Actions to bridge the GAP between Sales and Marketing

When you search for “the gap between sales and marketing” you get 117 million hits… Why is that?  

In most companies there is an overweight on marketing. Marketing starts as high up as global/regional brand teams with diversified mini managers in satellite teams. Sales often does not start until you reach national sales managers’ level. This results in a mismatch or GAP since sales usually focus on customers, S&T, SFE etc. The brand teams focus on delivering the right message and run their campaigns.  

So where does it all come together, or doesn’t it? 

Now this is not a new challenge and I have faced this for the last 20 years. Alignment always seems to be hard, but none the less, there are some easy ways to get the process going. 

Collaboration and communication 

Collaboration is the basis for Alignment to work as we already know, but why don’t we collaborate then? Funny that we have these big communication departments and yet we  are so poor at communicating internally. Clearly defining the objectives for both parties are essential. The basis for the communication is the understanding of what each area wants and need. You need to set objectives also for communication. 

One Leader 

The organizations that do succeed are the ones where there is a high-level manager like a S&M manager, Business Unit Director, or Commercial Excellence Director responsible for the required collaboration.  

Top to bottom 

Now, combining these 2 gives us the possibility to align strategy and objectives. Securing information flow 0via cross functional meetings, coaching, development talks and checking for strategy leakage are steps to take.  

Linked objectives and Aligned Plans 

Top level strategy is cascaded down through the organization. For each level, it can be interpreted differently. A typical cascading is: 

strategy in slag and marketing

The miss-alignment that we can see above results in the GAP we talked about earlier.  Having 2 lines gives us a system of push or pull. Marketing wants to push campaigns and materials on to the field force while the field force asks for certain content and detail aids based on the requests from  customers. Quite often we also tend to misunderstand the usage of Segmentation & Targeting. Correctly used, this is a grid created by S&M together. The field force executes, as in identify, secure and report customer insights and profile data and the marketing department is then using this data to define content needed set objectives for provided materials.  Here we often see that the last step is NOT taken. An example or use case would be: This cycle, the material is addressing C-customers and aim to drive +20% of these to B-customers.  Somewhere in all this we need to remember that it’s the field force that is in contact with our customers. 

Easy to set goal, easy to follow up

That said, goals are not always easy. They should be challenging yet achievable. Setting impossible goals does not drive anything. 

Account plans 

By using account plans on KOL’s and/or Stakeholders, and set up weekly follow up sessions, you can secure action and delivery. 

Data capture 

This is an important part but can or should not be used if you do not actually act on the collected data. When collecting data, we must have a clear purpose. We also need to identify the recipient of the output and the expected routes of action based on the data.    

Reports and Dashboards 

Today, actionable insights can be delivered directly on the iPads of the reps in real time. The issue is not collecting nor reporting but filtering the vast amount of information collected and presenting insights that sales & marketing can ACT on! We have all had to many reports set up that are never looked at and not given feedback on.  

Monthly Challenge Meetings 

Things change… 

You need to have frequent meetings to evaluate progress. By evaluation and challenge you will be able to take proper actions when needed in due time. 

Traction 

Apart from TATA ( Train, Adapt, Trust, Achieve) we also need to ensure momentum. This is obtained by communication, focus, discipline, and accountability. This is partly the weekly and monthly meetings but should also be linked to personal performance and incentive systems. 

Some questions to address

Are your sales and marketing aligned and working together towards the same goals? 

Are you taking this step by step or are you over complicating things? 

Have you ever tried to test strategy leakage? 

Do you have a digital roadmap that covers sales, marketing, and IT? 

What can we do to help, from Promeasure? 

Apart from our tool called DOT – Digital Operational Transformation, that is a complete 360 health check of your setup of CRM, Promomats and Business processes, we are also business consultants. We have been there and done that. So, if you need to have an external check and help to set it all in motion, we are happy to help. Start by calling us today, and we will see where you want to go. 

You can also benefit from reading this article: 16 Ways To Bridge The Gap Between Sales And Marketing Departments

Field Day As KPI

Is Field days a relevant KPI for Pharma even for the Hybrid Rep model?

Last week I posted a question on Field Days as a KPI – whether it was good or obsolete KPI?
Seems that still many at least most of the survey respondents felt that number of fielddays is still a relevant KPI for managing the sales force.

As vacation time is approaching and physical calls are somewhat returning – it might be a good time and reason to review your time off territory (ToT) process for Veeva CRM?

Link to ToT article: https://promeasure.dk/2019/08/13/tot-case-study-data-polution/

Is time off Territory (ToT) an important KPI to track? Survey result

I think the discussion is much like the discussion about working from home or not? Should we track the field days or just trust that results are optimized by all by default?

