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eyeforpharma

A flexible future pharma sales and marketing through the eyes of industry executives in Australia

By Anonymous (not verified) on Apr 7, 2009

A recent survey of more than 100 senior pharmaceutical executives in Australia conducted in March 2009 by eyeforpharma and Pharma in Focus finds a mixture of anxiety and optimism about pharmas sales and marketing future.

Although the vast majority of those surveyed predict sales forces will shrink over the next three years, 40% remain confident that Australian pharma will outgrow other markets.

Executives also predict the role of sales reps will change significantly over the same period, with more than 58% saying intense scrutiny of sales reps interactions with doctors has already significantly influenced their sales department plans. Nearly half of survey participants say companies need more clearly defined, impactful sales models that address the issue of limited access to doctors.

And this concern is reflected in companies budget expenditures. In fact, almost half of those surveyed ranked customer targeting best practice as their highest or second highest budget expenditure, while the next highest budget allocation is the refinement of sales and marketing business models.

The move from a share of voice to share of value approach is becoming evident, with more than 40% of respondents ranking sales quality as a top budget expenditure.

In an interview with eyeforpharma, Tony Potter, head of sales for Solvay Australia said: In my opinion a high quality call is one where our customers feel they are gaining value from the interaction they are having with us and at the same time, we are able to advance our customers along the business continuum. The most appropriate medium is the one which is right for that particular customer, at that time. Therefore, we as an industry, must continue to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to an individualized and tailored approach for each customer so that we engage them in the manner in which they want to be engaged.

The new Medicines Australia Code of Conduct also is influencing budget expenditures, with one in five respondents ranking the cost of educational event reporting as a top budget allocation. According to the responses from this survey, the pharmaceutical industry in Australia is spending more on administration for ACCC compliance than their budget allocation for minimizing the impact of generics (the latter gaining only 13% of respondents ranking this as highest or second highest allocation, the report says. The reported budget allocation for this administration is not significantly different from that allocated to sales forecasting.

The reports author Debbie Field of Life Science Partners says willingness and intent to improve and learn was demonstrated by pharma industry representatives participating in this survey. Pharmaceutical company executives and vendors illustrated an openness to receive information and examples of best practice, particularly from counterparts in Europe and from those in other industries.

Three-quarters of participants stated an eagerness to hear examples from outside the pharma industry relating to sales and marketing issues. And more than 70% said they would be interested in hearing examples from other pharma companies in Europe and similar markets on sales and marketing best practice. Less interest, however, was shown in receiving best practice examples and ideas from suppliers or consultants (58%).

Hot topics of interest for executives participating in the survey included sales excellence and SFE (67%), marketing strategy (54%), customer/market insights (53%), business and competitive intelligence (53%), sales management and coaching (46%), sales operations (43%), pricing and reimbursement strategies (37%), branding/marketing communications (35%) and forecasting (31%).

Given the rapid state of change in the industry in Australia, participants were asked to predict characteristics of pharma organizations of tomorrow. Survey respondents expect successful pharma companies of the future to be:

Agile, nimble and flexible, but balanced and innovative
In niche markets/specialized drugs but will differentially invest and be diversified
Customer-centric, with tailored solutions
Smaller in sales force size and business units, but to demonstrate more targeted and efficient use of resources
Lean, with minimal infrastructure and more focused on P&L

Survey participants also expect to see:

Focused, streamlined approaches to account management and market access, local clinical studies and high value/profitable brands and portfolios
A variety of selling approaches, utilizing online, interactive support and e-media
A focus on medical education
An integrated, multi-pronged approach with strong CRM systems
Solid competitive intelligence

Field says although there were areas covered by the survey where opinions were polarized, several trends in thinking became clear, including agreement that field forces will continue to be restructured and that a need exists for more marketing advice and an understanding of how to more efficiently utilize resources and sales/marketing channels. But, she says, the Australian market shoed in this survey that it is keen to learn from its counterparts in Europe and hungry to glean advice that will help them manage the changes expected in the near future, in order to ensure continued growth despite the current economic downturn.

For additional information, access the full report or contact Izzy Wakeling at iwakeling@eyeforpharma.com

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Top 100 pharma companies



Top 100 pharma companies

Top 100 pharma companies

A recent survey of more than 100 senior pharmaceutical executives in Australia conducted in March 2009 by eyeforpharma and Pharma in Focus finds a mixture of anxiety and optimism about pharmas sales and marketing future. Although the vast majority of those surveyed predict sales forces will shrink over the next three years, 40% remain confident that Australian pharma will
SOURCE: Top 100 pharma companies http://social.eyeforpharma.com/uncategorised/flexible-future-pharma-sales-and-marketing-through-eyes-industry-executives-australia Top 100 pharma companies

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