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As the world determines how best to function in a COVID-19 world, it is all but certain that some level of safety measures will continue for the foreseeable future.
As the world determines how best to function in a COVID-19 world, it is all but certain that some level of safety measures will continue for the foreseeable future. Many companies are contemplating how best to adapt their promotional models, as it is expected the sales force will have limited face-to-face interactions with physicians for some time. This will require ingenuity and adaptiveness from sales leaders and brand marketers to engage customers in this new environment-one in which many physicians are feeling uncertain and concerned, yet eager to support their patients again.
Here are three digital trends that can help support your sales teams during the COVID-19 crisis.
Make machine learning your guide
The applications for machine learning are proving to be extremely powerful, especially ones that involve predicting HCP behavior. Many firms are developing customer data warehouses that collect a full 360° profile of the target. All sorts of data sets are included within these repositories, such as Rx behavior, sample behavior, media engagements, event engagements, and other physician characteristics. These data can then be ingested into machine learning algorithms to predict the probability that a physician would engage with various channels, the probability the physician would prescribe or lapse, and even determine the next best content to serve. Our machine learning models have a success rate of over 90% in predicting these behaviors, and they are getting smarter by the day.
These predictions can provide salespeople with key insights in real time that can help with call-plan prioritization and, ultimately, better odds of engaging targets.
Deploy a closed-loop marketing method
Many organizations are already utilizing a closed-loop marketing approach to their omnichannel campaigns. However, many are not taking full advantage of the capabilities that exist, and sales representatives need every advantage they can get right now to maximize their time with physicians.
We know how important timing and relevancy are for marketing and sales to be effective. Real-time data can be used to send signals that inform who to call on and when, as well as when to send key messages through nonpersonal promotion.
These signals provide insight into the digital body language of your customer: what content they are consuming and, most importantly, when they are consuming it. Defining your targets as “warm” or “hot” leads based on these behaviors can be very insightful when also leveraging the machine learning predictors. It can allow for greater prioritization to ensure a timely call from a salesperson. It can also provide further marketing segmentation and personalization. For example, by knowing a target had three or more digital engagements but has not been receptive to a salesperson’s call, you could infer that there is interest in the brand. Following up with an introductory email from the salesperson that’s personalized with their contact information could potentially get the conversation started, albeit virtually. We know there are significantly higher engagement rates with emails that appear to be from a salesperson vs. standard marketing emails.
A closed-loop approach can help the sales force cover more ground, deliver a more personalized experience, and anticipate the needs and wants of their customers.
Leverage video conferencing
COVID-19 has forced many businesses to operate with a remote workforce that has proven to be very productive. But it is also clear we wouldn’t be nearly as productive without the technological advancements of messaging, workflow, and video conferencing apps.
For sales teams who rely heavily on social cues, developing solid video conferencing strategies is paramount to fully utilizing the data. HCPs are embracing the here-to-stay trend. In fact, according to a recent report from IQVIA, three out of four physicians consider a video conference to have similar or better value to in-person. Just because you can’t be in the same physical location, it doesn’t mean you can’t be face-to-face.