Supporting the Healthcare Sales Force with Mobile
Everywhere you look, companies are using tablet devices to support the sales process. According to Apple’s 2011 report, 92% of Fortune 500 companies have integrated iPads into their business. Companies who don’t adopt mobile into their strategy are in danger of being left in the dust.
Every part of the health and wellness industry stands to benefit by incorporating mobile applications. Representatives in Pharmaceuticals can use a tablet application to quickly explain the benefits and contraindications of a new drug to a time-pressed physician or medical office manager. In Life Sciences, product sales teams can position new products, and even give brief demonstrations to customers via an interactive sales tool. Health Plan Brokers can use an app to keep track of their clientele while on the move, and stay up to date with the latest plan or regulatory information.
The technology advances are coming quickly and early adopters will benefit from not only the direct payoffs, but also the experience and learnings that could be earned from adopting mobile apps as a sales tool. While it’s best to work with a mobile specialist like Hoverstate, here are a few tips to help you think about implementing mobile to support your sales force:
- Online or Offline: Depending on the nature of your application, it may require a connection to the internet to function properly. Keep this in mind and make sure your representatives have a data plan, or access to a wifi connection when it is required. HTML5-based applications can often function using offline mode, where content is downloaded onto the device.
- Mobile Device Management: Work with your tech team to make sure confidential data is secured and not easily accessed. You will also need a way to distribute and manage apps throughout your company. A private app store such as one built with the Hoverstate Enterprise App Store product platform can be an excellent way to handle internal app distribution and avoid the red tape associated with the Apple store.
- Provide Training: A confident sales person has to be comfortable with their tools. Applications can be designed to include built-in training exercises, helpful tool tips, or a “guided tour” mode that explains the functionality of each feature. You should also provide basic training on how to operate the iPad or other mobile device. If you don’t have the means to train your sales team, have them visit their local Apple store and register for one of the store’s “How To” classes.
- Set Clear Expectations: Make sure your sales team knows which applications or devices they should use, how they should use them, what they are expected to accomplish, and how their performance will be measured. Many applications capture usage data that can be analyzed to improve performance. Although applications are designed to be intuitive, don’t assume that everyone will naturally use them the same way.
- More Video: Video is the native language of tablet applications. Brief, concise videos can be very helpful to sales. Consider supporting text with video whenever possible, but keep videos under 3 minutes.
- Plan Iteratively: Not every feature can be included in the first launch. When planning your application, keep a “parking lot” of features that are desired but not essential. Future iterations can draw from this idea bank.
We hope these simple best practices will help your company develop a successful mobile sales campaign. Please reach out to us if you have more questions or would like to discuss a project!