Excel is a powerful & ubiquitous analytical tool for small business analysis, but it lacks strong audit and error-checking capabilities. Pharma marketing companies especially in South East Asian countries, use Excel to store(create Master Data) and act(send daily reports) on customer information. It’s affordable and user-friendly. But just as businesses can outgrow office or retail space, they can outgrow excel based customer information management tools too. Excel was not made to act as an Daily Reporting System, It prevents good analysis and reporting.
Traditional Daily Call Reporting workflow in India:
DCR Formats in excel sheets, are sent to all Medical Reps and instructed to fill out every day and sent via email to an “Admin” at the Head Office or Administrative office. The Admin’s work is to collate all these excel sheets and make reports out of them manually and present to the National Sales Manager / Management on a weekly or monthly basis. The report has to correctly highlight Doctor Coverage, Order Bookings at Stockist & Chemist locations and expenses made for claims at the end of the month among other important SFE metrics.
Here are some of the comments from Industry Leading experts about this workflow
The current system of field force reporting is archaic and provide only lagging indicators. Lagging indicators do not enable BU Heads to take proactive steps to enable field force to correct course or change tactics. With the current technology capability, it is possible to get leading indicators, which enable BU Heads to get a better picture of sales activities and guide the field force to implement strategic goals on time. – By Anup Soans, Editor @ MedicinMan
What are the drawbacks of this workflow?
- A company with just 50 reps can generate thousands of excel files over a month. This wealth of information can be hardly utilized by managers when it is needed most.
- Rogue excel spreadsheets with data from dubious sources is propagated throughout the organization.
- Executives find themselves making decisions based on untraceable, questionable data.
- Actionable data is trapped inside silo corporate systems, Excel spreadsheets, and various standalone reports are scattered across file servers within organizations.
- In today’s world where real-time communication is the key, excel sheets hardly help you succeed and collaborate.
- Important tasks and followups often gets mixed up or lost
- Keeping track of Historical data becomes difficult day by day with excel. This hampers re-targeting and MCL creation.
- Managers don’t have real-time data in hand which affects decision making at high level.
- One of the key drivers for Sales force effectiveness is Consistency, Excel based reporting can hardly be considered consistent.
Excel has no built-in mechanism for separating the calculation, presentation, analysis,
and storage layers found on a professional daily reporting application. As information is trapped in small Excel Silos – during internal or external Audits, Pharma companies struggle to produce transaction history or any other key piece of information to the regulatory agencies.
The Pharmaceutical Sales Model itself has changed
- There is an ever increasing number of stakeholders influencing the prescribing choice which necessitates a review of the “age old” sales force strategy. The term “customer” now refers to a variety of stakeholders other than direct prescribers.
- Agile Pharmaceutical companies are replacing their large sales teams with KAM(key account managers) and specialist advisers(Medical Science Liason) capable of managing the complex network.
- Since different physicians/practices have different needs for information, pharma companies need to develop sales force strategies which align sales resources to reflect these real world variations.
- Through careful territory planning, physicians are able to receive sufficient attention and can establish relationships with specific representatives, which increases their satisfaction.
- The product-service offerings the industry develops for specialist medicines must be both clinically and economically compelling, to ensure that it can reach the physicians who typically prescribe such treatments.
- Pharma companies, who develop new capabilities and adapt their marketing and sales approaches to target the customer network as a whole, will create an advantage compared with competitors who continue to drive the ‘share of voice’ model with physicians.
To cope with today’s over saturated sales environment, pharmaceutical companies must maintain a single, centralized view — spanning data feeds, segments, and territories — of each physician, and then apply this information to design more relevant communications.
Cloud Computing-based SFA Tools specially designed for Pharmaceutical industry offers customized dashboards for tracking metrics and generating real-time reports on the go. Division Heads and Management are in better control of their territory and goals. Companies who only want to focus on sales force automation, can for for a professional SFA tool and reap their investment in less than 1 year.
What are the Next Steps?
- Take time to review your current state
- Analyze requirements, goals and objectives
- Select a Professional Pharma SFA or CRM for Pharma before the start of next Financial Year
- Create ROI and/or business case
- Secure budget and implement sooner rather than worry later!