Introducing digital client communication

CLIENT NEED: to help the sales team to be technically ready to lead client meetings remotely, maintaining the current quality and sales results.

WIN PARTNERS SOLUTION: organize training to prepare the team in terms of content and technology for remote communication with the client

RESULT: The project participants acknowledged that at the end of the training they were emotionally and technically prepared to conduct remote negotiations. Participants’ skepticism diminished as specific techniques for solving technical problems and simulated conversations encouraged the personal benefits of such a work format.

What business problem did the client want to solve?

In 2020, due to epidemiological restrictions, pharmaceutical companies had to start working remotely, as face-to-face communication with doctors or pharmacies was no longer possible. An international pharmaceutical company with a representative office in Latvia came to WIN partners with the need to encourage and prepare its team of representatives for remote client work.

The sales team had no previous experience in virtual sales, so employees do not feel safe and comfortable offering a remote conversation to doctors. They were concerned about both the readiness of doctors to communicate remotely and the effectiveness of such appointments.

The aim of the training project was to help the sales team technically and substantively prepare for the initiation and management of remote negotiations, as well as learn to provide support to their client – doctor or pharmacist – if he has technical questions during the conversation. It was important to maintain the quality of work and sales results of existing customers.

How did the training work?

For this project, WIN partners customized the program “Virtual Sales” to the specifics of the customer’s industry, which at that time had already been successfully implemented in the teams of sales representatives of other industries.

In order to reduce the employees’ skepticism about the efficiency of virtual customer communication, WIN partners consultant Regīna Reķe interviewed the customer’s employees before the training. This helped to clarify the current situation and to understand the daily routine and limitations of pharmaceutical representatives. At this stage, it was important to show each participant his or her benefits of working remotely.

The curriculum consisted of 2 modules, each lasting 4 hours. In order to practically apply the acquired knowledge, a simulation session was held within each module, in which 2 client representatives, led by a coach, played a remote conversation in the role of client-representative.

The training focused on preparing representatives for Plan B in case of a technical error. For example, what to do if a doctor can’t connect to a conversation, if the connection disappears, or if a doctor doesn’t have a camera or headset.

The training took place in March-April 2021, 10 client’s employees participated.

How does the client evaluate the result of the project?

At the end of the training, the project participants admitted that they are now emotionally and technically prepared to conduct remote negotiations. The skepticism of the client’s employees diminished, as specific techniques for solving technical problem situations and simulated conversations encouraged them to see the personal benefits of such a work format. For example, now they don’t have to spend time and money on the road, so they can do more during the day.

What are WIN partners follow-up ideas after this project?

  • The success of this program is based on simulation sessions, as the participants are experienced professionals, and this format allowed them to hone their current skills.
  • Pre-training interviews with participants became a valuable source of insights for the trainer, helping to tailor the content of the program to the needs of a particular company and its team.