Five key pillars of digital sales aids for remote engagement

In all professional settings, conversing and presenting information over video calls has become second nature. While we all may have adapted to become digital natives in these remote tools, in the pharmaceutical industry the question still lingers – are remote engagements as impactful as face-to-face meetings?

We believe that they can be, so long as the mindset and toolset of the KAM or rep is right and that the materials at their fingertips have been created with a remote-first approach. You may have a Vault full of digital content for your reps to share, but how does it measure up against our five pillars of functional content?

Over the past 18 months we’ve seen an incredible amount of digital content being produced for use by reps and KAMs. With remote meetings established as the norm, leveraging CLM player features and functional content can significantly uplift the success rate of a call with an HCP.

Collaborative content design

When the tables turned and presentations to HCPs went from predominantly in-person to almost overwhelmingly remote, DSA content and rep presentation style needed to quickly adapt to the technology. While reps have now had plenty of time to adjust to this blended way of working, not all agencies and brand teams have adjusted their approach to content creation accordingly.

Co-creation has always been important in improving the uptake and performance of digital sales aids, however it is more important than ever to work with reps on the navigation and flow of key messages to support a successful sales call – regardless of whether it is in-person or remote.

Functional, interactive content

According to STEM Healthcare research, “high quality, emotive, interactive eDAs deliver a 71% improvement in ‘good sell outcomes’ compared to simple eDAs.”

Quite simply, too many sales aids are little more than a lovingly-designed PDF. They may look nice, but they lack function, which in turn reduces the level of engagement that a rep is able to generate during a call. There are so many ways of employing simple, but impactful interactive functionality within DSAs to record insights such as key referrer or prescribing data, which creates a two way dialogue and saves great insights to the CRM post-call.

Leveraging integrations and native functionality

A really effective key account plan will see a seamless dialogue with the HCP over the course of a certain period of time. Failing to follow up on a call can very quickly break that flow – and at busy times this is the sort of thing that can so easily be missed.

The best sales aids make use of in-built functionality, such as triggering Veeva Approved Emails from within a call. Sharing this specific, tailored information is an ideal way of gaining consent if not already sought and for continuing the conversation beyond the call itself. Veeva are constantly enhancing the feature set available within calls – as our write up of their most recent 22R3 deployment will testify.

Measuring effectiveness with custom analytics

Call clickstream data is somewhat under utilised and should provide brand teams with all the data they need to audit the effectiveness of their materials. Custom analytics that goes far beyond just recording the duration of the call is achievable, meaning that genuine insights can be gathered on which key messages are resonating, which slides are underused and a whole host of other custom functions.

The next step is harnessing this data in a meaningful way using Veeva MyInsights dashboards, however you need a strategy for data collection from the outset so don’t rush into production without a measurement plan!

Training and field team adoption

While much of the above focuses on having the right toolset, there is also a lot to be said for supporting reps around mindset. Not all presentations can be delivered in the same manner remotely as they would have been face-to-face, so training around an effective close is incredibly important.

In addition, if time and thought has gone into what can be measured, then CRM and commercial teams need to work with the field team to ensure they understand the value of the data. A good measurement plan includes a ‘so what?’ statement, to ensure that any data captured creates meaningful insight and triggers a next best action of some description.

How to assess the impact of your digital sales aids

Using our experience we’ve compiled a 25 point remote engagement health check. In just five minutes, you’ll receive a tailored, actionable report that provides guidance on the areas of remote engagement that your organisation or team most needs to focus on.