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Perspectives on Pre-call Planning & eDetailing

Posted by Matt Breese on Nov 29, 2016

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Today, opportunities for pharma teams to communicate brand value to physicians in person are few and far between. Pharma reps are adopting eDetailing strategies to promote products to healthcare professionals (HCPs) online. Pre-call planning processes and tools help sales teams make the most out of HCP engagements, both in-person and digitally. Optimizing script opportunities requires the right messaging, accurate data, and targeted promotional pieces.

Pre-call preparation allows pharma reps to target the right clinicians based on their geography, patient population, and dominant payer/PBMs’ coverage. Accurate clinician targeting leads to more valuable and productive sales calls.

Pre-call Planning Benefits

According to Skura, pre-call planning allows pharma reps to:

  • Set clear objectives before the call
  • Optimize limited HCP face-time
  • Add value to each sales call
  • Prevent or anticipate objections
  • Accelerate the sales process

By preparing for a call beforehand, field sales teams are better equipped to communicate brand access, policies, and restrictions. Preparation improves the reps’ abilities to proactively address market access objections before they arise, increasing HCP trust.

In the pharmaceutical sales process, reps develop relationships with clinicians over time. According to CLD, reps need to consider unique strategies with each call:

“Because the goal of each close can be very different in every call, there is a need for representatives to be trained to effectively pre-call plan for each call individually and execute the call continuum.”

Accurate Data is Vital to Credibility

Timely and accurate data is essential for reducing objections and establishing credibility with clinicians. Field sales teams should consider the following factors during the preparation process:

  • Current market trends
  • Competitor's’ product sales
  • Clinicians with the most sales potential
  • Post call notes from the previous meeting
  • Clinicians’ past prescribing behaviors
  • Objective for the call

Tools such as formulary card generators and relevant payer/PBM selection based on HCP geography can help reps deliver the right data to clinicians. Formulary cards enable reps to have managed care conversations with clinicians. Today, formulary cards appear in print and digital versions.

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Streamlined and Credible Messaging

Preparation also helps pharma reps engage in more natural conversations during each stage of the sales call. According to Verix,  “A standard call structure is usually as follows: opening the call; presenting features and benefits; probing/gaining feedback; consultative selling; objection handling; and closing.” By delivering credible messaging throughout the call, reps can create stronger relationships with clinicians.

Real-time access to pre-call planning tools and market access data is critical for pharma success. MMIT’s promotional solutions help solve pre-call planning needs by giving pharma marketers a way to analyze payer/PBM coverage data by patient populations and allowing brand marketers/pharma reps to select which plan coverage elements to promote to clinicians.


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Topics: Market Access, Branding & Marketing