PharmaVOICE Blog Post

Do you have a remote engagement strategy?

Posted By: Dan Limbach
December 7, 2020

Pharmaceutical companies have historically resisted the shift to move beyond traditional representative-to-healthcare professional interactions. Prior to COVID-19 and before the days of abundant caution and social distancing, pharmaceutical sales teams were content with the status quo. Face-to-face meetings had always been the norm for field reps, but as we now know all too well, there is a “new normal.” In a recent survey, 60% of pharmaceutical decision makers stated they did not have a pre-COVID remote engagement strategy, while 87% said that they would now have a greater emphasis on remote engagement.

Why is a remote engagement strategy important?

The way we can effectively communicate with healthcare professionals has been forever changed by the challenges of the current pandemic. Relying primarily on in-office visits with HCPs to detail new drugs and therapies is no longer an option. Workplace restrictions imposed by state and local governments to ensure public safety, along with hospital access being limited in accordance with CMS and AMA guidance, have dramatically diminished the field team’s footprint. As a result, digital transformation of the pharma salesforce has been accelerated. There is now much more of a focus on cross-training and upskilling so reps can rapidly adopt new technologies to communicate effectively in a virtual environment. All the while, we must stay compliant and keep the patient at the center of everything we do.

High complexity brands and harder to access HCPs require multi-channel approaches to effectively engage. By leveraging multiple digital and virtual channels, we are able to provide enhanced, customer-centric engagement that gives HCPs what they want, when they want it.

It also makes good business sense. Remote engagement across a variety of digital and virtual channels increases the number of targets our sales teams can reach on a daily basis. This could lead to an 80% increase in productivity, a 44% reduction in cost per engagement, and a 40% reduction in travel costs. In our recent Remote Engagement & Outsourcing Survey, Reach ranked the highest in terms of strategic importance, followed by Frequency, High Decile Accounts and Partnership with Field Sales. As we know, the ability to reach more targets more frequently is the key to achieving sales goals. With a continuously widening acceptance by HCPs to meet virtually with reps and communicate through digital channels, remote engagement is more critical than it has ever been.

Insourcing vs. Outsourcing

As mentioned above, field teams require new skills and expertise along with the rapid adoption of new technologies. This is where outsourced partners can bring unique expertise and capabilities. Companies like Amplity Health have been providing remote engagement training to reps for over 35 years. While outsourcing remote engagements has traditionally been utilized as a cost-saving measure, it is increasingly seen as a way to drive sales goals in a more agile, scalable manner. In our recent survey, 57% of pharmaceutical decision makers said that they would be outsourcing more when it comes to remote engagement.

One of the stated concerns amongst pharmaceutical executives related to outsourcing these types of functions is lack of quality control. Meanwhile, Amplity Health’s Remote Engagement Center has been recognized by J.D. Power for providing “An Outstanding Customer Service Experience” as an outsourcer for pharmaceutical phone support.

In Conclusion

At Amplity we understand that building a data-driven model that is flexible, customizable, and leverages multiple communication channels to deliver relevant and timely information to a broad range of customers will have an extremely high ROI. We stand behind our clients every step of the way as your Virtual Partner of Choice when it comes to implementing remote engagement solutions for your team.

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Posted in: Commercial, Marketing, Sales

About the Blog Poster: Dan Limbach

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