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Going beyond CRM to an SFE solution

In the Pharma industry, when it comes to software solutions, I have seen these two terms, being used interchangeably. Is that correct? Can all vendors providing solutions to the industry’s sales force, claim that their solutions are SFE solutions?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management
SFE stands for Sales Force Effectiveness

To me, an MR or Area Manager or anyone in the sales organization needs to have good Customer Relations to be effective, but that alone is not enough to be effective. When can we say that a Pharma Sales Force is effective? What is SFE measured by? Here are my thoughts-we can perhaps put down 5 criteria:

  1. He or she consistently achieves all effort indicators in line with targets. (Be it Call Average, frequency etc)

  2. Maintains a high level of Call Quality (Detailing order, customer face time etc)

  3. Performs his or her out-clinic activities as per a plan, and meets required targets

  4. Stays on top of his learning objectives constantly-be it product knowledge or selling skills

  5. Finally, and very importantly, he or she meets results targets consistently

Results include sales, prescription share, and Return on Investment (ROI)

It is obvious, therefore, that a software solution that can help the sales force best, should empower him or her in achieving all these goals. It should be MORE THAN A CRM software.

sfe-cme (T and E)

And so, what should companies look for, if the solution has to do more than manage CRM? It can be a long laundry list. At a high level, in my opinion, you should ask the following questions?

  1. Does the software provide a platform to capture all data on In-Clinic activity—including multiple methods of detailing, and sample management and also activities with other stakeholders, such as chemists and stockists

  2. Does it provide a facility to profile customers adequately?

  3. Since ROI is important, does the solution have the capability to measure all the investments that you make on customers?

  4. Can the solution assist in managing effectively, and in a compliant way, all the out-clinic activities?

  5. If campaigns are planned, can the solution help manage these?

  6. Is there a facility for managing all the learning and coaching that the sales force have to go through, necessarily, in order to be effective?

  7. Can the solution capture and present all the “results” that you want to measure?

  8. Finally, can you get enough analytics that will help in actually improving our overall effectiveness?

There are many more criteria that we can list: these are the basic ones.

Any solutions that purport to help in SFE, should cover these elements to make a Sales Force Effectiveness Solution Effective!

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