Sales reps in the biotech and life sciences industry face new challenges to engage their customers in meaningful sales conversations. To help sales reps navigate the new digital landscape of sales, companies often implement more training to try and keep up with the pace of digitalization. However, with the rapid pace of change and technology, it’s simply not enough to implement more training requirements.
Industry leaders have learned that keeping up with the modern buyer requires conducting consultative customer conversations, more personalized sales interactions, and a digital tool kit that’s capable of supporting more connected sales and marketing functions.
To overcome these challenges, leading companies are quickly incorporating sales enablement tools to help empower their teams for success. Read on to learn more about sales enablement for life sciences.
Understanding Sales Enablement Tools
Preparing for digital interactions with customers requires reps to quickly adapt and most importantly, have access to the proper digital tools to empower conversations. For marketers, there exists a great need to deliver tailored content to customers and measure content ROI. For sales reps, there exists a great need to conduct more meaningful customer conversations that lead to discovery of pain points and developments of solutions.
Understanding today's clientele requires a focus on preparing targeted materials. Some companies may overlap sales operations and sales enablement - both of which demand time and resources. However, sales enablement is increasingly becoming a stand-alone business function, primarily focused on empowering sellers and aligning sales and marketing.
Quality content development begins with reliable customer data and research from the marketing team. With content marketing now being such a huge piece of the modern marketing strategy, most B2B teams have been doubling down on content creation and distribution for several years.
With all the content that is being produced, one fundamental problem that has arisen is how can that content be effectively delivered to prospects and customers. Additionally, marketing leaders are increasing trying to determine what their ROI is on the content they are spending large portions of their budget to develop.
Although search engine marketing and social media advertising have presented better ways for marketers to segment and reach their audience with content, a fundamental breaking point has been that arming sales with high value content is often overlooked.
A shocking statistic to think about – up to 90% of marketing content goes completely unused by B2B sales teams.
Sales enablement solutions provide the ability for marketing organizations to not only store and manage all of their content, but also to deliver it to sales reps when and where they need to use it. This can be done by intelligent targeting and content suggestions that are powered by AI.
Best of all, sales enablement solutions allow you to track all interactions with your content, both from customers and your sales reps. This allows organizations to gain a much better insight into the ROI they are getting from marketing content.
Training and Communications
Training is another area where many life sciences organizations struggle to keep up. With the rapid expansion of IoT products and newer, more connected solutions, many times sales reps are not getting the support they need to learn how to sell new systems and solutions.
Quality training for sales reps can be greatly empowered by sales enablement tools with integrated training capabilities. These platforms can provide integrated training tools that can deliver resources to reps based on what type of customer they are meeting with, what product they are selling, or even what stage of the buying cycle their customer is in.
This kind of adaptive training delivery can provide value to sales reps of all experience levels. Whether they are seasoned veterans or newly hired recruits, having intelligent training delivered when and where they need it can be a game changer for helping your team overcome challenges.
Most sales enablement systems can also deliver sales coaching information and allow sharing of best practices across the sales team. This goes beyond most standard learning and development systems to actually pull in real world feedback that can only come from experts within your organization.
Ongoing training is integral to reps being equipped with the skills they need to be trusted advisors. When biotech and life sciences sales reps are perceived as trusted advisors by their clients, the probability of closing deals is significantly higher. In fact, 51% of decision markers rank trust as the number one factor they consider when making a purchase.
Customer Engagement Data
Another major benefit derived from sales enablement platforms is the wealth of customer engagement data that can be captured and analyzed.
When biotech and life science sales teams are using sales enablement to engage with their prospects, the system itself is able to collect a variety of data about the interactions. This includes:
- Details on what training and resource collateral was used to prepare for a sales call
- What content sales reps used to present to a prospect during a meeting
- What actions were taken after completing the customer meeting
- What content was shared with the prospect and how did the prospect engage with it
- How many times was the sales person’s email opened
- What content was viewed by the prospect
- How long did the prospect view the content
By analyzing this data, sales and marketing teams can be much better informed about the quality of their sales interactions, the interest and engagement with the client, and the effectiveness of the presentation and follow up content.
Sales Enablement Strategy Development
Executing a sales enablement strategy in the life sciences industry hinges greatly on how well you prepare your organization for the new function.
Below is a breakdown of key considerations to include as you build out your strategy.
- What key challenges do you face in the biotech or life science market? Address industry-specific challenges with any sales enablement vendor you consider.
Goals and Key Outcomes
- Establish 2-3 clear and achievable goals for your sales enablement project
- Determine key outcomes for goals listed above
- Complete a blueprint with action items to ensure you are meeting your goals and outcomes
- From the smaller goals create a wider vision statement
Stakeholders and Key Duties
- Determine who are the receivers (receivers of the service such as sales teams or roles within a team (inside sales, outside sales, distributors, etc.) and who are the supporters (supporters of the service such as marketing or operations (create content for sales to use))
- Describe team’s key responsibilities and activities that will help achieve goals
- Identify key business stakeholders who will participate quarterly project checkpoints
- Find key advocates in the receiver group to attend quarterly checkpoints
- Define where the project fits with the overall business strategy
- Schedule quarterly checkpoints for project goals
- Organize a training plan for the project
- Establish a quarterly communication plan for project stakeholders
- Identify short term deliverables that can be completed within 6 months
- Identify long term deliverables that can be completed after 6 months
- Identify metrics that help measure the success of your project and activities (# of calls, # of meetings, # of opportunities, # of user logins, etc.)
- Establish monthly communication plan for metrics to be sent to necessary stakeholders
Going through these considerations at the inception of your sales enablement project will ensure that you are setting your business up for a successful deployment.
Selecting the Right Sales Enablement Platform
Picking a platform that is optimized for life sciences can be a difficult task. With so many sales enablement platforms on the market, the best way to start is by building a list of requirements that are critical to your business.
Some of the criteria that you might want to consider are:
- Compatibility with CRM and marketing automation
- Integration with Microsoft Office and Outlook
- The efficiency of the user interface
- The workflow required for sales to use the product
- Scalability for long-term growth
- Cross-team workflow for content management
- Data analytics capability and content tracking
- Mobile-optimized apps for use in the field
Although there is never a one size fits all solution, you can start by narrowing down solutions that will align best to the needs and goals of your organization.