A large portion of the success of the pharmaceutical industry revolves around successful sales. Without good sales reps, the industry like other would easily falter. But selling pharmaceuticals can be a difficult and demanding job, and without proper training, tips, and guidance, most reps will struggle to be successful. Fortunately, a validated learning management system can help guide reps to be as productive and effective in their selling endeavors as possible. But how?

Reps in highly regulated industries can use a sales LMS to stay informed, navigate difficult conversations, and distribute crucial information. Today’s marketplace presents significant challenges to sales representatives. Today, clients are far more time-constrained, there is more competition, and they may view sales reps as high-pressure salesmen. In fact, all too often, potential clients shut down sales reps before they can even get started.

Pharmaceutical sales representatives face additional challenges, as their industry is highly regulated. Sales learning management systems enable salespeople to successfully conduct difficult conversations with customers. All in all, pharmaceutical reps face a tough sales landscape today. In today’s environment, pharmaceutical sales teams face a host of challenges. Let’s discuss how a sales LMS can help reps in the pharmaceutical industry.

A Sales LMS Can Help Your Pharmaceutical Reps Thrive. Here's How.

Access to Doctors is Often Limited

Pharmaceutical sales representatives meet with fewer doctors, but face-to-face meetings are still a staple of the industry. These days, the industry demands a lot of doctors, including more documentation and more patients, leaving them little time (or patience) to meet with reps one-on-one. Moreover, doctors often complain that pharmaceutical sales representatives don’t provide any new or meaningful data to them and that their questions remain unanswered.

In addition to the difficulties in meeting with doctors, doctors also have less confidence in new drugs. Educating doctors on new drugs requires sales reps, yet another reason why meetings between reps and doctors are so critical.

In the last decade, the FDA approval for new drugs has increased significantly. In fact, the FDA approved 41 new drugs from 1990 to 2018, compared to 34 drugs from 1990 to 1999. Reviewing the findings of all the studies and clinical trials used to take three years. These days, the process can be much faster. The number of black box warnings and market withdrawals has also increased along with this faster timeline. This has caused concern among doctors who believe the FDA has become too relaxed with its regulatory practices. All in all, such issues cause many doctors to be wary of pharmaceuticals, which is a huge barrier for reps. Without the assistance of an LMS, many reps won’t get a word in edgeways when they try to teach a doctor about a new drug.

Pharmaceutical sales representatives need to be properly equipped to navigate the concerns and skepticism of many doctors. A strong sales team can provide value and navigate the difficult conversations created by this environment by using a sales learning management system.

A sales LMS can help significantly to set reps up for success when they meet with doctors or clients. Your sales reps can be trained efficiently in how to answer questions and promote products using a sales learning management system. If you have a product that requires a great deal of client education, a sales LMS can also be used externally as a sales support tool. Use an LMS to share information and training amongst your sales reps and other external stakeholders.

An LMS Can Help with Client Education

Pharmaceutical sales reps need to provide information to doctors as part of their work. In fact, this often takes up a huge and critical portion of their jobs, and the inability to provide information effectively can lead to sales failures.

In order to stay up to date with new information, doctors agree that staying updated on products is crucial. There are thousands of pharmaceutical studies published every year. There’s no possible way for doctors to keep up with such studies themselves, which is where sales reps come in.

It is possible for sales reps to add value to doctors’ ongoing education by providing them with access to their sales LMS. Pharmaceutical reps can provide information about regulations, clinical trial results, and side effects. Doctors and clients can now access valuable information from your reps on mobile devices and tablets.

An LMS Can Train Reps and Help Them Learn

Of course, the principal use of an LMS is for training purposes. You can use a learning management system to train your sales force very effectively. Provide standardized information for answering difficult questions to reps and take advantage of social learning in your learning management system by having them learn from one another.

Pharmaceutical reps can access materials on the field with doctors when they need them via mobile phone in real-time, which allows them to stay updated and trained, as well as have easy access to all the resources they require for the job.

Additionally, managers can evaluate the effectiveness of training directly through the LMS. Rather than retaking an entire training module if an employee struggles in one area, training modules can be tailored to address that specific weakness. What’s more, learning can be made fun and engaging by incorporating contests and gamification. This is critical as often there is a lot of information to learn in the pharmaceutical industry, and it can be difficult for reps to retain information if the learning process isn’t engaging.

Learning management systems are known for helping employees in all industries access the best possible training. This is true for the pharmaceutical industry, but in addition to effective training, a sales LMS can help reps in other ways. They can be a valuable partner in the field, assisting reps with providing detailed information to doctors and clients, which is a critical component of the job. Overall, a good sales LMS can significantly help to bolster the success of pharmaceutical sales reps. However we have to emphasize that pharmaceuticals like other organizations in the life sciences industry are required to maintain 21 CFR Part 11 compliant and validated platforms for their various processes including training and development.