The pandemic is changing everything, including how life sciences companies interact with customers and prospects. Sales teams must learn how to adapt to this new normal—or risk their company and its sales sinking. COVID-19 is disrupting traditional face-to-face sales and driving unprecedented demand for virtual interaction with physicians.
A survey of medical device leaders found that fewer than 20% of medical device sales reps have been able to cover cases in person due to hospital restrictions, company reservations about risk, or their own concern of contracting COVID-19.
To further illustrate:
- Over 79% of life sciences sales reps say they are supporting their customers remotely by video or phone.
- More than 75% of respondents think remote access and support is here to stay and will be a key part of their business model going forward.
- 93% of executives believe hospital access and Health Care Personnel (HCP) interaction won’t ever be the same as it was before the pandemic.
After the pandemic ends, multiple industry surveys show that one-third of previously accessible HCPs will prefer to interact virtually. With this in mind, companies should accelerate their multichannel engagement strategy and offer HCPs choices in how they can interact with sales reps, be it in person, digitally or through blended channels.
Social media can be a great way to reach and virtually engage with your physician prospects. Think it’s just for personal use? Consider this: A survey of physicians found that nearly 30% of them were active on LinkedIn at least weekly.
The time is now to implement LinkedIn social selling into your sales strategy. If you don’t, you risk losing sales to competitors who may be more social media savvy.
What Is Social Selling, Exactly?
Social selling is using a brand’s social media channels, particularly on LinkedIn, to connect with physicians and KOLs, nurture those relationships, and create leads.
Why LinkedIn Social Selling Matters
There are three reasons why LinkedIn social selling matters.
- It allows your sales team to build real relationships and cultivate leads. Especially during the pandemic, your sales team needs to get creative with how they can access and nurture leads—LinkedIn should be a top priority.
- You can meet your physicians where they already are—on, you guessed it...LinkedIn! An added bonus: social selling is a no-cost way to sell and market with clear KPIs and metrics.
- The proof is in the pudding...social selling works. LinkedIn Sales Solutions shows how social selling leads to better business results.
7 Tips for LinkedIn Social Selling
To be clear, spamming physicians with unsolicited messages on LinkedIn isn’t social selling. What is: Building trust through meaningful interactions that provide real value. These tips can help:
- Personalize connection requests. Whether you know the physician personally or not, including a personal note in your connection request is key. Providing context behind your request increases the odds of the request being accepted.
- Invite your connections to follow your company’s LinkedIn page. This is a great way to follow up after visiting a physician’s site, attending a symposium, or wrapping up an introductory sales call.
- Join LinkedIn groups that serve your target audience. This strategy can help you gather insights about your audience, share company content, and participate in meaningful conversations.
- Get social! When it comes to engaging on LinkedIn, keep the 10/4/2 approach in mind. For every 10 times you engage with content on LinkedIn, aim to like 10 posts, comment on 4 posts, and share 2 posts. Consider repeating this strategy daily for 15 minutes, and once someone becomes part of your “ecosystem,” continue to nurture the relationship.
- Make the most of company milestones. Start by sharing your company’s LinkedIn posts. (These are already pre-approved and a-okay to share on your own profile.) Doing so can build your credibility and establish expertise among your target audience. 561% of brand messages reached farther when shared by employees than by the company’s official social channels.
- Request referrals. After identifying a physician you’d like to be introduced to, take a look at their LinkedIn profile. Do you have any connections in common? If yes, reach out to your mutual connections and request an introduction.
- Listen and learn. Physicians are becoming increasingly more active on social media platforms. On LinkedIn, these physicians are looking for ways to interact with life sciences companies. While engaging on LinkedIn, be aware of what current and prospective physicians are saying about your company and your offerings/products. Take what they’re sharing on LinkedIn as a learning opportunity.
How We Can Help
Even though social media is an effective sales tool, only 1 in 4 sales reps know how to use it to amplify their sales strategy.
That’s why many of our life sciences clients bring in Grey Matter Marketing for social media training sessions. We can help you and your team:
- Learn social media standards and best practices tailored to your company, industry and target audience
- Gain confidence in your social media engagement strategy with guidance on what to do and what not to do on social media platforms
- Understand how your actions on social media can drive real business results and ways to measure your success
As the pop culture icon, Bob Dylan, would say, “It’s time to start swimming, for the times, they are a-changin’.”
Want to boost your sales strategy?
Grey Matter Marketing is a full-service, award-winning PR and marketing agency working exclusively with life sciences companies. We make it easy for your sales team to implement targeted sales strategies tailored for the life sciences industry. When done right, your sales reps will close more sales and reach sales goals in no time. Contact us and let us help you create a more effective sales strategy.