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How to get reps to buy-in to multi-channel

You’ve got the vision, and understand that for a business to succeed, it needs to adapt to its environment. You’ve come to the realisation that a Multi-Channel approach, which considers the time and preference of HCPs, is the best way to progress – but how do you manage a team who may be resistant to change?

Past success is no guarantee for the future

When reps move between companies, it’s not uncommon for them to bring old habits along the way. And in the Pharma industry, more so. A large percentage of companies are still headstrong about the idea that sales reps need to be on the road, and meeting HCPs face-to-face. With this mind set heavily entrenched within the world of pharma, it’s inevitable that some reps may feel a little uneasy with change.

Encouraging change

People don’t naturally enjoy change. It’s unsettling because it takes people out of their comfort zone. The key to success is communication, and ensuring your team has a full understanding of why multiple-channels will improve their working practice. As a company you should also consider using multiple platforms or channels to convey your message, your employees will have different preferences – much like the HCPs we target!

Identify the sources of resistance

According to Harvard Business Review, you need to uncover which individuals have the biggest potential to obstruct positive change – and then you need to get them on board. To do so, you need to do these 3 things:

  • Listen. If they think they have unique experiences, and that things haven’t been fully considered, you need to actively listen to their point of view, be open to discussion, and potentially make some changes to your approach based on what you hear.
  • Show respect. If people don’t feel like their perspective has been considered, they won’t feel important, and may argue that that they’ve not been consulted about this change.
  • Take it slow. Resistance to change can be because people feel rushed, and don’t have enough time to digest what’s happening. Everyone reacts differently, and some people need more time to shift their mind set. Reduce time-based stress by considering how long people need to adjust, or how long training will take to complete.

Show evidence

Results speak volumes, and examples of success stories, or case studies, are invaluable when trying to change people’s minds. How about using customer case studies demonstrating accounts that have been exposed to multiple channels have outperformed accounts that have only been exposed to traditional foot traffic.

The case studies at outico.com depict the problem or challenge, and show the solutions and outputs achieved using Multi-Channel Account Management (click here to view).

Paul Black, Chief Operating Officer at OUTiCO, says “We have had some superb results with our Multi-Channel approach over the last few years. The response of Health Care professionals to new technology has been extremely positive, and we routinely receive feedback that a flexible approach that considers their time and preference is refreshing.”

We’ve always done it this way…

For reps to embrace change, they need to understand that Multi-Channel Account Management combines the existing skills of qualified sales professionals, with new tools and techniques that optimise their engagement with customers.

Instead of sticking to the old-school method, and doing things a certain way because ‘that’s what we’ve always done’, this approach means that KAMs have more opportunity to develop communication channels that are tailored to the individual preference of their customers.

See our explainer video here

See our case studies here.





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