Marketing, Sales, and Service Challenges in the Life Sciences Industry

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Pharmaceutical and medical device sales reps are dealing with shrinking availability among their customers.

The growing lack of physician availability stems from economics and new healthcare business models, which have pressured doctors to see more patients.

Regulatory requirements are also creating hurdles for salespeople. Federal and state regulations, and guidelines from industry associations such as PhRMA, set boundaries for how pharmaceutical and medical device sales reps can interact with customers.

Compliance with these rules, including gift bans and mandated reporting of any financial incentives over $50 in value, have altered the sales landscape throughout the Life Sciences industry.

Due to these changes, Life Sciences sales and marketing professionals are having to find new and different ways to engage with their customers.

To do that, they need to start with more effective pre-call planning and preparation so they can maximize their effectiveness in every customer meeting.

More mobile-friendly sales training that gives sales and marketing professionals instant and reliable access to the most up-to-date materials is needed. You or your team also need tools that let them custom tailor the messaging and materials they are delivering to specific customers and do so while on the go.

To maximize the sales people can spend in the field, reps need to reduce the time they spend on administrative tasks. So, integration and mobile access to CRM systems and other tools is a must.

Lastly, sales management needs effective ways to capture the best practices of their top-performing reps and propagate them across their entire sales force.

Marketing Challenges

In addition to trying to stand out in a crowded and noisy market, Life Sciences marketers have regulatory responsibilities that are perhaps more burdensome than in any other industry.

They must adhere to strict and complex federal and state regulations. For the many Life Sciences companies that do business internationally, the complexity of their regulatory requirements grows exponentially.

Marketing teams must pay close attention to, and comply with, regulations covering promotional and marketing materials. Their materials must meet specific guidelines and are regularly subjected to reviews, compliance checks, and audits by the FDA and other federal and state agencies.

For marketing people at Life Sciences firms, it seems that after checking off all of their regulatory and reporting requirements, they have little time left to do ‘real’ marketing. That is the creative and strategic work of promoting their firms’ products in their target markets. Marketing in life science

Their regulatory responsibilities also leave them with less time to deal with ad hoc requests (usually from salespeople) for custom-tailored collateral, or other, ‘one-off’ items.

Marketing teams also lack the tracking and analytics capabilities they need to tell which of the content pieces they produce are working in the field, and which ones are not. With this lack of visibility, marketers often produce materials that go unused by sales, wasting significant amounts of time and money.

The visibility problem also means marketers have no effective way to show the impact their materials are having on sales pipeline development and ultimately, on revenue generation.

These and similar issues are hindering the effectiveness of commercial operations teams within many Life Sciences companies.

In all customer-facing functions, including sales, marketing, field service and customer support, and in strategic areas including regulatory compliance, customer relations, and market development, there is an increasing need for more operational efficiency and effectiveness.

One thread that weaves through all of these areas is sales and service content.

By embracing new, smarter, and more automated ways of producing and sharing content with customers, Life Science sales, marketing, and customer service teams can gain efficiencies and create real competitive advantage.

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