Six Compelling Questions from the Beyond CRM Webinar
Beyond CRM: Why orchestration is THE engagement model for future proofing your sales force
Venky Lalapet, Sr. Principal Tech, Customer Engagement
Elie Fayad, CRM Lead, Customer Engagement
May 28, 2020

On April 15th, IQVIA held a webinar focusing on commercial challenges pharmaceutical companies face during social distancing measures. During these unprecedented times when the global healthcare system is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, access to Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) is more restricted. For companies that lacked coordination, engagement and workflows were further complicated by the sudden elimination of face-to-face (F2F) contact. A strategic model of remote engagement and orchestration to address the new normal was discussed. The components of this new model include the acquisition of HCP consent for electronic communication, the adoption of remote detailing, and customer orchestration to harmonize all customer interactions.

We would like to share six compelling questions that came out of the webinar - and the answers - with you.

1. What is the usual response rate to eConsent campaigns?

The response rates to eConsent campaigns will depend on various factors. A few of the main ones are:

  • Motivation: Does the request motivate the HCP enough to engage with the Pharma company? The request could be for the launch of a new product, directing to a specific landing site for additional info, or an invitation to a medical learning event. Our studies show that consent is highly influenced by how well the direct mail was written or script was delivered. The higher the motivation, the higher the consent rates.
  • The Value Proposition: A good understanding of what different customer segments value is important. For instance, HCPs who value the effectiveness and safety of an anti-inflammatory drug for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) would more likely consent to receiving studies on the product or to develop a relationship with the brand. On the other hand, HCPs who value new treatment information would respond better to a different value proposition. The higher the value proposition aligns, the higher the consent rates.
  • Timing: Timing is everything ... and that’s very true for Pharma marketing as well. Sending the right message to the right audience at the right time leads to increased response rates. The timing and execution of a campaign matters. For example, should your campaign, addressing seasonal flu, begin during the busy flu season or in the prior months or weeks leading to flu season? A well planned and timed eConsent campaign, whether pre-emptive actions or proactively responding to a market situation or environment, leads to increased engagement and higher consent rates.

Simply requesting email consent, without considering these factors and other considerations (e.g. execution channels), tends to result in lower consent rates. A marketing campaign that is motivating, contains a strong value proposition, and is well timed are just some of the main contributing factors to high consent results. Weaving and executing a solid marketing campaign approach, as opposed to simply asking for consent, is far more effective.

2. My team has been getting requests from brand managers to take a more multi-channel approach to increase brand awareness but I’m not sure at what stage we would contact you to talk about eConsent?

Brand and marketing managers are experiencing increased pressures to take a multichannel approach towards HCP engagement. The current social distancing requirements spotlight the importance of remote engagement channels to maintain one-to-one relationships with customers. Companies who suddenly needed to use remote technology to maintain these relationships discovered they couldn’t. They were not allowed to reach customers electronically and required phone or postal mail which added labour, inconvenience, and time, delaying these contacts from their digital marketing journeys.

Although the end of social distancing measures will see the return of traditional engagement, we think that the added benefits of remote engagement will be significant enough that the need for consented emails and digital channels will be the new norm. Obtaining email consent should be part of an overall branding strategy and weaved into current and future outreach efforts. Existing brand assets can be leveraged to reflect Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) compliance language and included as part of non-digital channel outreach efforts with eConsent piggybacking on these efforts.

So the answer to this question is: it is always a good time to initiate strategies - whether it is helping you define an end-to-end new product launch campaign that begins with obtaining eConsent or helping refine a creative mid-campaign to start collecting eConsent with each new outreach wave.

3. How customizable is the experience? With more companies moving to this new platform, how do we differentiate ourselves?

A company’s identity is very important and therefore you want to look for a solution that allows customization including a platform and details (from the presentation sequence, logos, creative assets, look and feel, and the UI) that can be configured based on a company’s workflows and branding guidelines. The vendor you choose should be able to offer you best practices and guidelines beginning with a joint application design session during implementation time.

4. How do we encourage HCP's in their transition to remote solutions when we are seeing large variance in HCP readiness? Why are your tools different?

In the COVID-19 world of today (and the post COVID-19 world of tomorrow), new ways of electronic engagement between pharmaceutical manufacturers and HCPs have arisen. Understandably, HCPs are confused with the rush of various technologies that have or will be thrust upon them. The variance in HCP adoption of remote engagement may not always be for obvious reasons such as differences in age groups or specialty but for more common things such as device dependencies, privacy/security concerns/firewalls, and user experience/ease of use. To support HCPs in their transition, remote detailing solutions need to address both the technology and human side of the equation.

IQVIA’s remote solutions addresses both side of the equation. On the technology side, let me highlight just a few features:

  • Device Agnostic: This means that it does not matter what type of device the HCP is using. It can be an iPhone, laptop, iPad, Android or desktop computer using different browsers like Firefox, chrome or IE.
  • Co-Browsing: This means that the HCP does not need to install any app on their device before or during the remote engagement. All content is stored on a secure server. The HCP simply opens a browser window and clicks on the URL provided by the Rep over email or via a phone call or text message. Since it is browser based, nothing is ever stored on the HCP’s or on the Rep’s computer, avoiding any inadvertent exposure of sensitive information.
  • End-to-End Encryption: The gold standard for security. Our solution is fully secured and encrypted with HTTPS. Additionally, randomly generated token-based logon is default so there is no chance of any other participant “bombing” the call. 

On the human side, we provide adequate soft skills training on how best to detail remotely. This includes the tone, messaging, using the platform and making the HCPs at ease to engage better.

5. Does your remote detailing solution only work with certain CRMs? We already have a CRM and can’t change it.

Changing a CRM system is a costly and time-consuming undertaking. IQVIA’s Remote Detailing solution works with any CRM so you don’t have to change anything. Reps are enabled to do their calls remotely on our platform. We can seamlessly integrate the call data with the CRM you currently have.  We also have a fully integrated CRM in our Orchestrated Customer Engagement (OCE) platform with a drop down on type of calls so a rep can choose a remote or non-remote call and capture call details directly.

6. How do you compliantly orchestrate communications between commercial and medical affairs team? Wouldn't each team be able to get engagement info through their CRM?

With Life Sciences, certain walls exist to maintain a meaningful separation between commercial and medical efforts. This workflow, in real life, is also effortlessly maintained within IQVIA’s OCE platform wherein the functions and tasks are based on each persona with clear firewalls between personas. For instance, an Medical Science Liaison (MSL) only sees their part of the business which is enabled for their effective engagements. 

Documents and other sensitive materials that are shared with the HCP are “walled” off from other commercial personas. At the same time, reps will not have access to the materials shared by the MSL and can continue their commercial engagements independently without any exposure or perceived influence. The only thing that exists is visibility by both personas on when the HCP was engaged and by whom. This way, when the MSL or Rep engages again with the HCP, they are fully aware of past interactions. This includes interactions with any other client facing / engagement teams (including Marketing or specialised teams, for example, Oncology) at a high level so their next interaction is relevant, context based, and effective thanks to this appropriate visibility. This enables true orchestration. 

These were some of the compelling questions that came up during the webinar. To hear the complete recorded webinar and other interesting questions and answers, click here to view Beyond CRM: Why orchestration is THE engagement model for future proofing your sales force on-demand. If you have any other questions on getting consented emails, remote detailing, or orchestration contact us directly at


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