Pharmaceutical brand managers are finding that contact centres offer a way to achieve more for limited resources.

Reaching your HCP target audience can be a challenge, one that often gets complicated by bureaucracy and geography. Complicate this situation with limited resources, as often the case with mature brands, and the challenge grows.

So how do you stretch a budget and maintain quality contact?

Remote sales teams are providing a go-to solution for many brand managers, as part of a multichannel mix to address HCP targets. Why? Consider that any one remote sales representative can do 60-100 dials in a day within the United Kingdom or Europe. This allows efficient coverage of targets across the whole country – in contrast to someone handling the same territory by car over weeks or months.  With a remote sales rep, there’s no driving time and no sitting in traffic wasting precious resources.

With as little as three to five contact centre personnel versus 40 field reps, you can accomplish the same level of contact. You also get the benefit of having highly qualified remote sales representatives supporting the brand. That’s considerable cost savings without losing contact quality. Actually, our contact centre experience has resulted in an average increase of 5 minutes per interaction in an e-detail compared to face to face meetings.

Design your programme to meet customer preferences

No two customers are alike, so we must work to meet each customer’s contact preference.

Remote reps can offer a variety of services, including appointment booking, customer service, one-on-one calling and interactive e-detailing. They can be used to target those customers who don’t like to be seen face-to-face, but may take a telephone call or participate in an e-detail.  They can qualify target lists for subsequent activity and make appointments. When HCPs indicate they require a face-to-face visit, we can transfer these targets to our field team to follow up.

The contact centre will not replace the field force, but when the budget is tight, the timeline for coverage pressing, or your customers are difficult to reach face-to-face, a remote rep can offer an important touch point to keep your brand top of mind, no matter where it sits in its life cycle.

In essence, the best contact plan is one that strives to meet customer preferences within the desired channel. As part of your channel mix, contact centres are an alternative means to reach a targeted audience cost effectively and with impact.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about Ashfield’s multichannel services, please get in touch. In the UK, please contact Karen Bell on +44 7823 535956 or email Karen Bell. For the US, Europe and Japan, please call Andy Holgate on +44 1530 562300 or email Andy Holgate.