PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES live with the fact that a sales force involves ‘sunk costs’ to some extent. This is the time the company has paid for, but does not see any return on, such as travel, administration and making appointments. With huge pressure on sales and marketing costs, companies are now asking whether representative time can be used more effectively. Achieving more selling time within the day is one way to get a return on this cost and improve the bottom line. You’ve heard it before, but it is all about working smarter . . not necessarily harder. mediary, the on line appointment service, continues to grow from strength to strength. Over 130 representatives from more than 40 companies have already taken advantage of the FREE 14 day trial or participated in full pilots in key areas. These representatives have been able to get a taste of how mediary can help them, to maximise their time. Making appointments is part and parcel of a representative’s role but it is becoming an increasingly difficult task that is very time consuming for practice managers and representatives alike. With over 190 (Yes! it is not a mistake!) different representatives endeavouring to book and manage appointments with each practice, the days of phoning up and getting an appointment in a couple of minutes are long gone. What is involved in making those crucial appointments with medical professionals? Most representatives will be able to relate to the following:
- Several telephone calls over days to speak to the right person.
- Being continually asked to call back at a later date.
- Continual calls to target practices in search of cancellations.
- Afternoons spent ‘off the road’ phoning around.
- Often a few journeys to and from a surgery to book in person
- Having to call at a certain time, on a certain day
- Waiting for hours in queues at ‘book openings’
Keeping on top of appointments takes many hours in a week, so if the same appointments can be made in minutes on line, the time that is freed up can be used to make more calls on customers, as demonstrated by this recent event: At a ‘book opening’ recently, many representatives spent at least an hour and a half trying to secure 2 appointments for this year at a practice. Add in travel time, and effectively they spent the whole afternoon at this surgery. Several other representatives used mediary to book their appointments at the same surgery on line in about 2 minutes and did not have to attend the book opening. We asked what these mediary users were doing when the other representatives were waiting in the queue to get an appointment:
- Some saw extra GPs because with the majority of representatives at the book opening, mediary users had NO competition in seeing GPs in that area, that afternoon.
- Other mediary users completed pharmacy and hospital calls.
- One mediary user had other appointments to try and get that afternoon – booking some on line meant he had the time to secure all the appointments he needed.
- Another mediary user reported that she would have struggled to get to the book opening because she had anappointment with another key target scheduled. The GPs at the book opening were also key targets – booking on line meant she saw her targets and got key appointments too.
mediary enables representatives to be in more than one place at a time and the feed back has been excellent:
- Fantastic’ – it saved me hours – I booked 4 appointments in 10 minutes
- I’m impressed – I actually got to choose the appointment date and time most suitable for me! My patch is huge, I would have had to drive many miles – this took minutes.
- I think mediary is wonderful – I could match appointments to my diary, pick and choose suitable dates and all without taking up anyone else’s time.
- I wish more practices were using mediary – it makes my life so much easier.
It is estimated that the hourly cost of a representative is between £20 and £45. This is a very expensive way to secure appointments. Finding a less time consuming method to make appointments means that the representative cost is used more efficiently. The maximum cost to use mediary is £2.75 per day per representative but in the early stages is usually considerably less whilst there are a smaller number of practices using the service. With the new www.mediary121.net you can buy your transactions one by one, and still benefit from volume pricing. So, consider this; the average Representative costs over £30 per hour. That same cost can buy at least eleven days of the mediary service where minutes a day achieve the appointments that used to take hours, or days. With mediary121 you only ever pay for what you use, and if you exceed 10 transactions in less than 30 days anything over 10 is free up to the end of the thirtieth day. Finally, the mediary on-line notice board from and to practices invariably wins you extra sales calls. mediary sends thanks to all its new users. For those who have not yet capitalised on the free trial, the opportunity is still available. Your support of mediary contributes to maintaining and improving the access that the pharmaceutical industry needs to sustain its historic relationship with primary care..
|For more information visit www.mediary.co.uk or contact 0700 393 2 393|