The main argument as I see it to keep tracking field days or actually tracking the time spend on non-field related activities is the fact that time is the most evasive resource applied in sales. The time not utilized today cannot be recuperated tomorrow. Therefore, keeping a keen eye on what non-sales activities time is spent on becomes important.

Tracking field days is a difficult matter and 100% accuracy is probably not obtainable without invading privacy beyond the law, but what can be done is to meticulously track the time off territory for the activities we do know, such as

  - Internal meetings
  - Public holidays 
  - Vacation/personal 
  - Time off and time spend on admin activities. 

Most of these activities are well known by managers and can be tracked.

What about the “hybrid rep” and the real versus virtual world activities? For the Hybrid rep the same core truth persists, the amount and quality of the engagements made with customers, is what drives sales. With the expansion or widening of sales channels the focus on output per time unit remains equally relevant.

One can prepare and plan the best engagement ever but without execution it does not matter and the same is true for endless execution without preparation and planning. To strike a meaning full balance the engagements per time unit becomes valuable to identify outliers and to provide a reasonable level of expected activities within the sales teams.
Read How to Structure Time off Territory Data

From a managerial perspective the time required to follow up with sales teams to complete the required tracking can seem overwhelming. Changing the culture or data quality mindset is a tough task but doable. The shortcut for managing larger field forces is to provide administrative support via automation of data registration.

What can be done ?

Using the Field Day Admin app for Veeva or Salesforce.com, local admins can provide the update of records in a matter of minutes for entire sales teams. By creating company specific activities internal meetings and trainings can be updated for all attendees and personal and public holidays updated by a few clicks. This vastly improves data quality of the Field Day reporting in CRM and provides a high-quality granular data feed for your business data warehouse.

Rethinking old processes creates business opportunities

Use 2019 as an incentive to rethink and plan business processes. Be – even more – efficient and increase productivity. With the advancing digitization, the pharma industry can’t and is not staying behind. 

The Life Sciences industry is embracing a true digital transformation. Digitization is fundamentally changing the way companies work according to the Digital Marketing Institute:
“It’s a shift in behavior and processes that is affecting all industries, including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.”

The positive effects of automation 

We know the benefits of automated processes; to reduce cost, increase efficiency and enable transparency through the ease of data visualization. All resulting in higher productivity and performance. Data and the visualization thereof, empowers decision making. Presenting data in real-time even more so. Dashboards do just that, presenting the KPI’s in a combined overview, giving a clear overview in just a couple of clicks.

Why rethinking old processes is a good idea

To survive, thrive and continue evolving, the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies too, must keep up to speed with their digital environment. There are many opportunities for the life science industry to rethink old processes and develop new and more efficient solutions. Making a workweek more manageable for employees leads to all kinds of improvements and benefits (stress levels/efficiency). In addition, with easy access to real time data and a sleek presentation thereof, a manager, stakeholder, or not to forget a customer or lead will be much easier to convince.

The Digital Transformation 

In the life sciences industry it is not different from any other industry. There is a lot of movement on the digital front lines. At ProMeasure Consulting, we see great potential in this digitalization. To be frank, it is our entire business. During our many years of consulting pharmaceutical companies, we experienced all kinds of challenges and opportunities. Being part of the reassessment of existing business processes and the translation of those into digital processes is a tailor-made process. Whether we complete a full introduction to Veeva, automate data entry processes or assist in reporting or configuration. Digital transformation is a non-stop process, leaving us on a non-stop path of growth. Uncovering insights that can lead to better results.

One of these insights led us to the development of a tool, FieldDaysAdmin. This tool provides a solution regarding the registration of time that sales representatives spent off the field. It turned out that registration of this data was not too accurate, leaving reports misleading. Our solution is customizable and incredibly easy to implement, providing management with correct data bringing useful insights to build upon.

The pharmaceutical industry might be a slow adapter when it comes to the digital landscape. But more and more pharma companies start to embrace the digital transformation in one or another way.

Improvements: finding an easy and cost-effective way to save time on routine tasks

Technology keeps evolving and provides great opportunities within our work field. Automation is not a new term but has become an important term in many companies the recent years. We understand why! 

Many companies rely on a set of systems and processes, and automation directly affects efficiency as it has several benefits. Automation can be intimidating for many companies as many people don’t know how automation affects employment. 

Here at ProMeasure Consulting, we are very optimistic and see great potential in automation. We believe it is about rethinking the job and find the solution on how automation can have a positive impact on the workflow and the overall performance within the organization. Automation can affect specific parts of the job, for example, speed up the process and deliver prepared data making the task owner focus more on other parts as automation gives you the time and opportunity to do just that. 

