PharmaVOICE Blog Post

Breaking through the Digital Noise: Creating HCP Content that Stands Out

Posted By: Robert Harrison
October 8, 2020

Relationships are built over time. However, with the inability to meet face-to-face, many life sciences commercial teams are left wondering what to do next.

Unfortunately, we have been truly disrupted – not only in our work environment, but in what our customers, healthcare providers (HCPs) want. A recent research report by Accenture revealed that 65% of HCP meetings with sales reps are now virtual and 43% of HCPs said that they are currently restricting who can enter the office for professional reasons. More importantly, many HCPs expect it to stay this way for the foreseeable future.

This is good news for commercial teams that are able to adapt. Virtual tools allow commercial sales teams to instantly connect with prospects (and to do so more frequently). This means that relationships can continue to form – and even accelerate. However, it is going to take work to make this transition in your team.

Training and equipping your sales team to be successful is one of the keys to success.

However, there is more work to be done. We must meet HCPs where they are and with what they need in order to smooth the path for our sales teams to engage more effectively.

It’s going to be difficult to stand out amid the constant onslaught of email marketing, webinars, and online sales demos. Therefore, innovators will take a different approach and go directly to the source, the HCPs, to discover how best to support and reach them.

To do so, there are a few steps you must take.

  • Understand What HCPs Want
  • Develop a Fully Virtual Content Toolkit for Use with HCPs
  • Launch Your Content Toolkit and Reveal HCP Insights to Your Team

Understand What HCPs Want

With this shift in the way HCPs want to communicate with life science companies, you must spend the time to uncover not only how HCPs want to communicate, but what messages will stand out amid the digital noise.

The same Accenture report referenced above revealed overwhelmingly that HCPs want pharmaceutical and biotech companies to go beyond product knowledge. They need help, and they need trusted advisors.

One finding that the Accenture report revealed was that HCPs greatly value additional education and training that go beyond product knowledge, like best practices for treating patients remotely. Developing content and training that demonstrates clear value will ensure your messages stand out. To discover what that looks like, you should:

Research

Meet with a few HCPs individually to discuss and identify what they really need to learn about, besides your products.

Ask:

  • How can we help make this time easier for you?
  • What topics do you need more information about – besides products?
  • What best practices do you need help discovering?
  • How can we best deliver content to you?

Validate

Survey a larger group of HCPs to confirm what you’ve learned through interviews.

Ask:

  • Are these topics indeed valuable to you?
  • Which are the most important to affect your ability to perform?
  • What are the best methods for delivery?

Refine

You may already have access to this type of research, otherwise this research and validation can be done within a couple of months. The data will be incredibly valuable to help you develop a plan for a virtual content toolkit. This will be the new foundation on which you will equip your sales team to become trusted advisors to their HCP customers.

Develop a Fully Virtual Messaging Toolkit for Use with HCPs

Like all of us, HCPs are facing difficult challenges and transition – but with the added complexity of caring for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Their work is – quite literally – life-or-death.

This stress point is a major opportunity for commercial teams to develop resources and support content to enhance their ability to perform at their optimum levels. And it all starts with the findings you uncovered from the interviews and surveys.

Planning the Content Toolkit

Based on the information you’ve gleaned from the market, you now have enough information about what HCPs want – and how they want to receive it.

There are many ways to develop a content toolkit, but there are a few things you must include:

  • Topic pillars. The topics you’ve identified from your research that HCPs want and need from you.
  • Messaging Arcs. At the highest, and most succinct, level – what is the primary message you want to convey through each topic area?
  • Assets. The content, like videos, presentations, or slides that you will produce for HCP consumption in each topic area.
  • Distribution & Insight. How you will distribute the content to HCPs in a simple experience that allows you insight into their engagement.

It is this last item – Distribution & Insight – that provides the greatest opportunity for your sales team. That’s because if you choose a distribution method that not only delivers content, but tracks HCP consumption and behavior, your team will be able to clearly prioritize outreach. Plus, they will be equipped to lead with a targeted message for every interaction.

Enabling a Content Toolkit

So what does it take to build out this toolkit, and to distribute it?

For clients using Ready by ArcheMedX, most of the work has already been done by your team in developing the messaging arcs and assets themselves, based on the topic pillars.

Distribution and behavioral analysis is handled by the Ready platform, but there are other tools that you can use to create a more basic content portal for your HCPs and more limited options to assess their engagement.

The critical requirements that you must have in any tool are:

  • Ability to quickly deliver multiple types of content on-demand. Expecting HCPs to adhere to a scheduled webinar or to consume one form of content will reduce engagement.
  • Ability to not only track, but analyze, HCP interaction and engagement with the content. Human behavior is revealing and the behavior HCPs show around your content can be illuminating.
  • Consumable insights that show which HCPs are ready for interaction with the sales rep, and more specifically how reps should prepare for and focus the interaction.

Building these assets and developing the toolkit will take some time, but once planned, it is an ideal opportunity to begin transitioning your sales team into their new approach to virtual selling.

Give Your Sales Team a Deep Understanding of the Toolkit

To truly transform your sales team into a group of trusted advisors, you will need to equip them with knowledge and confidence across your content toolkit, using your chosen technology and tools, and how to sell consultatively.

But on your team are a lot of different personalities, who are located in diverse locations, who all learn at different paces, have various learning styles, and are interested in different aspects of the content.

For these reasons, it’s ideal to deliver transformational sales content to these reps virtually, and on-demand. For more information on how to do this, we’ve prepared a new whitepaper to guide you through this process.

Launch Your Content Toolkit and Reveal HCP Insights to Your Team

You already have a good idea of what HCPs want and need to be successful, based on the early research. And you’ve worked hard to do a great job of meeting their needs with your content toolkit.

The final step is to roll it out to your HCP territories as a new set of content that will support them as they move forward with the changes they must make.

But though releasing the content toolkit may be complete, the benefits are only just beginning. That’s because the digital delivery of such content opens up unlimited capability for you to glean insights on your HCP contacts.

Upon launching your content toolkit you can utilize a variety of data products to identify general engagement trends. If you’re using a more advanced analysis tool like Ready by ArcheMedX, the platform’s predictive insights will enable you to discern individual HCP preferences and behavior based on how each HCP engages with specific topics and resources. With these insights, your sales team can strategically approach how they interact with each HCP using a targeted message or resource.

Perhaps an HCP hasn’t been a high prescriber previously? Content toolkit insights will reveal if that’s because they lack understanding and need help.

Perhaps an HCP has recently dropped their level of prescribing? Insights could show that they may have understanding, but lack confidence in when your treatment is best prescribed.

Perhaps an HCP has been a high prescriber and engages with everything you provide in your toolkit. This could be an ideal HCP to highlight for new content as a testimonial or health influencer.

These are just a few examples of the new types of insights the trusted advisor rep can use. And armed with this information, they’ll be able to better understand their HCP territory, prepare for every call with specific information that will add value to the HCP’s practice, and fully transform into a virtual selling powerhouse.

About the Blog Poster: Robert Harrison

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