Pharmaceuticals & Biotech

Is field performance part of your omnichannel strategy? Here are 6 reasons it should be

Oct. 7, 2022 | Article | 3-minute read

Is field performance part of your omnichannel strategy? Here are 6 reasons it should be

New ways of working, engaging and learning are on the rise, making the healthcare ecosystem more dynamic than ever. As the preferences and behaviors of consumers and HCPs continue to shift, pharma teams need to understand what healthcare players need and want at every channel touchpoint so they can create relevant, timely, personalized content to drive their omnichannel strategies. That’s why life sciences companies of all sizes are investing in customer engagement platforms that mobilize commercial teams around the latest trends, customer insights and AI-powered recommendations.


But on the ground, where the rubber meets the road, many of those organizations’ field teams are out of sync. Because field planning and customer engagement processes tend to be conducted independently with different sources and guidance, it can be challenging to keep up with how customers want to engage with pharma reps across various channels. It’s often the case that by the time field leaders realign their role mix and geographical positions to reflect the latest intel, the customer engagement insights and recommended actions are stale or no longer relevant.

Why alignment matters in a dynamic healthcare ecosystem

According to ZS’s latest Access Monitor™ data, preferences for calls and visits across the healthcare market are still in flux. Since the beginning of 2022, field engagement with HCPs has increased—a welcome sign after the onset of the pandemic caused call volume to plummet and engagement to fall steadily until the fourth quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, email open rates for patient-focused content and peer-to-peer event attendance started to rebound in October 2020, but both dipped again by the end of 2021.


Despite a recent uptick in call volume, today's engagement channel activity has plateaued below pre-COVID-19 levels, making timely coordination across all go-to-market tactics—particularly sales and marketing touchpoints—increasingly important. For field teams to remain relevant and valuable to HCPs and make the most of each engagement opportunity, they need to understand who, where and when to engage and which engagement channels matter to their targeted audience. With these insights, they can tailor their message appropriately, prioritize their targets and choose the right channel.


Additionally, in a dynamic marketplace where payers and providers are consolidating and integrating, field teams need to quickly adapt and localize their deployment and activities according to the same data and insights driving the organization’s omnichannel customer engagement strategies. To better synchronize their go-to-market activities and move faster together, field and marketing teams need a connected platform that treats field performance as part of the omnichannel strategy.

How does dynamic alignment between channels drive customer engagement?

For sales and marketing teams, HCPs and patients, the benefits of better alignment between channels are very real. With synchronized, platform-fueled connectivity, sales leaders can make field deployment changes based on the latest market insights, HCP analytics and organizational movement. They can also prioritize outreach and tailor messaging to suit customers’ preferences. In addition, better coordination allows teams to find new ways to heighten engagement, turn call plans into dynamic engagement plans, and use timely recommendations to inform their outreach strategies beyond face-to-face detailing. 


Here’s what happens when you bring it all together and plug field performance into your omnichannel strategy:

  1. Alignment. Organizations can operationalize customer insights quickly and efficiently, bringing field teams in lockstep with commercial teams so no insight is wasted or opportunity lost. For sales teams, that means more effective field alignment strategies, more impactful outreach and stronger relationships between reps, HCPs and pharmacies. 
  2. Agility. With a connected platform, sales and marketing leaders can see the forces changing the healthcare ecosystem and mobilize strategies that help their teams respond quickly and appropriately.
  3. Efficiency. When customer engagement activity is unified, organizations can clear up redundant processes and inefficiencies to create cost savings—and unlock an opportunity to reinvest in technology that fuels innovation.
  4. Outcomes. By providing all go-to-market channels with the same intelligence about patients’ needs and alignment opportunities, organizations can stay focused on what’s best for patients and find ways to help improve health outcomes and experiences. 
  5. Impact. By delivering healthcare providers the right information at the right time through the right channel, field teams can move proactively and decisively through waves of disruption and evolve to meet the changing needs of many players in the dynamic healthcare ecosystem.
  6. Harmony. When field and marketing teams are moving in sync, companies can expand their omnichannel strategy and optimize each touchpoint. 

Organizations that remain in tune with the dynamic healthcare ecosystem can do more than react to changes in behaviors and preferences—they can begin to predict those changes, model scenarios and tightly integrate their insights and touchpoints to deliver better customer experiences where they matter most. The best part? With seamless alignment, pharma and biotech companies can find more effective ways to connect HCPs and patients with the healthcare they need to improve outcomes.

A note about our methodology

Access Monitor is a proprietary data source that incorporates call reports from more than 30,000 sales reps across the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.  It examines how often over 350,000 physicians and other prescribers meet with pharmaceutical sales representatives who visit them, then classifies these doctors into one of three groups:  "accessible" (physicians who met with more than 70 percent of reps who call on them); "access restricted" (between 31 and 70 percent); and "severely access restricted" (30 percent or less). 


The report equips companies with data to make the best use of sales and marketing resources in a systematic way and includes sales operations, field management and marketing strategies. In addition to the biannual national industry reports, participating companies also receive a prescriber-level, company-specific Access Monitor report that provides customer insights based on industry data that is processed, cleaned and anonymized according to a rigorous set of rules. 


To learn more or participate in the next round of reporting, visit ZAIDYN™ Marketplace.

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