For a medical representative(MR), smartphones are the order of the day now. Gone are the days when they used to fill the activity report by paper and send to companies. Many Medical representatives still use computers/laptops to make the entries and analyze the data on the web portal of the company. In Recent times, many of the software service providers have come up with the mobile version of Software for Medical Representatives, Frontline Managers and seniors. The market seems flooded with offerings. In such scenario, it becomes difficult to choose a solution that helps. In this blog, let’s try to discuss and analyze further.
Doctor Ecosystem- A static Doctor list in your daily diary or web portal of the computer is far less useful than having a dynamic Doctor list on your mobile. Such list gives MR an opportunity to see not only the name but Doctor’s specialisation, focus products, details of last visit and a provision to add details about any new Doctor in that beat or station without any lag of time.
Tour Program- Tour Program is one of the most important activities which is either ignored by many companies or is not utilized to its potential. Mobile of field executives have provision to store Tour program along with ‘the objective of the day’ and a special mention of Joint working among teams. This will enable us to plan our territory in a far more effective way than the present. Joint working gives an opportunity to junior to learn from Area managers about product knowledge, presentations and tricks of maintaining warm relationships with Key opinion leader (KOL) doctors and core doctors.
DCR Entry – Daily Call Reports are filled by almost all the Medical Representatives and Frontline managers of any company. But do you remember when you last checked your own DCR or that of your junior for analysis purpose? Counting only Doctor call average is not enough, what matters more are few points as listed below-
A- How much time we spent in Doctor’s cabin?
B- Which products we could discuss?
C- What physician sample we gave?
D- Were those samples and products related to the core of Doctor’s specialization or we need to improve the focus?
E- Summary of the last visit to that Doctors.
F- Result against assurance given in last visit.
G- At what time of the day Doctor was visited?
In my opinion, if a mobile app can give all these inputs to MR, live, during his visit, the results of using such app will be far better than using any generic app.
Location Based Alerts – When a sales team has so much input in any application like details for product, territory, hierarchy, Daily call reports, tour program, RCPA, closing stock of stockist, doctor chemist relationship etc then a huge amount of intelligence is generated. A good mobile reporting software for Medical representatives should be capable of delivering location-specific alerts at the time when the executive is in the field only so that she or he can get insights from the information accumulated and can improve the efforts resulting in an improvement in outcome.
Physician Samples – Disbursement of Physician Samples are very critical for any Pharma company. Let’s study few points as under.
A- Based on the efficacy of the samples, Doctors are expected to write more prescription.
B- Cost involved is too much, in many cases, the cost of Physician Samples is as much as the cost of the salary of Medical Rep.
C- the Opportunity cost of Physician Samples is too high to ignore. If a physician sample is delivered to some doctor to whom it is not of much use while it is not delivered to some Doctor for whom it was critical, the result (or rather loss of result) will be very obvious.
D- Many a time multiple pieces of physician samples are delivered to same few doctors repeatedly and many other doctors are left untouched.
E- There is no or poor mechanism to observe the result of a sampling done? Is it getting converted in prescription or not and in the desired volume or not?
A good mobile reporting software for medical representatives has a lot of inputs stored in it. It has primary sales figures of relevant Stockists, Secondary sales booking figures for chemists mapped to Doctors where sampling is intended and other attributes already explained above. If the software makes intelligent use of these inputs and suggest the flow of physician samples for different Doctors, maintain a ready stock of available samples with MR, need of new samples and audit of how sampling is bringing results then there is no reason why results will not improve.
The advantage of involving Mobile Reporting software system is that it is based on facts, covers all the Doctors across the product range and give special emphasis to the focused products mapped with different Doctors.
Product managers at head office are also benefited with this exercise. They can track the sampling far better, communicate with the field almost live with better inputs and specific improvement points.
Images of Clinics – A good Mobile reporting software for Medical Representatives should give provision for capturing images of the clinic of Doctors. This information can be used by product management team to plan for some suitable in-clinic displays of literature or patient education material. A happier patient is always good for better Patient-Doctor Relationship and Doctor- Company relationship.
Capturing images enables to track latitude and longitude of Doctor’s clinic as well.This will also help companies to map doctors with nearby chemists for prescription audit. A simple exercise like this can help the company to identify and utilize and serve the doctor optimally.
Gifts disbursement – Corporate gifts are means of gratitude and gentle reminder of a lasting relationship… The recipient’s reaction and thank you gestures could be utilized and suggestions can be explored for future gifting and be seeking.
Identification of good chemists – After Doctors, it is the chemists who are very important for any Pharma company. They are the enablers as well as an ambassador of the company who help the company in ensuring last mile delivery of medicines to the patient. They not only helps a lot in Retail Chemist Prescription Audit (RCPA) but also help us in understanding the competition, study of our molecule from competitor’s drug and also in Doctor’s prescription audit. We get insights about a number of patients being prescribed, type of drugs being prescribed along with doses and general behaviour of doctor toward us. For any good Mobile Reporting Software for medical representatives, it is very vital to give due importance to Chemists.
Provision to book Chemist orders, identify existing stock, dead/short stock, the scope of POP material, the scope of in-shop display and % mapping with nearby Doctors are very vital. Capturing snap of shop, its location and grade help in planning a lot more activities.
Instant access to reports- Being a member of Pharma fraternity, we all know that when a drug is prescribed, its dose and time of delivery both are important. If either of these is not maintained, the result will not be as per expectations. Like the time of delivery is important for drugs which we market, so is the importance of time of checking reports. Understanding this, the effectiveness of many of the vital reports will increase a lot if made available on time by mobile reporting software to medical representatives. Reports should not be too many (overdose), should not take much time to display, easy to understand and Area Managers and other Frontline managers should be able to study data and activities of their downline through the mobile itself. Then we can say that the Pharma Sales Force Automation tool being used is of some help to the field team.
Friends, as the present is an era of challenges, more and more restrictions are being imposed on pharma trade. There is a great emphasis on Generic Drugs and price control of Ethical drugs. Doctor to Company relations has to comply new and stringent guidelines. The net outcome is that organizations have to rewrite the standards of efficiency at all aspects of the business. An Effective MR Reporting solution is the last thing which companies can ignore at this time.
If Companies have some solution but that doesn’t work for all aspects of business then it is time for a need to be rechecked and upgraded. If upgrades are not possible to the extent required then we must not hesitate in thinking even of replacing them. Let’s be nearer to Patients, Doctors, Chemists, Stockists, Super Stockists and all other stakeholders. Let’s not focus on policing of Medical Representatives, Area Managers, Regional Managers etc and try to provide a helping hand to them. They all are our integral part and it is our responsibility to give equal growth opportunity to all of them.
“Results are different for only those, who tries differently”
Author Mr Bhagyesh Dwivedi is the Director at Advanz101. He has 20+ years experience in Retail and Pharma sector. He enjoys strong focus on customer experience and CRM. His other areas of expertise include, Project sales and Business Intelligence. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org