January 7, 2021

A Quick Case Study in MSL Engagement

Global MSL teams have a wealth of insight to share with life science teams. What’s the best way to ensure robust participation?

MSLs are an important source of feedback for life science teams, with insight into specific therapeutic areas and disease states that are valuable throughout the product lifecycle. But getting a global team of MSLs together presents participation challenges – so what’s the best approach to ensure the highest-quality insights?

Even prior to pandemic-induced travel restrictions, it wasn’t practical for global MSL teams to meet in person, due to time-consuming and expensive travel that interfered with busy schedules. Web meetings also present scheduling and communication challenges, particularly if the team is located across time zones with several different preferred languages.

Challenges to MSL Engagement

We encountered these issues with a client team experiencing ongoing challenges with participation during global MSL meetings. The medical affairs team was using real-time web meetings and email to engage MSLs in North America, Europe, and Australia on a variety of topics, but fewer than half of the team could attend the web meetings. Of those who were able to attend, less than 15% contributed feedback. The team wondered: what insights are we missing, and what can we do to improve?

Put simply, the best way to ensure everyone on a global team can attend a meeting is to let them attend whenever it’s most convenient for them. Asynchronous, or over-time engagement platforms, provide this type of environment – along with all the tools to elicit high-quality insights. In the case of our client, we worked with them to create a 21-day session that allowed each MSL to participate in the meeting whenever they were available, from any connected device.

Real-World Results

By making it easier for MSLs to participate in the meeting, the team saw much more robust engagement. Periodic email digests informed the MSLs when there were new questions to answer or comments to respond to. And moderators kept the discussion going by probing for more information or tagging participants in different conversation threads. And translation capabilities meant all the MSLs could participate in their preferred language.

At the end of the over-time session, the medical affairs team found that attendance had doubled compared to their traditional approach, with nearly 100% of the MSLs joining the session and offering input. The session transcript included 26 pages of written feedback with the MSLs perceptions and insights – exceeding the medical affairs team’s expectations and representing a remarkable improvement over past meetings.

Our clients use Within3 for MSL training, too. Learn how one client rolled out training modules to MSLs across the US and adopted the approach for future sessions in a case study.