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Using Salesforce to Enable Virtual Sales Teams in Life Sciences

Today, life science sales representatives are dealing with an ever-evolving portfolio of products, solutions, and services, all while facing a significant shift from traditional in-person sales to primarily virtual processes. 

With all things considered, it appears virtual sales methods are here to stay. In a recent study by IQVIA, many healthcare providers noted that they actually prefer virtual meetings because of compliance, security, and convenience. And with roughly 70% of healthcare providers expected to be digital natives by the end of 2020, now is as good a time as ever to implement digital platforms to enable life science sales teams.

This is where a solution like Salesforce — and its wide range of tools — come into play. Salesforce is one of the most robust and widely used platforms within the life sciences sector. The platform provides the tools to manage and automate processes better, collaborate more efficiently, and bring speed and organization to virtual sales teams, which is now more important than ever before.  

So, let’s take a quick look at some of the most critical ways Salesforce keeps virtual life science sales teams working effectively.

Optimize “team selling”

In a virtual world, sales teams need to reimagine the sales process, and collaborative team selling is the key to success. A team approach improves customer satisfaction, productivity, and can even lead to increases in the customer pipeline. According to Salesforce data, 60% of sales professionals said that team selling has increased productivity by more than 25%. At the same time, 52% said it also increases the customer pipeline. 

Using the Salesforce Sales Cloud platform, sales teams in life science organizations are able to create a cohesive ecosystem where data is shared openly and roles are well-defined. Using Sales Cloud’s Account Team feature can allow you to define those roles while establishing accountability, opening up record access, and maintaining accurate reporting. 

Standardize processes

As sales teams continue to work virtually for the foreseeable future (if not permanently), it’s more and more pressing for organizations to establish a more standard selling motion. A lack of standardized sales processes often slow cycles or result in inaccurate pricing or configurations. 

As the world shifted to remote work, more sales teams have moved away from Lotus Notes, Word documents and spreadsheets, instead opting for CPQ (configure-price-quote) tools to handle everything from quoting to signing. In fact, there’s been a major adoption of Salesforce CPQ among life sciences sales teams as they’ve discovered the ease of documenting updates and implementing standardizations. Sales managers also like it because it gives them greater visibility into pipeline activity. 

Salesforce CPQ unlocks data to give a clear picture of what can be offered to the customer, enabling teams to track, analyze, and forecast accurately and uniformly. It also minimizes errors with preprogrammed rules that take into consideration account quantities, discounts, customizations, and optional features while also ensuring all sales reps and channel partners are up to date and complying with the latest product offerings and SKU configurations.

Engage customers and partners 

While keeping your sales team on the same page with each other is crucial in this remote structure, teams also need to be able to maintain connections with customers, prospects, and partners virtually. 

Salesforce Community Cloud allows you to build online communities where physicians and partners can access information about products, ask questions and complete other self-service actions whenever and wherever they are.  This enhances the experience for your customers and prospects by enabling them to transact when it’s convenient for them, and also provides a centralized place to house inquiries, document submissions, and real-time interactions. 

Improve internal communication

According to Salesforce research, 73% of sales teams say collaboration is absolutely critical or very important to the overall sales process. The problem is, many organizations are still emailing documents and communicating via standalone processing programs or siloed apps. This can lead to delayed response times and inefficient communication.

So, in conjunction with “team selling”, Salesforce’s Quip and Chatter offer sales teams the ability to communicate in real time, right within Salesforce. These tools boost productivity by allowing teams to embed collaborative documents inside records and processes, while enabling them to discuss, revise, comment, and approve those documents and workflows from within the platform. The use of these tools can create some instant big wins for your sales team — enabling them to share sales strategies, find internal experts, and uncover cross-sell opportunities.