How Pharma can Optimize Sales Performance Using Business Analytics

wave
The growth of the pharma industry is increasing exponentially like never before.
Global medicine spending is projected to increase at 2–5% annually and exceed $1.1 trillion in 2024.
This projection was made by the Global Medicine Spending and Usage Trends Outlook to 2024 Report. The report reviews trends in medicine use and spending from 2009 to 2019 and provides projections to 2024. It was published on 5th March 2020, before Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic.
And what is keeping up with this remarkable increase is the data within pharma companies.
In today’s data-driven world, there are multiple streams and sources of data being generated and some of it is widely in use within sales teams that track an exhaustive list of metrics (KPIs) periodically. However, not all KPIs are the same. How do you determine what is working and what isn’t? Following are good indicators of what KPIs should ideally do for your processes -
  • Help identify patterns that support and focus on high performance rather than the routine monitoring of processes
  • Focus on critical success factors aligned with your strategic goals
  • Facilitate discussions resulting in meaningful action to close gaps, followed by monitoring the execution and ensuring follow-up

Adoption of Technology in Pharma

Many leading players in the pharma industry have realized that analyzing data exceptionally well, is of paramount importance to gain business advantage. Significant data being generated inside companies both on- and off-field is proving to be very insightful in understanding the needs and meeting the demand of end-clients i.e. patients.
Companies are working actively and rapidly to harness new sources of data, digital platforms, and insights to power clinical research, and improve patient outcomes.Pharma firms that do not have end-to-end data analytics capabilities are seeking partnerships with technology companies operating in healthcare, to respond and utilize the full potential of emerging data sources for the front lines.
While efforts to explore and create channels for data-driven medicine are in full force, evaluating Salesforce effectiveness is a low hanging fruit that can be measured effectively, if companies equip their sales and marketing divisions to track market changes and act proactively.
For instance, if a Pharma division head wants to investigate the declining sales of his company’s brands and needs critical market insights on what could be the contributing factors, where does he begin? How can he gauge market sentiment, measure brand performance, and evaluate the effectiveness of salesforce performance, all at once?

Analytics and Insights for Pharma

To gain improved insights into sales performance, pharma players need to get smarter about analyzing and driving effectiveness in their sales and marketing operations. With newer brands and therapies entering the line of treatment, complexities in government-imposed regulations, shifts in buying cost pressures, and burgeoning customer demands, the competition is intense. Pharmaceutical companies can gain an edge over their competition by
  • analyzing big data to spot niche and underserved markets and,
  • tracking the effectiveness of sales efforts and focusing on feedback received by the sales force during client visits and using it effectively to plan future sales efforts
In order to achieve better visibility, companies need an integrated solution that has a centralized approach to processing, analyzing, and reporting data related to sales, marketing, and distribution, which is usually stored and managed in multiple excel sheets spread across the organization.
An advanced analytics BI tool can help companies track the frequency of prescription of a given medication, monitor the effectiveness of their sales pitches, track competition, and measure individual sales rep performance (without being data literate or analytics experts). It will allow them to make better-informed decisions, faster than ever before.

Key Benefits of Market and Business Analytics to Pharma Companies

An AI-powered, advanced analytics BI tool, combining market intelligence and business analytics, while using Natural Language Generation technology to write actionable insights in human languages, is truly an integrated solution. It provides major advantages and addresses many challenges and pain points experienced by Pharma companies.
Benefits Challenges Addressed
  1. A BI analytics tool provides real-time visibility into market demands through insights, enabling sales leaders to respond quickly, accelerate decision making and stay competitive in the game.
  • Intense competition
  • Specialized markets
  • Changes in sales plan due to dynamic market forces
  • Time lag in being alerted to opportunities/issues and taking action
  1. It automates and integrates data processing,analysis, and reporting, all within the same platform. This capability creates a transparent and compliant workflow which helps control costs and increases operational efficiency.
  • Evolving government and industry regulations
  • Competitive costs
  • Product segmentation
  • Human errors or dependencies in interpreting data with a bias
  • Manually processing, analyzing and reporting using big data across functions
  1. All data sources, internal and external, are integrated, validated, and managed in a single, secure tool. Periodic updates to datasets can be made within the same tool.
  • Complexities of big data
  • Diverse data sources
  • Manual data management
  1. Offers powerful, intuitive dashboards, reports, and querying capabilities that provide information and insights at a glance, in real-time, to help sales teams track activities, identify patterns, and act suitably. The availability of actionable information at an enterprise level helps increase the efficacy of sales teams.
  • Generating manual reports daily
  • Responding to questions from the field while managing operations at the back (calculating incentives)
  • Too focused on operations execution, less on strategic thinking and planning
  1. Supports efficient Alignment Management through analysis and identification of sales territories/patches to assign reps that are capable of handling high-value clients, and use routes and schedules optimally to maximize the use of face-to-face selling time.
  • Alignment of territories and setting of quotas
  • Dynamic markets contributing to an increase in sales pressure
  • Deployment decisions can be complex, time-consuming and difficult to implement in the middle of a sales cycle
  1. Provides data-driven insights to help understand consumer patterns, track sales performance across markets, forecast expenses and ensure adherence to industry standards and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Complex government regulations
  • Stringent industry standards
  1. Integration of market research and business analytics related to sales processes, marketing team, and field sales force provides the following advantages -

 
  • Better visibility and decision making
 
  • Decrease in operational costs
 
  • Identify and prioritize high-potential physicians
 
  • Optimize field force allocation
  • Traditional pharma technologies or tools working in isolation for sales activities like Pharmaceutical Distribution, Medical Representative Reporting, and Business Chain Management lead to a lack of real-time visibility into the sales funnel, sales pipeline and thereby sales performance
  • The enabling of software automation alone does not provide the strategic view required to drive sales effectively
  • Despite having data, companies are not able to build data and analytics capabilities within functions because the platforms are independent and not integrated
  1. It provides an agile and robust business analytics platform tailored to track and report on KPIs providing insights on Prescriber Segmentation, Prescriber Targeting, Alignment Management, Specialty and Affiliation Management, and Pre-call Prescriber Profile. This industry-focused approach helps organizations.

 
  • improve the morale of its sales force
 
  • align behaviors with strategy
 
  • add flexibility to adapt and seize real-time opportunities in the pharmaceutical value chain
  • Lack of focus from a multitude of metrics being tracked
  • Compromised visibility

Moving Forward in Pharma (Post COVID-19)

Given the current state of global health, uncertainty and change in business models post COVID-19 across the world, an integrated BI analytics tool can help your Sales teams navigate these turbulent times with reliable insights and greater visibility to stay ahead in this unprecedented chapter in the Pharma story thus far.
If you are interested in exploring a customized solution, relevant to your firm,