There has been a change in the strategic tendency within the sector to increase the efficiency of its sales processes: a greater quality of the visits in detriment to the number of impacts.
In order to do so it is essential to select and implant certain appropriate information systems which will help in the training of our Sales Force. The training platforms for the sales forces have emerged in order to cover these needs and they have progressed from being e-Learning tools to integral platforms for managing our Company’s internal information and data.
I believe at this stage no-one can doubt that one of the leading differential factors of a pharmaceutical company is the preparation of the professionals who make up their sales network for their visits to the doctors.
The training and creation of the delegates who pay visits to the doctors has gone from being a clearly competitive advantage to becoming an indispensable requisite for the positioning of the products on the market.
The restrictive changes in the sector, as the source of greatest pressure for the regulating bodies, the control of the visits to the doctor and the demand from professionals of the medical and health sectors for more information and quality training, have led to a change in the strategic tendency within the sector aimed at increasing the efficiency of its sales processes: a greater quality of the visit in detriment to the number of impacts.
If we add to the foregoing, a greater competition between the laboratories in regard to the marketing and sales activities, this leads to the need for a Sales Force with an improved profile of preparation, both in technical knowledge as well as in commercial and sales skills.
New models are required for managing the knowledge and training of the Sales Force which will place at the disposal of the delegates all the information, training, materials and tools which are required for their daily activities in a simple and accessible manner.
The training departments for the sales network have become a key and fundamental aspect of the commercial strategy of the pharmaceutical companies.
The implantation of new technologies as a vehicle and complement for the training of the Sales Force has been undertaken in the last few years by the leading pharmaceutical companies. The first derivation was the implantation of the standard online training platforms or LMS (Learning Management System) of the market. The use of these systems has not furnished the anticipated results and they have proven to be inefficient systems. The main reasons can be summarized as follows:
Other companies have opted for the creation of custom made multimedia courses and materials, prepared by agencies which are not specialized in the training of sales forces, and the result has been very flashy material, but with little formative quality, which perishes in time and without any possibilities for monitoring the progress.
All of this has led to the appearance of specific Platforms for the training of the Sales force, which are adapted to the Health sector. This type of platform does not only seek to “post” a few courses on the Internet, but it goes one step further: they are really platforms for managing the internal data and information of the company as its most important asset.
All of the processes associated with the training of the Sales Networks in regard to professional knowledge and commercial skills should be covered. The delegate must have a single point of access for all the knowledge and the tools which he may require to carry out his daily activity:
Furthermore, all of this can be handled by the managers in charge of the training in an easy, intuitive and effective manner.
We will list below the most essential and critical points which should be fulfilled by a sales force training platform:
As a final point, it is important to choose one which presents a contrasted experience, if possible, and one which is being used by other companies of the sector.
And finally, the benefits of the use of these platforms could be summarized as follows:
José Antonio García Ureña