What is automation about? 

To focus on what really matters! Reduce time spend on managing repetitive rule-based information and entering data. Without automation, many tasks would require manual data entry and a lot of time for organizing, updating and securing correct data. Saving time is crucial as we have a million things to do and do not want to waste time on repetitive and tedious tasks. 

Problems of Manual data entry: 

  • High cost – Manual data entry requires a lot of effort to conduct efficiently and employees should be trained on how to enter data correctly. However, training is time-consuming and often an expensive effort for the company.
  • Human errors – An important problem in relation to data entry is human error.
  • Time-consuming – When entering information manually it takes up a lot of time, no matter how fast one can do it. Typing a lot of information requires focus, a skill that is different for everyone. Losing focus, will add even more time to the data entry task.
  • Misinterpretation – With human data entries there is always a risk of misunderstanding. Every person understands and thinks differently, and this is also the case for data entry.

Why automate data entry?

Your business relies on a set of systems, processes, partners, suppliers and employees. Each of these is a constant source of information. 
The key reason is business efficiency. Automation directly affects efficiency as it reduces cost, time and complexity for your organization and employees. 

When should you automate?

If you have default tasks, a set of rules or identifiable measurement points. Get your team together and discuss what tasks within the organization are being done repetitively. Then look for an automated solution that can perform the task. 

  • Lower Cost – Automation allows you to accomplish more by utilizing fewer resources.
  • Reduce human error – Automation ensures that the task is done identically every time and resulting in high quality and reliable data. Using automation will reduce the margin of errors.
  • Time-saving – Automation reduces the amount of manual labor needed for a specific task.
  • No misinterpretation – Automate the task provides greater consistency and control.

ProMeasure Consulting offers solutions that will help your organization save time on daily tasks while improving data quality. E.g. with the FieldDays Admin Tool.

New Year, New Digital Processes

Tbke the new year as an incentive to rethink work processes. Be – even more – efficient and increase productivity. With the advancing digitalization, the pharma industry can’t and is not staying behind.

The Life Sciences industry is embracing a true digital transformation. Digitalization is fundamentally changing the way companies work. According to the Digital Marketing Institute:
“It’s a shift in behavior and processes that is affecting all industries, including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.”

We know the benefits of automated processes; to reduce cost, increase efficiency and enable transparency through the ease of data visualization, all resulting in higher productivity and performance. 
Data and the visualization thereof, empowers decision making. Presenting data in real-time even more so. Dashboards combine KPI’s and give a clear overview in just a couple of clicks.

To survive, thrive and continue evolving, the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies too, must keep up to speed with their digital environment. There are many opportunities for the life science industry to rethink old processes and develop new and more efficient solutions. Making a workweek more manageable for employees leads to all kinds of improvements and benefits (stress levels/efficiency). In addition, with easy access to real time data and a sleek presentation thereof, a manager, stakeholder, or not to forget a customer or lead will be much easier to convince.

Digitalization in The Pharma Industry

In the life sciences industry it is not different from any other industry. There is a lot of movement on the digital front lines. At ProMeasure Consulting, we see great potential in this digitalization. To be frank, it is our entire business. During our many years of consulting pharmaceutical companies, we experienced all kinds of challenges and opportunities. Being part of the reassessment of existing business processes and the translation of those into digital processes is a tailor-made process. Whether we complete a full introduction to Veeva, automate data entry processes or assist in reporting or configuration. Digital transformation is a non-stop process, leaving us on a non-stop path of growth. Uncovering insights that can lead to better results.

One of these insights led us to the development of a tool, FieldDaysAdmin. This tool provides a solution regarding the registration of time that sales representatives spent off the field. It turned out that registration of this data was not too accurate, leaving reports misleading. Our solution is customizable and incredibly easy to implement, providing management with correct data bringing useful insights to build upon.

The pharmaceutical industry might be a slow adapter when it comes to the digital landscape. But more and more pharma companies start to embrace the digital transformation in one or another way.

Veeva Commercial & Medical Summit, Madrid

The Veeva summit is one of Europe’s largest commercial and medical events, where professionals in life science industry share best practices and novolties. A great opportunity to network, get wiser and stay up to date.

We come with a specific mission:
And that is to introduce a smart calendar tool; ‘FieldDays Admin‘, an app build for Veeva and Salesforce to register all public holidays in one go and for all users. The tool ensures that time of territory is registered and registered right. Allowing KPI’s involving field days and ToT to be a whole lot more accurate.

In our many years within the Pharma industry, we noticed the data was off in the majority of cases. We decided we should change this and build the FieldDaysAdmin tool.

We hope to see you at the summit and show you how it works!

Read more about the Veeva Summit here.