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CRM- for distributor driven Pharma markets

Pharmaceutical distributors play an important role in medicine supply chain through their medical distribution centers. These distributors also enable market access for small countries. There are many small countries where the distributor driven market is the trend.

In small countries, manufacturing is uneconomical. Hence aggregators and distributors import, promote and sell products through a chain of retailers.

In this blog, I intend to cover the differences in the sales process and how a pharma CRM can address the differences.

Distributor Driven Market and differences in business needs

When the distributor takes up the responsibility to market products from multiple companies, they appoint a team of MR s to do the promotion

  1. MR s themselves may have an affiliation with multiple companies—Software must be able to handle these scenarios. i.e.
    MR teams—One principal (MR s work for promoting products from one principal)

    MR teams—many principals (The same team may promote non-competing products from many principals)

  2. Distributor level data itself is for multiple principals—that needs to handle. All KPI s need to be handled at a Principal level—e.g. Call average achieved for Astra Zeneca, for Pfizer or CIPLA etc.

  3. Sales Force hierarchy handling-At senior levels, managers would be dealing with brands from multiple principals—their KPI views would be different

  4. Multiple currencies –If there is Sales Data to be presented to principals—they may have a choice of currency. CRM application should have the capability to show in different currencies, as required by a principal.

  5. Content in E-Detailing will need company mapping, in addition to brands etc.

What capabilities should a CRM have?

Like any other organization operating in a competitive market, pharmaceutical companies must seek innovative ways to stay ahead of competitors. Developing a clear CRM strategy and successfully implementing it is what companies struggle with most. The best CRM should have cloud–based databases, giving personnel access to all the information they need. When coupled with mobile integration, this helps representatives on mobile devices provide real–time information on sales.

For a typical distributor in, say, Oman, if he is asked to use multiple CRM systems by different principals, it can lead to significant challenges in-

  • System administration

  • Training

  • Cross –principal movement of sales force

  • Monitoring of KPI s

  • Integration with the core “ERP” that the distributor uses

Currently, despite these challenges, distributors are still being asked to deploy solutions that the principals use.

This trend is changing, and more distributors are moving to a SINGLE CRM platform that can address the needs of all the principals.

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