First-line managers play an essential role in the salesforce of any pharmaceutical company, from medical reps supervision to training, and motivation, that’s definitely besides other roles and product related targets.
“As the accountability of a Medical Representative is to achieve monthly sales target whereas first-line managers accountability is to achieve the monthly product-wise target, monthly Medical representative (MR) wise target as well as Area total target.”
The current market dynamics and the distraction imposed from doing multiple tasks of a different nature at the same time make their job tougher than before, and consequently the ROI you are getting from such an important layer.
Unfortunately most (if not all) CRM systems designated for pharma these days don't pay attention to those field frontiers. And given that such responsibility requires high versatility, it is still far from being properly frame-worked.
All of this will lead to the following challenges:
1. Medical reps mentorship
Let’s start with the one with the greatest impact on the company’s future, medical reps!
Data from REVO shows that there is a huge drop in the rate of field double visits between managers and reps.
We think that having such activity as a path of least resistance from one side as well as the lack of time from the managers' side resulted in this huge drop.
Hence medical reps development as a result started to be hugely impacted by such obstacles.
2. Strategy distortion
Strategy abidance is very crucial when it comes to evaluating effectiveness. To meet its growth target, every pharmaceutical company needs to make sure that the whole company moves as a single unit when it comes to strategic directions.
However due to fierce competition and having those first-line frontiers working on different fronts and the lack of a system or a workflow that organizes all those soldiers makes applying your company's long-term vision even more and more difficult!
As a result, many companies nowadays look more like separate silos than solid institutionalized entities.
3. Buried intelligence
One of the side effects of juggling between different tasks without having a proper system documenting all these activities makes your organization lose a ton of valuable knowledge.
Such knowledge (if documented properly) can massively optimize your activities' effectiveness and guide you through making more educated strategic decisions.
4. Lost opportunities
As we mentioned previously in this blog post, when we asked the district managers that are currently using REVO the question:
We found that most first-line managers didn’t know more than 20% of the customers under their direct supervision, even worse, they haven’t seen them before either!
This means that most of an organization's prospecting and persuasion are only managed through pens & papers with no real-life analysis and evaluation.
Recommendations and best practices
We admit that we were undermining the impact of such a layer as well and consequently they were hugely underserved inside REVO.
That's why when we started understanding these challenges and acting on them, we were able to achieve a compliance median of 93.33% in 2021 across all the pharmaceutical companies we are currently working with across different countries.
Here is a snippet from the framework and features we put in place to help our customers:
1. Double visits workflow
Double visits are considered pivotal when it comes to medical reps’ support and mentorship, and given the challenges we mentioned earlier, we developed this feature specifically to help managers and reps do this more effectively.
By following a simple workflow in the manager’s REVO RDC Next app, the manager would be able to follow up consistently with their medical reps' plans and hence can easily plan a double visit that suits their busy schedule.
Not only do they can record the double visit in the system, but also they can rate these visits so that the company can support them with the required training and education.
As a result, the system would guarantee a higher rate of double visits that align with your vision, secondly, you would have an initial assessment of the quality of your organization’s visits.
2. Rep Score
To measure training effectiveness between the district managers and their team members, the Rep Score feature requires each manager to evaluate his/her team members against a wisely chosen set of factors every month.
Then Artificial Intelligence kicks in, here again, to compare each rep’s evaluation to his/her performance and activities in the system and highlight any caveats if available.
First of all, you would make sure that your first-line managers are following closely on their team KPIs as they don’t want to evaluate their people blindly.
In addition to that, the cross-comparison between the reps' numbers and their manager’s evaluation will show you how genuine is the relationship between these two.
Third, you will end up with a central database that contains all the needed information about your salesforce's current strengths and weaknesses so that you can prepare relevant training to elevate your bar.
3. GTS (Goals Tracking & Scoring)
To increase the manager’s awareness about all the customers his/her team is pursuing in their areas, and give you a concrete view of your business's most important stakeholder, the HCPs, GTS is the designated feature.
With this feature, each manager needs to evaluate each customer in his/her team list (once per semester, twice a year) against a few wisely chosen parameters.
Again, these parameters are also analyzed against the whole team activity and give you a holistic view of how concretely your team is pursuing customers.
Knowing precisely the activity your team is carrying out on your customers is very important.
However, what is more important, is having a holistic view of the activity as well as fresh systematic evaluations from both of your reps and managers on each customer account.
And with the power of Artificial intelligence, you can unleash more quickly the potential of your customers and target them accordingly.
4. REVO Index (KPIs dashboard)
What is all the work for if there wasn't any Key performance indicator?!
REVO Index is the default KPIs dashboard that measures achieved vs targets of both managers & reps.
KPIs like Call Rate, Territory Coverage, and targeted frequency on each classification plus different other KPIs are all calculated and shown in this dashboard.
The two main benefits out of this dashboard will be:
- Make sure that the basic requirements from the field-force activity are met according to the industry standards.
- Make sure that all the teams are following and complying with your directions and strategic instructions .
5. TVD Dashboard (short for travel distance)
While having pharma is one of the most disciplined field forces among different industries, however, everything has an exception, and to maximize the organization's benefit, you still need to identify and rectify such patterns when exist.
That's why we developed this AI-generated dashboard to visualize your team's discipline rather than the quantitative KPIs mentioned in the previous point.
This dashboard relies on parameters like (kilometrage traveled, working day start time, working hours as well as the suspicious visits detected by the Machine Learning algorithms).
This dashboard is the most used one by our customers when it comes to compliance and discipline. This feature will help you ensure discipline and make sure that all the activities and data you get are legitimate and trustworthy.
The district manager's job is a very versatile job that requires doing different activities of a different nature.
Unfortunately, even with such high importance and difficult nature, it is still under thought by both systems and companies.
That's why we thought that sharing such important learning with you can help you achieve your goals more effectively.
Although that all these features and practices are specific to REVO, we believe that you can still mimic some of those practices to an extent with your current system and evaluate the benefits yourself.