There’s a paradigm shift in how physicians want to interact with sales reps, from email to texting. Data shows a lower prevalence of in-person visits and increasing preference for digital channels of communication – the new standard is texting.
In 2019, 54% of physicians polled said they had met face-to-face with a pharmaceutical rep recently – a significant decline from the prior year. And in offices where in-person meetings were still taking place, providers said their ideal interaction with a drug rep should last no longer than five minutes. Since then, COVID strained this interface even further.
This year, 87 percent1 of healthcare providers said they want either an all virtual or hybrid model for meeting with reps – even after the pandemic ends. During a recent Webinar2, double board-certified physician Dr. Mandira Mehra confirmed that, from a doctor’s standpoint, communication with life sciences reps has become inefficient.
“Physicians want engagement at their own pace, at their own time, and they want to initiate it,” said Dr. Mehra. “I still have a stack of business cards with the information of 20-30 different pharmaceutical and medical device reps. I cannot think of any other industry that would do that – if I order food or call a cab, everything is streamlined and really done through the phone.”
If a Practitioner’s point of view isn’t enough, here are five more reasons why your sales teams should consider texting over email.
1) HCPs Prefer Texting:
A whopping 82%3 valued texting with reps over all other modes of communication. The reason for this is simple, text messaging saves them time and it eliminates unnecessary visits. And that’s why sales teams and HCPs both love this new mode of communication.
2) Pharma Marketing Emails go to Junk Folders:
Nearly 80% of marketing related emails4 go unread. And according to one of our clients, this is largely due to the fact that nearly half of the emails life sciences sales teams send HCPs end up in Spam. And once your emails are marked as Spam, they can stay that way for good without the intervention of an HCPs IT department.
3) Text Messages Get Read:
Text message open rates5 are as high as 98%, and response rates are nearly eight times that of email. In addition, people respond much quicker to text messages. On average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.
4) Compliant Texts are Possible:
Critical for the HCP/sales rep interface, reps must use pre-approved messages. Some texting solutions can provide this essential capability, but not all.
5) Multimodal Capability is Preferred:
Texting platforms that are built for HCP engagement provide multimodal communication, enabling messaging, phone and video calls, URL link sharing and document downloads all within the same channel. If you are going to ping doctors, do it with an all-in-one platform.
The HCP/sales rep interface is a sensitive, monitored relationship. When it comes to HCP engagement, making the most of every interaction is essential. If you would like to see where text messaging will take your sales operations, we encourage you to look at the ZING Communication Module.
Thanks for taking the time to read these tips, feel free to share your comments with us.
The ZING Communication Module is powered by the technology and expertise developed by P360. Delivering a 360-view through the pharma, physician, laboratory, manufacturing and patient ecosystem, P360 designs and deploys capabilities that ensure the highest efficiencies and returns on sales operations, data management, clinical trials, patient centricity and IoT innovation. To learn more about P360, visit P360.com.
About the author:
As Vice President of Commercial Excellence at P360, Kimberly Brue leads the commercialization efforts for the company’s products and services, including branding, marketing and new product GTM – focusing on electronic solutions to change the way business operate within the life sciences industry.