Let’s try to understand the foundation behind the concept of Pharma CRM along with recent initiatives. New regulatory and market trends are driving pharmaceutical (Pharma) companies to think beyond traditional CRM models. Such enterprise vendors as Siebel, Dendrite and SAP — as well as such smaller vendors as StayinFront and Synavant — are offering advanced Pharma CRM applications that incorporate contact center operations and multichannel touch points into a CRM strategy. “For Pharma, especially big Pharma, the challenge has always been about sales force automation (SFA),” said Roddy Martin, AMR Research service director. The sales rep has to be effective in making appointments with the doctor, has to know the appropriate information to share with the doctor, and be able to manage and track the samples left with the doctor, Martin told CRMDaily.com and hence the need for Pharma CRM.
To say that pharmaceutical companies traditionally have focused their CRM endeavors on sales force automation (SFA) technology understates the sophistication and in-depth processes they have used to reach their customers — specifically the doctors who prescribe their brand of drugs and Pharma CRM provide the solution to this problem effectively. “Essentially, Pharma CRM for pharmaceutical companies started with SFA applications,” Stephen Andrade, vice president and general manager for Siebel Life Science, told CRMDaily. “But companies are now realizing that they are interfacing with physicians in many different ways.” Not that the traditional way to interact with physicians were ever easy without using Pharma CRM.
The bar always has been high for Pharma sales reps, according to AMR Research senior analyst Kara Romanow and due to direct advertising by the pharmaceutical companies to reach actual patients, some 60 percent of consumers already ask for a particular brand of drug. And the face time the sales reps have with physicians is extremely limited — maybe three minutes at a time. Moreover, regulatory issues are also a concern, especially for reps that leave samples with doctors — and most do. And Pharma CRM is the solution to this requirement. There are many Pharma CRM service providers are available in the market depending upon the ease of use, cost and other mission critical requirements such as enterprise vendors like Siebel, Dendrite and SAP — as well as such smaller vendors as StayinFront and Synavant.
For example, Sales Logix Pharma is a Pharma CRM application that provides out-of-the-box functionality specifically designed for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Users of this front-office application may be field-based medical representatives, specialty/hospital representatives, sales managers, marketing and product management as well as the medical department. By the nature of their respective roles, these users require access to the database across a range of platforms and devices as well as having interfaces and functionality that is relevant to their role. Not only does Sales Logix Pharma CRM provide access through traditional client/server computing, via Citrix Server based computing and the internet, using PCs, laptops and handheld devices but it’s Architect allows each company to configure and manage the application in line with each user’s needs.
Sales Logix Pharma CRM includes best of breed ETMS features and also reflects the new challenges where future success requires that multiple departments have access to customer information as well as having the tools to leverage it. In addition, the internet has changed the way information can be accessed and distributed, opening up opportunities to develop new ways to interact and share information with customers – from Patients to Physicians. Sales Logix Pharma CRM provides an in-depth range of operational tools for territory planning, managing clinical meetings, set-ting up and managing contact profiles, managing medical requests and defects. Pharma CRM also provides analytical tools to dissect and correlate data, calculate performance and present it in both text and graphical formats helpful to the user. Sales Logix Pharma CRM also provides collaborative tools to manage all customer touch-points (all means by which a customer might interact – phone, e-mail, fax, WebPages etc).