The pharmaceutical industry is knowledge-based and heavily influenced by science and technology. And that means that practices and products must change frequently to keep up. Continued training can be beneficial in any type of job, but for sales in general and biotech sales in particular, it's an absolute necessity. As products and customers change, biotech sales representatives must change too, and there's no single type of training that can do all the heavy lifting in such a dynamic sector.
Some training decisions have to be made based on time and resource constraints, but ultimately you have to choose training that works, or you'll have wasted time and money and possibly allowed competitors to catch up with you. Today's biotech sales training requires use of traditional and non-traditional techniques, so that your sales team doesn't just learn test answers, but also learns skills that stick and that will be used in everyday business. Blended learning gets results, and new techniques for the training repertoire are being developed all the time.
Benefits of Blended Learning
Not everyone learns equally well with the same materials and practices. You may have one biotech sales rep who soaks up knowledge from traditional training manuals readily, but who has a hard time getting into a gamified training app. Another rep may be just the opposite. Blended learning presents knowledge in multiple formats, so each trainee gets to use training types that suit him or her best while reinforcing learning by encountering it in different contexts. One-size-fits-all training may be serviceable, but it's not as effective as carefully tailored, blended learning.
Classroom learning is a type of training that's familiar, and that many of your biotech sales reps are already comfortable with. Exercises, workbooks, lectures, and tests have been used forever, and they work well for many people. But some people don't get as much from traditional classroom learning. It's not because they're any less capable than the star classroom learner, but because they learn better with other training techniques.
E-learning is an important part of any biotech firm's training suite. One of the greatest benefits of e-learning is that trainees can be self-paced, and they can complete training modules as they have time for them. E-learning is a perfect supplement for traditional classroom-based training and is great for helping your sales reps reinforce what they learn in the classroom and retain what they learn better. It's also generally very cost-effective to implement.
Gamification in Training
Millennials are entering the workforce in large numbers, and these young adults grew up playing sophisticated games where they were rewarded for completing missions that required them to learn and practice skills. Many biotech companies are introducing gamification into their training repertoire with everything from simple quizzes and points systems with leaderboards to sophisticated, custom games that take users on quests that involve learning and putting skills into practice. But you don't have to be a Millennial to enjoy and learn from gamified training modules, and gamified training environments are showing very promising results.
There's a difference between training and coaching, with coaching being more one-on-one and personalized. Coaching is about helping people put what they've learned into practice and keep practicing until they've mastered skills. A great coach can provide correction while building a trainee's confidence at the same time, and can make the difference between a competent biotech sales rep and a stellar sales rep. Sure, coaching is a big commitment, but it's an investment in time and resources that can pay off big, and should be part of any well-rounded training program.
In an industry as rapidly evolving as biotech, sticking with only one training method, no matter how good, shortchanges biotech sales reps. Blended learning speaks to different learning styles and gives every trainee multiple opportunities to learn and master new concepts and skills. At CLD, we offer the kinds of training programs that get measurable results, with techniques ranging from coaching to workshops to custom training games. Your biotech sales reps are a major investment, and when you commit to outstanding training, you help them achieve individual goals and help your company reach its goals at the same time.