The world of pharmaceuticals and healthcare is no stranger to cutthroat competition or innovation. Like many other industries, we have the global players with national players irrespective of the nationality, who have increasingly made their mark in the global arena mark in the last 20 years and then we have the disruptors.
Cut to the Indian scene, India ranks 3rd in terms of volume and 14th in terms of value. This makes the country one of the leading producers of pharma products, formulation of generics, bulk drugs and several other areas of the healthcare industry. Also, at a global scale, Indian Pharma has been growing rapidly over the past 8-10 years. Multi National Companies have proven their mettle by winning accolades globally for many drug innovations and new formulation. They have also successfully met the world’s most stringent regulatory authority, USFDA. They has had a 17% growth in terms of revenue ($3 Billion). According to the statistics Indian healthcare sector is estimated to reach $197 Billion by 2017-2018.
One of the key factors that still has a lot of potential to contribute to this tremendous growth rate is the use of new age software technology. An enabler to create operational efficiency and drive revenue. But before we talk about technology, I would like to re-iterate that sales teams for that matter, are one of one of the most important pillars of the pharmaceutical industry. They are the delegates, the ‘representatives’, the ‘face’ of the company on the ground. They are the last leg, the Omega. The final point of contact which takes all of that research and innovation to the buyer. So it goes without saying that sales agents without a doubt must have the product knowledge and soft skills, pricing information, related schemes, supplier information, market trends and other industry trends all on the tip of their tongues. is being done in age old methods with the use of hard copies use documents, brochure, pamphlets etc. This is where SFE products comes into play as a game changer for the industry.
In this era of technology and digitalization SFE products have taken the driver’s seat in empowering sales. Sales Force effectiveness (SFE) refers to the ability of a company’s sales team to win at each stage of the customer’s buying process, and ultimately earn business on the right terms and in the right timeframe. Issuing sales effectively is not a sales function issue but a company’s issue. When one looks at improvement sales teams they must also look into like coordination between sales and marketing teams understanding productivity, what has been worked on and what is not, continuous improvement of knowledge skills and strategy.
The purpose of SFE is to drive revenue through effective product sales and customer acquisition. SFE products help analyse and measure performance of sales. The new age SFE is moving towards a cloud based computing model which further helps reduce the cost of implementation, maintenance and configuration. . Sales Reps play an important role in this lifecycle when the report each activity they perform on the field. They do not have to wade through endless sheets of paper to manage work for a day/month. They can plan and get the same same approved from their managers via software on their handheld devices. They can manage their leads, their beats/patches, check their work reports and make other well informed decisions based on real time information. SFE software unifies region specific sales units across geographies with end to end sales tracking and sales analysis. It helps in managing customers by creating groups based on localities or sales regions. Managing products according to sales price, assigned schemes and discounts is simplified. They can maintain data integrity by updating , tracking, following up on all the notes/feedback, samples and much more.
These solutions help management look at real time information about sales statistics and measure performance of sales reps. They now have a real time view of current stocks at retailers, distributors, stockists. They have first hand information of geography based revenues and product trends, buying patterns and brand preferences. SFE is re-engineering sales process automation which in turn has redefined the way customers are managed. Couple this with collaboration within and outside the enterprise and you have a recipe for success.
This is the next frontier in technology adoption by Pharma industries. Organisations which manage to catch the mobile software train early will be able to develop an entire different type of wealth – data. Data, that can tell you where you are as a growing business entity, where you are headed, and what you should do to scale up to your aspirations. Informed decisions based on empirical evidence are a much better option than having a fluid strategy when you have a global ambition.