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Interview

 

Educational support  

Good advice is invaluable, but giving good advice on probiotics can still be rather challenging. Giving advice, after all, is transferring knowledge – and in an evolving market explaining how probiotics work and its science behind it is not a very simple business! Winclove’s Educational Department aims to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between Winclove and its partners. Winclove possesses a great deal of information about its probiotic formulations, the human microbiome, and the nature of the interactions between the two. We want to share this knowledge with our partners. Together with you we will look what information is needed and the ideal form in which it can be provided – whether this is in the form of training courses for sales staff, lectures for key opinion leaders, or scientific speakers for conferences. We asked Karen Koning, head of education at Winclove, how it all works

 

Can you tell us something about the last training course you gave?

"Sure! Recently, my colleague Leonie and I gave a training course to the Marketing & Sales team of our Spanish partner Nutricion Medica, in their own office. Nutricion Medica has included the Ecologic® Barrier formulation in their product portfolio, and they had asked us for support in training their team on product knowledge to be better able to develop new marketing materials and help their product managers and sales representatives to position the formulation in the market and convince healthcare professionals to recommend Ecologic® Barrier. We’ve noticed that particularly where indications for probiotics are comparatively new, healthcare professionals first need to understand what the influence of the microbiota on this indication is. In the case of Ecologic® Barrier, healthcare professionals first need to understand that there is an important link between the gut and the brain and that our microbiota can have a profound impact on this. When this link is clear it is much easier to explain how probiotics can positively influence this".

 

What did the training course look like?

"Because there were a relatively large number of new people in their team, we first spoke about Winclove as a company; who we are and what we do. Then we described how we create our probiotic formulations. The product development process actually says a lot about the effectiveness of probiotics. Our product development uses a 3-level approach: for each indication we look first at where in the intestine the disruption is taking place, and then we select bacterial strains that have the functionalities needed to remedy that disruption. After that we talked about the role that the microbiome plays in brain health (mood, depression, anxiety, etc), and we discussed the clinical studies done with the Ecologic® Barrier formulation. Besides this scientific evidence we also shared our own experiences with this formulation on the Dutch market".

 

 

 

 

 

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Karen Koning

 

 

 

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Sales represantative training at Nutricion Medica in Spain

 

 

Was there also room for interaction?

“Oh, definitely; that’s just what we want! In this training course Nutricion Medica mentioned a challenge they faced, that it was difficult to maintain use of the product in chronic cases. So we shared our experience from the Dutch market. Here we have learned that people with a tendency towards a winter depression benefit greatly from the product. Discussing this we came up against an interesting cultural difference: in the Netherlands the autumn and winter are experienced as gloomy periods, but in Spain it’s the spring, when they start dreading the heat of summer!" 

 

What are the most common questions you get asked?

“We’ve noticed that there are a lot of practical questions about our formulations, such as: is it OK to dissolve the powder in something other than water? Can probiotics safely be used during pregnancy? Or when can I expect a result from my probiotic? And sometimes when questions seem complicated we aim to find the question behind the question. Why is this question important for your health care professional? And how can we help formulated the answer that fits best with our partners strategy."

 

Do you share other materials besides knowledge?

“Yes; we share the marketing materials from our own brand (Winbiotic) such as scientific brochures and patient folders. In the Dutch market  we got the feedback from our HCPs that they enthusiastically explain the usefulness of probiotics in a certain indication  but that the patients once at home has forgotten this. For this we developed a patient folder that gives patients a clear explanation of how probiotics work in a specific indication." 

 

Any advice to our partners?

"Explaining the way probiotics work is not easy. We would like to support you in training your sales representatives, marketing team, or KOLs by providing tailor made training courses that focus on that you need. In addition, we have learned that as the days after the training or business as usual that over time some of the information fades. We therefore offer, especially for sales and/or marketing teams to set up a second interactive training a few weeks later. Here we address questions from the team (in which area’s there is still a need for additional information), but we also give the participants the opportunity to discuss questions they received from the field."

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you interested in giving your sales team or health care professionals a training course? Then get in touch with your account manager at Winclove!

 

 

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