Few sales processes are as rigidly defined and highly regulated as pharmaceutical sales. With the onset of the pandemic, this long-established model of in-person visits and face-to-face meetings was thrown into disarray. The sales team had been hired based on their in-person relationship building and ability to sell. The speed and magnitude of the disruption required the rapid development of an alternative go-to-market strategy that would immediately shift the sales organization to virtual communications channels they had not previously used in the sales process.
All of this in the midst of preparation for a new product launch that could dramatically change the outcome for cancer patients.
Decker collaborated with subject matter experts and learning teams to conduct a communications needs assessment for successful pharmaceutical selling over virtual channels. Balancing regulatory requirements, rapidly changing dynamics within healthcare provider clients, and best practices for engagement and sales, Decker designed and delivered a custom virtual sales training program that educated the 1000+ oncology and hematology representatives about effective remote selling. Training modules included channel-specific training (e.g.., Teams, Webex, Veeva) and behaviors of trust and audience-centric communications practice.
The training program equipped the reps to maintain robust sales despite the absence of in-person meetings. By virtue of tailored, experiential learning modules, the reps reported that even richer and more impactful healthcare provider relationships could be developed over virtual platforms. The product launch that was jeopardized by the pandemic disruption was able to roll out through alternate communications channels and meet projected results. The organization gained a new set of best practices for selling that will enable effective customer relationship management in the new hybrid environment moving forward.