Training Your Sales Team on the Benefits of Practice Marketing
November 8, 2016
A direct-to-patient website can be quite effective in educating patients about your medication or device and connecting physicians with patients who are ready for treatment.
However, most patients undergoing treatment with your medication or device will learn about it through their physicians. According to Pew Research Center, 70% of patients said that they turned to a doctor or other healthcare professional for information, care, and support the last time the had a serious health issue. Furthermore, 85% of patients reported that healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses were the most helpful source for information about prescription drugs.
For this reason, it’s important to get your sales team on board with the concept of reaching the patient via the practice. Your sales team is in touch with current and potential clients on a regular basis. They are in a position to convince physicians to market themselves more effectively and connect them with a trusted marketing partner who can help.
To get them on board, it’s going to take some convincing and training on your end. After all, why would salespeople spend extra time talking with their clients about something that won’t directly sell more of the product? This is why you need to train your sales force on the idea behind reaching the patient via the practice, and how it will ultimately help them earn more in the long run.
There are three parts to training your sales force on this concept. First, you have to get them on board. Then, you have to train them on marketing strategy so that they know enough to be able to talk about it with clients. Finally, you have to train them on what they should and should not say when discussing marketing with a client.
Let’s take a look at each part of the training process.
1. Show the sales team how they can benefit.
If you can show the sales team how this concept will help them make more sales, they’ll understand why it’s worth their time. When physicians and surgeons have the tools they need to be able to market themselves, they’ll get more of the right patients—the ones that need your medication or device.
When physicians and surgeons work with the right marketing company, it ensures that patients get the information they need to be able to make informed choices. This, in turn, helps the doctors see patients who are well-vetted and ready for treatment. When doctors see more patients who are ready for treatment, you sell more devices and medications. Furthermore, physicians will see the sales reps as an intelligent resource who understands the business of medicine. It’s also a good way for salespeople to keep in contact with physicians on a more regular basis. Instead of just meeting with physicians and surgeons about a new product, they will also have a marketing platform in their “bag” of things to sell. This opens the door for salespeople to connect with doctors on the business of medicine.
This strategy won’t help the sales reps make more sales overnight; it does take some time to get everything going. However, it’s a much more sustainable and reliable strategy in the long run.
2. Train them on your marketing partner’s options.
Your sales force doesn’t need to know everything there is to know about your marketing partner’s options or online marketing in general, but they should know enough to be able to discuss it with their clients. If a salesperson is referring a physician to a particular marketing company, that physician will probably have some questions about what the marketing company can do and why they are recommended above other marketing companies.
Once the sales team is on board with the concept of reaching the patient via the practice and your company has established a trusted marketing partner, you need to show them how that company can help. Training them on the company’s philosophy and offerings will help them better explain it to their clients. In the end, the physicians and surgeons will decide whether or not to move forward with marketing. Your salespeople are just giving them the information they need to decide whether or not to contact your marketing partner.
3. Train them on what they should and shouldn’t say when discussing marketing with clients.
There are legal and ethical boundaries to navigate when salespeople talk to physicians about marketing their practices. It’s important to make sure that everyone is clear on what they can and cannot say. I’ll cover this topic more in-depth next week, but this is a basic overview.
Salespeople must be clear that their clients will not get discounted rates or special deals from your marketing partner. They might say something like, “If you need help with marketing and targeting the right patients and procedures, give this marketing company a call. We’ve vetted them and their offerings, and are confident that they can help you find a marketing strategy that fits your needs at fair market value.” Your salespeople will have enough knowledge to answer basic questions about your marketing partner and get some background information on what the practice needs. Specific strategy questions can then be directed to your marketing partner once the sales rep has gathered the necessary information.
Training your sales force is essential for your company to reach the patient via the practices you work with. They are the ones communicating with clients on a regular basis. If you can get the sales team on board, it will be a win for everyone.