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While my colleague posts that bio-pharmaceutical sales operations staff are working too hard, I think managed markets operations and analytics staff members are simultaneously more over-whelmed and under-resourced. For too long, too many bio-pharmaceutical firms have under-invested in analytics and operational infrastructure to support their managed markets organizations.

Given where the market is today and where it is heading, this makes no sense.

Arguably the most dynamic customer segment within the bio-pharmaceutical industry today is managed markets. From ‘traditional’ merger and acquisition activity to ‘transformational’ consolidation (e.g., Aetna’s acquisition of Medicare Advantage & Part D leader Coventry Health Care) to ‘vertical integration’ by integrated health groups/systems, dramatic change has happened already. While there is much uncertainty in the overall direction of the US healthcare market from a macro policy and political perspective, the ‘certainties’ for bio-pharmaceutical organizations are these:

  • the emphasis on cost control will only increase
  • the relative impact of the sales force on results will decrease
  • the need for innovative managed markets strategies will increase

However, because of the history of under-investment, many managed markets operations and analytical teams face numerous challenges beyond the considerable number of market and competitive factors, such as:

  • Sub-optimal customer master databases:
    • Incomplete current representation of the market (e.g., parent-child relationships)
    • Lack of comprehensive “bridge” files to map across differing internal and external data sources
    • Insufficient business process and tools to update changing data over time
  • Lack of a well-defined and organizationally-agreed-upon set of KPIs to drive
    • Account management
    • Account planning
    • Resourcing decisions
    • Incentive compensation
  • Over-reliance on Key Account Managers (KAMs) for anecdotal local-market data and account insights versus ‘owning’ a corporate data asset that captures and leverages these data
  • … and more

It doesn’t have to be this way. In this blog series, Axtria will lay out business practices that can allow you to bridge a variety of third party data sources with structured insight from your KAMs (“Key Account Managers”) to develop data- & analytically-based operational processes for managed markets account teams, approaches that not only deliver a ‘what happened’ answer, but also create a foundation for answering the thornier questions of ‘what should we do next?’.

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