Most would not associate storytelling with the medical industry. But several innovative sales professionals have smartly started employing interactive tools for storytelling in the sales process in order to increase sales effectiveness.
Melissa, a young sales rep from a pharmaceutical firm is sitting outside the conference room at a major hospital in Washington DC. She is nervous. Soon she will enter the room to present her company’s product to the hospitals administrators. As she waits, she mentally reviews the preset structure of her presentation reminding herself to “drive home” the evidence. She knows they will want to discuss the figures and how this impacts their overall budget. Just then, one of the administrators opens the door and sighs as he lets the young sales rep in; he really hopes that this presentation won’t be like all the others (rigid, irrelevant, abstract), requiring them to wait for a follow up email or even the next meeting in order to receive the answers to all their questions…
But how does one make a presentation stand out from all the rest? Traditionally, sales forces rely heavily on ‘push’ tactics which provide an abundance of research results and product claims but do not encourage any interaction between the presenter and the audience.
Some forward-thinking Pharmaceutical and Medical Device companies are picking up new ‘pull’ marketing methods which try to engage the audience and stimulate a two-way exchange of information. For example, the group of administrators presented in the story above indicates that they are mostly interested in the final outcome and budget related results. Melissa, the Pharmaceuticals sales rep (equipped with an interactive sales tool) modifies the presentation instantaneously providing the administrators with the most pertinent and interesting information. This method of ‘pulling’ the audience into the presentation by allowing them to engage and direct its flow means that the sales rep can involve the audience to increase sales effectiveness.
The innovative ‘pull’ technique of storytelling with interactive sales tools has yet to be fully employed in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. Stories can be used to surprise and build emotional rapport while highlighting certain points. The interactive sales tools enable the storyteller to dive into detail or skip across certain subjects to create much more dynamic, two- way presentations.However, creating a story to build trust in the Pharmaceutical or Medical Device industry means that it must remain authentic and based on real evidence.
In the age of interactive technologies, firms have access to tools which allow them to offer these dynamic and interactive presentations. Especially in the complex world of Medical Devices where sales professionals must be able to show how their product can solve defined problems, the sales rep can now present the product in a more meaningful manner. Web based apps such as BaseCase (usable through laptops, iPads and other hand-held devices) can support sales reps in the storytelling process. BaseCase apps talk directly to data systems and allow the presenter to manipulate inputs and conditions to create a unique scenario specific to the audiences’ requirements and interests, on the fly. An additional benefit of this tool allows sales directors to track how a sales rep is using the tool and gives real-time insights on its sales effectiveness. Those responsible for the tools ROI have the ability to adapt it to reflect what is actually required to increase sales effectiveness in the field.
Storytelling as a tool for sales effectiveness can now be taken to a new level. Not only can sales reps build more significant presentations with the use of storytelling, they now have evidence based discussions with the aid of web-based interactive tools. Sales directors, what are you waiting for? Book an online demo for interactive presentations and empower your staff to tell engaging, evidence based stories.