CEx in the Pharma Industry | Can you imagine your sales teams engaging with the customers and building loyalty in not only brands but the organization as well; simultaneously promoting the correct value propositions, along with planning and reporting in the CRM, so that the loop is closed to feed marketing insight discovery as well as accurate demand planning? That would be Commercial Excellence driving the business forward!
Commercial Excellence can take many different guises depending on the business and market dynamics, however it always boils down to be more about people and behaviour. Without a focus on these, success will be limited and not-sticky in the long term.
Developing a CEx strategy: Focal points of interest
1) Leadership Alignment & Equal Internal Partnerships
A great place to start in developing your CEx strategy is to get to know your stakeholders and the ‘baseline’. Work out how you are going to establish an equal partnership with the leadership team and the commercial teams. Your end-goal should be an integrated Commercial Excellence strategy reflected in an integrated workforce, all synergistically working on the same united mission.
A critical success factor is an aligned leadership team, championing the Commercial Excellence initiatives and end-goal. Ensure you are clear with your stakeholders on the following :
- The current and desired futures states;
- The organisational short term and long term goals;
- The top priorities for improvement; and
- A Commercial Excellence communication strategy shared by all stakeholders
2) Strategic Marketing in your CEx strategy
- A very valuable exercise to do that can bring significant commercial improvement is a robust portfolio analysis to determine the priorities, pricing and resourcing strategies across the portfolio.
This can determine immediate opportunities to optimise operations, for example, identifying wasted resources such as a high-cost salesforce detailing a mature product that has a high carry over effect, and not able to achieve any marginal gain above the carry over effect. These resources could be better utilised where the salesforce channel has a greater impact.
- Get an understanding of the marketing implications at each stage of product life cycle. Help the marketing teams to maximize and extend revenues and profits through Life Cycle Management. Provide support to help them determine if market expansion or market penetration is the right strategy fro their brands. This often requires some lateral thinking to find new markets and/or new market segments.
3) Segmentation & Targeting
Are your teams focusing on the right segments with the right value proposition?
4) Value Proposition in your CEx strategy
Marketers often understand their changing brand value propositions, however in a portfolio scenario, there is another value proposition to understand and promote – that of the organisation.
5) Go-to-market marketing model
- Ensure your teams have the right channel mix and the resources are aligned to consistently deliver the value proposition to the attractive customer segments ACROSS THE PORTFOLIO. This is a challenge to get the marketing teams aligning to the portfolio strategy while maximising their brands.
- What role will digital play and why? There are many wonderful redundant websites and apps out there. A digital audit at a portfolio level is another informing exercise to conduct in order to provide some evidence-based data and analysis to help the teams decide their channel mix.
Encourage them to complete a digital landscape in their attractive markets to find out where their target customers are communicating and their channel preferences. Challenge them on how the digital, salesforce and other channels will work together to produce an omni channel seamless customer experience across the portfolio i.e. the right content, to the right customer, in the right channel at the right time and consistently!
6) Lead the development of the necessary capabilities across marketing and sales to deliver effectively
- Review and refine systems and processes across the commercial teams so that they are consistent and optimise supporting resources, while catering for all teams and market nuances. In order to drive data driven decisions, data has to be readily accessible, trusted, and relevant as well as timely. Consider enabling one-source of truth to manage the growing inflow of data.
Ideally planning is a cross-functional continuous activity to ensure internal capabilities and knowledge are leveraged to build deep insightful strategies and plans. Everyone knows what they are doing and why, and are contributors to the overarching plans.
- Review relevant roles, skills and accountabilities Do your roles, skills and accountabilities reflect the strategic organisation goals and the needs of the marketplace? It is a challenging balancing act.
- Review the KPIs and incentives, the rewards and recognition. Often you will find disparities across business units that are unplanned. By nature of their personalities, the salesforce often talk and compare. Be on secure footing while partnering with the commercial leaders and HR to create a motivating incentive and reward program that drives the right behaviours and the right results.
CEx strategy development : Plan of Action
Finally, we know change is tough, so together with your partners, take the organization on a positive journey.
Co-create the strategy, roadmap and communication plan where all stakeholders are aligned and play a role. Success will be seen in the mirror-of-time through progressively accelerated growth, rather than unveilings and fanfare.
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The Actando Consulting Team