August 28, 2023

Morgan Stanley Analysis: Salesforce’s Entry into Life Sciences CRM and the Pivotal Role of

Dr. Deepika Salwankar

There has been a lot of buzz in the world of Pharma Commercial since the announcement of Veeva’s decision to transition its CRM back-end from Salesforce to its own Vault platform. The first real analysis of the impact of this decision was done by Animesh Gandhi at Gartner back in Q1 2023.  

Now, the Morgan Stanley analyst who covers Veeva has published not one but two reports in Q2 and Q3, which present the most detailed research we have seen thus far from the financial analyst community regarding the impact of Salesforce’s entry into the Life Sciences CRM market.  

And features prominently in both reports!

Media outlets reported that the VEEV stock slipped 3% on the heels of the June report titled “Downgrade to Underweight on the risks to the core CRM business”. The authors of that report Craig Hettenbach, et al expect that “Veeva’s lock on the Life Sciences CRM market to be tested by Salesforce, representing the most formidable threat yet.” The report makes the case that Veeva’s decision to re-platform CRM to Vault “presents a jump ball and opens the door for Salesforce.”

But the report also recognizes the challenges: “Now, it's a tall task to take on Veeva, a trusted partner in Life Sciences with 80% share and software that already meets compliance requirements.” Their channel checks suggest that it could take 12 to 18 months for Salesforce to build a competing product. And this is where things get interesting.

The report highlights Salesforce’s ecosystem approach and how that could accelerate their efforts through “partnerships with companies like, where a former VP of Commercial Strategy at Veeva and executives at Novartis and Eli Lilly serve as advisors.”

In their follow up report in July titled "Investor feedback and key debates following our downgrade to Underweight," the authors go even further to say “ has similar Life Science CRM features as Veeva, namely approved email templates, a virtual meeting platform like Engage and an application to track sampling (still in development). Notably, primarily integrates with Veeva CRM to supplement customer engagement and analytics. From our channel checks, Novartis currently runs on top of Veeva CRM and that expects to be available on Salesforce soon.”

Pick up the popcorn, this is going to be an interesting market dynamic to watch. Game on!

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Dr. Deepika Salwankar
Community & Content Manager at
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