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Dear Pharma Veterans. This series of Blogs is to have a summary view of Pharma Business in Pakistan. It will be a series spread over several parts covering the entire spectrum of Pharma business.
Pharma Business – Sales – SALES PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
We shall roughly divide Sales Management into following broad categories.
- Sales Planning
- Sales Operations
- Sales Team Management
- Sales Performance Management
- Customer Management
- Sustainable Business Growth Management
TECHNOLOGY IN SALES PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
As a society, we are averse to use of technology. And we are not alone. A lot of people in a lot of countries are the same. We would like to avoid using technology for as long as we can. This is not due to cost factor; it is because of comfort factor, and reliability factor. For example, our bank-tellers do not use currency counting machines; they still rely more on counting notes by hands.
Technology is here to stay and cannot be wished away. The more we can harness the power of technology, the more we can benefit. Let us look in this direction.
Technology for Pharma business, other than technical areas, has been around for many years. Distribution software was introduced about thirty years ago. Our focus vis-à-vis technology will be on sales and team management. Several application suites, platforms, dashboards and reporting systems are available. We shall look at solutions developed in Pakistan. Technology can help to plan, execute, monitor, build customer relations, calculate ROI and so on. This is an important area and I would like to dedicate some space for this.
Disclaimer. I am not promoting any specific brand. I am giving an overview of technology only.
The Sales Management Solutions offer strategic support in two areas separately and then combine both to generate analytical reports. I understand the basic parameters remain the same but there are variations in reporting of information subsets.
Customers Call Reporting (CRM function)
The technology has the database of doctors on the list of sales teams. Each customer is assigned a code. When the med rep makes a call, she/he sends SMS to a given number and just sends the code. The system updates all relevant records which become available to stakeholders in the form of reports such as:
- Daily visits by each med rep
- Daily visits across team/ region/ country
- Visits to a customer over time/ across teams
- Visits to customers on list/ missed visits
- Visits by specialty
- Visits by product selection
- Visits vis-à-vis set frequency
- Comparison of visits over time/ across teams/ across regions
- Trends in customer visits
You may think of getting more out of the system.
I would strongly resist the temptation to use call reporting system primarily as a ‘Control Tool’. In my view it is WASTE of an extremely useful resource. The more it is touted as a stick, the more it will be sabotaged by the sales teams. They should be sold on the benefits which are accrued to them; control is secondary and may be done in the background.
The distribution software used by pharma distributors is based on Bricks. A brick is a road or a small area having few pharmacies. Each pharmacy in a brick has a code and each brick has a code. Bricks can be added up in any combination as per territory design. Mostly, sales reported by distributors is territory-wise. You can dig further by getting brick-wise and individual pharmacy sales.
Technology based solutions use the same data and report it in any way you wish to see. This gives you greater flexibility to look at market sales. Following information may be gleaned from the system.
- Pharmacy sales – individual, brick, territory, team, region
- Product sales
- Sales comparisons
- Sales trends
- Sales in relation with customers
- Pharmacy coverage by distributor
In my view, the best part is that the system is based in your office and you can access data which is updated either in real time or after short intervals.
We shall take up Analytical Reports in the next blog. Links to some solution providers appear below.