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How to use AI-driven nudges to improve the sales performance of the Pharma Sales Reps?

8 minutes read

A few years ago, Pokemon Go, a popular game amongst millennials, asked its users to go around and catch Pokemons. Whenever there was a wild pokemon nearby, the users’ phones would vibrate to alert them about it and this nudged them to go after it. This made the whole generation go bonkers trying to catch those Pokemon. People would walk around lakes, gardens, and even crowded spaces like malls and residential areas to spot them.

However, the question here is: how did Pokemon do this? The answer is simple– with the power of gamification and some much-needed push, or as they’re lovingly called ‘behavioral nudges’.

What is a behavioral nudge and what is its significance?

The term nudge or nudging is derived from the field of behavioral economics. It is described as a soft type of influence with the goal to elicit a certain behavior. Remember the keyword here is ‘soft’.

Nudges have the potential to bring out visible behavioral changes and make a positive impact on people’s decision-making. If deployed appropriately, nudges can steer people to make better choices at every moment in their lives.

Nudging is not a recent phenomenon. It has been around for a long time steering people towards making better decisions. Digital nudging was first used in the public sector, more specifically by government agencies all over the world. They have been using digital nudges for more than a decade to drive people into taking desired actions, such as

  • Reducing plastic usage
  • Or paying their taxes on time

Now, with technology omnipresent in our daily lives, nudging has found its way into the corporate world. Over the past couple of years, corporate and other non-governmental organizations have started acknowledging the benefits of nudging and now they use digital nudges worldwide to adapt to

  • Changing economic conditions
  • New technologies
  • Globalization
  • Competition
  • Or to improve overall business performance in general

Behavior nudges in the corporate world

Nudges can be of real value in a business context. The current ever-changing

  • Markets
  • Competitors
  • Industry-related compliances and policies
  • And ways of working

Make it necessary for the organizations to alter the behavior of their employees from time to time. This is where digital nudges can help. Digital nudges that are thoughtfully designed and tailored can effectively influence the employees’ behavior and get them to act or react in a certain way, which is key to generating a successful and sustainable business.

When applied properly in the corporate world, nudging can steer employees to make better choices throughout their day. For example, let’s say that a lot of your sales team members forget to enter details in your CRM every day and you want to change this behavior. Now you can nudge your sales reps at the end of their workday via a notification on their mobile phone asking them if they’ve completed the details for all their appointments that day. This notification serves as a reminder for the reps and pushes them to complete that task.

This way digital nudging establishes a sustainable change in the behavior of the employees and helps you to reach your business goals.

How can Behavioral nudges help in extracting desired behavior from the pharmaceutical sales reps?

Now that you know the significance of using nudges in the corporates for driving desired employee behavior, let’s explore how these nudges are going to help the pharma industry in influencing their rep’s behavior and driving better sales

Enhances Field Efforts

With the help of nudges, you can enhance the field efforts of the pharmaceutical sales reps by motivating them to carry out their everyday field sales activities efficiently within the set timelines. You can send them nudges focused on the activities that they need to complete in a day or week or month. These activities include

  • Doctor coverages
  • In-clinic activities
  • Desired brand exposure
  • Completing marketing activities
  • RCPA, etc.

Examples of nudges to enhance field efforts of pharmaceutical sales reps

  • You may miss your monthly call average by 1. Please meet Dr____ who has been missed in this month’s visits
  • Your DCR is saved for 2 days, it is likely to get locked tomorrow, Would you like to submit it?
  • You have not met Dr _____ for 25 days, as per your work plan you will be in the same location. Would you like to schedule his call?
  • Meet Chemist _______ as you are in this area
  • You have not spent enough time detailing Brand X and the Brand sales is also declining. Ensure next time you show that brand first.

Reminds the reps of Customer-specific Inputs

Nudges also help you to improve customer engagement by sharing customer-specific data and inputs with the field force before they meet any doctor. This customer-specific information helps the reps to

  • Customize their pitch according to the customer’s preferences
  • Focus the meeting on a specific agenda
  • Carry the essence of previous meetings so that continuity is effectively maintained
  • And leave the customer with a good impression about your brand

Example nudges on customer-specific inputs

  • You need to show the marketing campaign to this doctor
  • New brand _______ must be showcased first and then the guidelines must be shared after the call
  • Dr __________ had requested for the medical article. Have you sent it?
  • Invite the Doctor to the Webinar which is planned on ________. Send the message through DigiRep
  • It’s Doctor’s birthday today. Wish him/her

Nudges to push the reps to earn Incentives

Incentives can be great motivators for sales reps to complete tasks and accomplish targets. So, you can send nudges as early warning signals to the reps to nudge them to meet a certain target within a certain timeline in order to achieve desired incentives.

Example nudges to push reps to earn incentives

  • You will earn Rs ______ if you can achieve billing of Rs ______ by end of month
  • Your quarterly incentives will be missed by __ % if you don’t end this month at Rs _____
  • Order booking is short by Rs _____ as per your regular monthly statistics
  • Brand incentive for the month will not be achieved. Focus on promoting Brand ______

Nudges to improve the capabilities and skills of the reps

Nudges also help in personalizing training and coaching for your sales reps based on their learning requirements. So, depending on each individual’s strengths and areas of concern, you can design individual training plans encompassing both knowledge (basic science, trials, guidelines, etc.) and skills (negotiation, call closing, in-clinic, language, etc). And then you can send nudges to them to complete their assigned training activities

For example, you can nudge them to

  • Take quizzes on a regular basis which would evaluate their knowledge on various subjects and help them to improve
  • Send relevant training content which they can consume on the go and improve their knowledge and skills. This content can be study materials in the form of PDFs, videos, presentations, live sessions, etc

Simple Nudges to Give Summary of the Day and planned actions

You can also send out simple nudges every day summarizing the action plan that a rep is supposed to follow that day. For example,

  • At the beginning of a day, you can send a nudge summarizing all tour plan and the tasks that the reps is supposed to complete by the end of each day
  • If the rep is in a particular location, you can notify them to meet a doctor or a chemist who is also around that location
  • At the end of the workday, you can send a nudge summarizing what all the rep has achieved that day and what he has missed

Examples of everyday nudges

  • The marketing team has sent ‘Doctor Survey for Brand X’. Ensure its completion within the next couple of days for all the Doctors in your list
  • Dr. X had asked you for the Advanced Report. You are meeting Dr in next week. Ensure you have the report by tomorrow
  • Your in-clinic time is reduced for this month. Please check your day-wise report to take necessary actions
  • Your monthly expenses have been cleared for the month of ________. For a timely receipt, ensure you complete the expense report by the 4th of next month
  • Your compliance for the day has been 98% as you did not meet Chemist ______

Nudges in SmartWinnr

SmartWinnr’s AI-powered app creates customized nudges for the reps based on their historical sales performance data and sends those nudges to them on their mobile devices. SmartWinnr is capable of pulling your pipeline data from your CRM system. Whether it is, SAP, or any in-house system or simple excel sheets, SmartWinnr will integrate seamlessly to consume the data and automatically create customized nudges based on that data.

Below are the screenshots which show how a manager views the nudges that have been sent to his team members and how a sales rep views the nudges that he received from the SmartWinnr app

Manager’s View of SmartWinnr Nudges
user view of nudge
User’s View of Nudges

Want to organize some sales contests in order to motivate your reps your pharma reps to give their best in sales?

5 Sales Contest Ideas for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Companies

Want to give a creative name for your pharma sales contest? Get ideas from this blog below:

17 Sales Contest Names for Pharma

Published on Sat Jan 15 2022

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