June 1, 2023

The Future of Pharma CRM

Damian Colehan

Over the last thirty years the Life Sciences industry has undergone tremendous, unprecedented changes and growth, with major advances in science and research contributing to enhanced human health. These changes include a shift from primary care focus to specialist and rare disease treatments, a fragmentation of the purchasing decision, the rise of payers, and significant reductions in customer-facing team sizes.

Despite these changes, HCPs still rely heavily on pharmaceutical industry professionals for updates on treatment advances, product information, and clinical data. This has led to the emergence of a broader range of customer-facing roles, including product specialists, KAMs, and market access leads, and a growing trend of the importance of medical affairs for scientific and clinical engagement with KOLs and those involved in clinical studies.

The primary role of customer facing sales teams has largely remained unchanged, building trust relationships with HCP’s and transmitting key clinical and scientific information to assist in making informed prescribing choices for the benefit of patients.  

We have seen significant change in the tools the field uses to report their activities, plans and actions. The evolution to advance of CRM solutions from the humble use of paper call reporting, through basic Salesforce Automation (SFA) to Electronic Territory Management Systems (ETMS) that has enabled digital transformation and changed the way science and product key messages are communicated and insights captured.

However, many CRM features and functions have low adoption rates because they are complex and cumbersome to use. Field-entered data is often ignored, and brand teams rarely review detailed call notes made by the field. This has led to frustration in the field and very low adoption rates of many elements of CRM.

Veeva's decision to re-platform its CRM away from Salesforce is a significant announcement and provides a window of opportunity to redefine and fix the current CRM problems for a superior customer engagement experience and removing user complexity and assisting the field be their very best in front of their customers

It is clear that the time is now for a pharma CRM major overhaul. Customer Engagement leaders now need to conduct a critical review and assessment with field user input of all features and functions. The industry needs to reduce complexity, adopt a back-to-basics approach, and focus on an optimal customer experience. The adoption of new features and data should be based on what the most successful teams use and why. The field's voice should be brought in-house to assess what features and data are necessary and what can be disabled to simplify the system. This approach will enable field teams to deliver an optimal customer experience while minimizing the complexity of the system as well as improving adoption.

At this critical juncture, Tact.ai offers a comprehensive solution to enhance customer engagement by streamlining various systems and providing user-friendly tools for pre-call planning, post-call logging, customer email, and content presentation. Tact.ai's integration with MS Teams enables healthcare professionals to engage with customer facing teams virtually using the tools they have available and use.  

Our platform disintermediates users from underlying systems of record, allowing businesses to innovate faster and establish a true Customer 360 engagement model. By leveraging the best of Salesforce and Veeva, Tact.ai caters to the specific needs of life sciences customers and offers a seamless and compliant customer engagement experience.

If you want to redefine your customer engagement strategy more effectively, then Tact.ai can help you. Reach out to me at damian.colehan@tact.ai to know more about our solution and how we can help you enhance your customer engagement strategy.

Visit us at https://www.tact.ai/

about the author
Damian Colehan
Vice President of Sales - EMEA
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