In the previous blog we highlighted the challenges faced by the learning and development teams in the pharmaceutical industry and threw light on the impossibly busy life of a medical representative.
Remember Chris Gardener from the Pursuit of Happyness – the one who hauled the portable bone scanner from one hospital to the next?
Guess what? this breed is that of an entrepreneurial lot! They play an important role – they act as experts and advocates for the drugs, build long term relationships and stay abreast on what’s happening in the competition to beat them out. And to do this, they have to constantly stay updated by learning from whomever and whenever they can!
Most individuals learn best in a natural flow of work, at their own pace, on a device of their choosing. We try something, get stuck, find a way to solve it and move on. When faced with something more challenging, one gets stuck again, finds a way to solve it and move on, again. In the world of Pharmaceutical reps, this ‘on-job learning’ happens through various ways :
- Listening to the doctor while he/she treats a patient
- Interaction with the competitor reps
- Lunch meets with colleagues who have solved similar challenges
- YouTube videos
- News article on competitor products
So, how can we further strengthen this process of learning?
Self – paced learning solutions provide a great answer. Two great examples of self-paced learning include Microlearning and Online Business Simulations.
Microlearning refers to a type of learning & development methodology which focuses on bite sized and goal – oriented content. It allows learners to easily engage – anytime, anywhere! Microlearning modules can range for typically 02 to 10 minutes and are designed to easily flow into the learner’s work and life.
On the other hand, Online Business Simulations allow learners to deep dive into a topic, practicing a skill in a safe virtual environment and enable learning through feedback.
Let’s take a look at the five more examples of self – paced learning that you can leverage:
Product Updates :
Create microlearning videos or interactive content that highlights the new product and its features. Follow it up with a simple game, wherein learners can learn through a simple game and collect points through a leaderboard.
Knowledge Infographics :
This is the easiest way to learn for employees on the go. Create a simple infographic or a table that highlights all the important points and available at the employees’ finger tips, anytime, anywhere.
Exceptions Handling :
Highlight specific queries being raised by doctors with respect to a particular product or drug and how they can be handling the same. Encourage peer learning by asking learners to share their own experiences of handling different kinds of exceptions through a discussion forum.
Communication Tips :
It is easy for medical reps to fall prey to the habit of treating every customer the same way. How about some easy to remember steps that they can follow just before they enter a meeting? Maybe ask them to reflect on a previous conversation that didn’t go well and what is the one thing they would change going forward?
Play the Sales Quest Online Business Simulation :
This highly engaging simulation is a great way for field employees to practice their sales skills. It focus on the following :
- Develop expertise on various offerings of the company
- Engage with customers
- Propose solutions by understanding the requirements
- Polish one’s negotiation and influencing skills
These are just a few examples of ‘self-paced’ learning and how they might help medical reps be better and do better! We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on this topic.