? Well, you need to be methodical (more than usual!), organized and a little bit technical, too.
Firstly, it is essential to organize the event minute after minute and not to leave anything to fate, as a great enemy of online training are moments of silence, or, on the contrary, chaos. Therefore, schedule a detailed agenda that sets timetable and topics precisely. If you plan a strict schedule and think of all the possible scenarios that could happen during your training, you will avoid confusion and consequent embarrassing moments, and you will not be forced to find a way to regain the attention of your audience. As a matter of fact, the main disadvantage of online training is that the participants’ attention is really hard to catch, and that regardless of the topic, it is extremely difficult to stay focused. Thus, your main purpose as training organizer is to keep attention always up.
Choose the Right Trainers
For this reason, it is essential to choose the right trainers for your online training for the sales force, as trainers online should be even more brilliant, enthusiastic and attention catching than usual. Besides, you should re-think of how concepts are shared. A major obstacle for trainers, when online, is that it is hard to interact with the audience. Therefore, it is essential to find ways to keep the attention high, all the time. How? First, by always keeping webcams on. Then, by modulating the voice, for example, or by taking the right pauses at the right time. A good method is also to ask the audience frequent questions, or to switch from theory to practice and make role-plays. Don’t forget to make some jokes from time to time! An example of great training and cycle meeting is the one held by Novo Nordisk, which rented rooms in Cinecittà, Rome, to amuse and entertain their audience at home and involve them in challenging actions for three days, thus really simulating the combination of business training, meetings and team building activities of a face to face convention.
Guide your Audience
Another tricky aspect of online training concerns how much freedom you should give to your audience in terms of interruptions for questions and comments. In fact, if it is true that you cannot “mute” your audience tout-court, it is also true that being constantly interrupted has a negative impact on the results of your training. Thus, also in this case it is important to add to your agenda frequent and regular Q&A slots that allow participants to speak up and interact while not interrupting the trainer’s flow.
Finally, don’t forget to Smile 🙂
No doubt the human side of training is highly disadvantaged, so remember to keep being human, smiling, showing your face and expressing interest for the people who are in the virtual classroom with you.
All these steps should be taken with a specific idea in mind, which is that now more than ever online training for the sales force is essential for the success of your company’s business strategy.
The True Story of a Digital Experience
This is why training becomes of even greater importance when it comes to the adoption of new tools for business and sales performance improvement.
Trueblue, as a leading provider of cloud-based, ready-to-use BI and AI solutions for the Life Science market, has supported hundreds of customers in their process of digital transformation and customer engagement. As a top promoter of quality and innovation, Trueblue has always insisted on the importance of training for the adoption process of its solutions. For this reason, the Coronavirus has never stopped us and our customers from delivering high quality, effective online training.
The common goal was and is the Sales Force’s acceptance of new tools towards the achievement of business excellence. This has involved calls, emails, precise planning, drafting and sharing of documentation. The result is more than 1,000 users trained online, one year of fruitful online cooperation, the establishment of human relationships – even if online – but above all the exciting and promising beginning of a path to success.
A success that is then boosted by Trueblue’s products that foster a truly omnichannel customer experience. For example, our Event Management is an all-in-one solution that permits to set up online events for HCPs, easily managing budget allocation and distribution and monitoring costs and impact in real time. On top this, our Rep Digital Suite allows the Sales Force to reach HCPs using the most suitable channels and to switch from a F2F to a F@F engagement model, keeping track of the whole customer journey.
This is the story of how we in Trueblue stand by our customers along their path towards the achievement of their business goals, supporting them thoroughly in each step of the process.
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