What Is Next After Implementing CRM?

“Last year we have undergone a large CRM transformation program involving multi-million dollars, how can we ensure that we are getting most value out of it” -a VP of Sales of a Biotech company asked this question to me few months back.

As almost all of the top pharma and biotech companies have already undergone large scale CRM transformation program (mostly implemented Veeva), the automatic next question is what next to extract most of the value from this transformation.

The truth is – the CRM is as good as its underlying data and processes, which are critical value levers for a successful implementation and expansion of the usage of the CRM.

The paragraphs explain the next few steps the pharma/ biotech companies should take to expand around the CRM program.

1. Refine underlying data which drives the CRM usage:

I have seen most of the pharma/biotech companies struggle with their underlying data after the implementation of CRM system.

It could be due to the unclean nature of the existing Foundational Data Elements e.g. available customer’s data to aptly identify the targets and prospects, or could be to an extent challenges faced by Sales Ops on regular basis in managing their changing territory alignment, Rep Roster data. This requires a closure look to clean, modify and update these data and possibly implement a strong data governance model and process.

Once the foundational data elements are cleaned, the next step is to enhance the underlying data to be exposed to CRM to help assist the field force to harness the insights lying within the organization. This could be as simple as focused sales insights like drop in prescriptions for a particular region or for a HCO or even at a HCP level to help alert the Field force to take prompt actions or this could be insights around competitive sales for a HCP or this could be data around market access for a particular drug for a HCP/ practice.

Being able to access these kind of insightful data during pre-call planning, can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Rep’s interaction with the HCP.

2. Combine with Marketing Insights:

Marketing and Brand teams interact with the same set of HCPs through various non-personal channels e.g. emails, epocrates alerts, HCP portals etc. and gather various insightful data about HCP’s behavior, access, affinity etc. These insights need to be integrated into sales force ecosystem and made available in their CRM, so that these insights become a part of day to day information to the Sales Reps. This will help the Sales Reps to identify the needs of the HCPs and prepare better for the discussion. E.g. if the Rep notices in the marketing insights that a HCP is repeatedly opening emails related to the efficacy of a drug and its side effects, the Rep can prepare to discuss about the topic during his next visit to the HCP. This will help the Rep to become more relevant in the eyes of the HCP.

3. Analytical driven Insights:

Third key aspect is using analytics to generate insights from the underlying data and create suggestions for the Sales Force to act on. The suggestions help the Sales Reps to decide on the next best actions, topics, offerings to a particular HCP and help Reps to have a meaningful and engaging discussion with the HCP.

These are some of the next steps to be taken by the pharma/ biotech companies immediately after implementing CRM to extract the additional value out of a CRM transformation program. All these will help move the organization to harness the right potential of a Sales Force and enable them as a Quarterback for HCP Communications.