McKinsey wrote an interesting article on success with digital sales that made us think as we are in exactly that space.
Our take on digital sales with regards to the pharma industry
As always, success lay in the perfect combination of old and new. The human touch is paramount when it comes to complex sales. Digital does not take that need away. The main point is that digital and traditional sales methods need to co-exist and leverage each other.
But the message is clear! You need to introduce digital tools in order to be successful. The sooner the better. McKinsey concludes in their study that companies utilizing digital sales tools grow five times faster and present twice the shareholder value compared to purely traditional organizations.
Pharma is special
While the McKinsey article talks about generic B2B sales we look at things from the pharmaceutical industry standpoint. In pharma, the sales challenge is physician engagement. Sales reps seek and are measured on face-to-face meetings. We think that f2f is a vital part of the sales process. But looking at it from the customer side it is clear how challenging it is to set aside time to meet with sales reps from pharma. It is critical to understand where in the decision cycle the physician prefers digital versus f2f.
From our experience, sales reps who mix digital and f2f will be able to get two to three times the engagement compared to pure-play f2f. If you can offer physicians digital alternatives, the contact occasions with your company may triple as a result.
Value boosting, not cost-cutting
The key is to know where the digital touch point is preferred by the customer. Make that your primary objective. It is a mistake to look at digital tools as an opportunity to cut cost, it should be a value-boosting strategy. Delivering value at every touch should be at the heart of every sales strategy.