Life Sciences CRM: Need For Speed

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Life Sciences CRM: Need For Speed

Imagine you’re at the starting block for a 2,000-meter race and need to remain ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice, not knowing exactly when the starting gun might sound.

That’s the situation facing a number of businesses in the life sciences realm, including medical device manufacturersbiotech firms and large pharmaceutical manufacturers, with which Cloud Sherpas works.

The challenge: research and development on new devices and drugs may take years and involve lengthy review by regulators. But once that regulatory approval comes through, the race is on to maximize profits before competitors are allowed to sell their own versions and the inevitable price decay sets in.

Exclusivity Window: As Little As 3 Years

In the life sciences realm, while a business may hold a patent on a product for 20 years — depending on the country — the exclusivity window is typically much shorter. Under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, for example, manufacturers of biologics (vaccines, blood, gene therapy and the like) may have 12 years of exclusivity before generic versions can be developed. But for other types of drugs, the exclusivity period is usually much shorter: 5 years for new drugs or as little as 3 years for drug products containing previously approved pharmaceuticals.

As a result, life sciences businesses have a finite window for not only marketing and selling their products, but also for creating enough market share to help sustain sales after generic competitors come to market.

CRM For Life Sciences

Here are just four essential ways in which CRM helps life sciences businesses capture those profit opportunities by enabling companies to move farther and faster:

1. Rapid Sales Startups

Given their finite time to market and sell products, life sciences firms have long embraced CRM applications to automate and manage their efforts. They’ve also been early adopters of cloud-based CRM applications, which allow new businesses or divisions to bring a working, configured and highly usable CRM instance online in just weeks. That way, salespeople can quickly bring their indirect sales model to bear on influencing the pharmacists and physicians who might prescribe or employ their company’s products.

2. Customer Information

Cloud Sherpas client Integra LifeSciences, a medical device manufacturer, adopted Salesforce to make it easier to capture crucial customer information, not only to help automate related activities, but also so that essential customer data — including contact information — doesn’t go missing when a salesperson departs. By getting essential information out of salespeople’s heads and into a CRM system of record, the company’s CRM manager was able to put more advanced campaign management in place and begin to build a full, closed-loop system that tracks all marketing and lead management activities through to sales and booking deals.

3. Big Data Analytics

Bringing CRM tools to bear on life sciences activities is also essential for solving pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device manufacturers’ big data challenges. This includes analyzing what drugs are being prescribed in which countries around the world — and where exactly — to determine the influence that a company’s sales reps are having on the pharmacists and physicians in their assigned territories. Since sales reps merely influence their targets, however, attempting to gauge sales team success — which is used to calculate incentives — can be quite a complicated process. Nevertheless, life sciences firms continue to invest heavily in big data to identify new and better connections to their customer-facing efforts, refine those efforts and increase product adoption.

4. World-Class Customer Service

For life sciences firms that make life-saving treatments, one essential component is often their customer service operation. One Cloud Sherpas client, for example, is a large biotechnology group that manufactures life-saving drugs for a specialized disease that affects about 200,000 people around the world.

Because taking this medicine — including using the correct dosage, as well as managing any side effects — is key to people’s long-term health, the biotech firm continues to use CRM to improve its customer service and contact center business processes. This use keeps both its customers and contact center reps happy and healthy.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Geraint Rowland.

Adam Honig

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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