Vinod Ganjoo is an Associate Vice President (AVP) of Sales. He is responsible for driving sales by effectively strategizing, developing, and executing sales plans. They will play an important role in the company’s growth by managing key customer relationships and ensuring customer success. Vinod is a seasoned veteran with around 17 + years of experience in the IT industry and has a strong track record in Business Development, Account Management, and Channel Management.
Like every other industry, Covid-19 was a game-changer for the pharmaceutical space too. New drugs and vaccines discovery aside, pharma companies had to quickly pivot to digital-first means to continue and enhance their logistics, sales, ERP, and other operational aspects. The blessing in disguise was that this transformation kicked off within a few days after the first lockdown in March 2020 and continues to pick pace. According to a GlobalData survey, 35 percent of pharma industry professionals believe that the COVID-19 pandemic sped up digital transformation in the pharma industry by more than five years.
For medical sales representatives, the most important responsibility is to engage with doctors to build awareness about relevant drugs, treatment processes, and patient benefits. In a pre-covid environment, sales representatives would meet doctors to leverage their knowledge and experience to achieve their sales goals. However, a lot has changed since then. As doctors reel under the burden of additional workload and comply with social distancing, they can barely afford to meet sales representatives. Their challenge is to receive relevant, qualitative information on time. If a sales representative can cater to this need, he enjoys a meaningful relationship with doctors and will always have a competitive edge.
Thankfully, technology is again the savior. The new opportunity for pharma companies is to deploy sales enablement tools that equip representatives to receive coaching that helps them to anticipate the needs of doctors and be prepared with their virtual or telephonic engagement. The representative can also have a comprehensive understanding of doctors in his network, their practice details, preferences, and behaviors. This helps him personalize his recommendations effectively and close more deals. He can also have a ready reference to his product brochures, technical details, cheat sheets, and customer demos. Coupled with artificial intelligence capabilities, this digital library is a very powerful way to showcase pharma products and solutions to HCPs contextually.
Another important aspect of driving sales operations is to nurture a team of capable sales professionals. An effective sales enablement tool allows the medical sales team to coach the new joinees effectively and ensure faster onboarding. The trainees can be put through different sales scenarios that reflect real-world situations. Sales representatives can record their responses in these scenarios and continuously improve their pitch. They can also connect with experienced coaches in a virtual environment and seek feedback.
The benefits of using a sales enablement tool go far beyond sales volume. It has a positive impact on all customer-facing business aspects in a company. Studies show that using a sales enablement tool can reduce product launch times for pharma companies by up to 50% (nothing helps more in a world stuck by Covid-19). Moreover, it can be used as the primary channel for engaging with HCPs even as in-person meetings are reinstated and are leveraged for nurturing human relations (instead of transactional conversations).
Digital transformation has addressed many industrial problems and taken the user experience up by many notches. For pharma companies, it continues to spell its magic in many ways and the sales enablement tool is one of these. It will empower sales representatives to replace their transactional relationships with doctors with data-driven partnerships. The cascading benefit will be more patient-centric engagement by doctors which is the need of the hour.