May 7, 2019/Jay Borowiecki/Field Sales

The demand for AI-driven personalization and cohesive experiences across channels is prompting a change in go-to-market execution. Healthcare providers (HCPs) are demanding a more connected experience. It’s important, now more than ever, for commercial teams to shift away from the traditional annual, cycle-driven execution model to more a more frequent, agile approach. This will help better integrate sales and marketing, allowing them to take action and adjust strategy based on evolving data and market trends, rather than static insights once or twice a year.

How can you stay timely and relevant to meet HCP needs if you haven’t started yet? The process does not have to be painful. Consider modifying your planning process, working on shifting your mindset around content, and beginning to integrate feedback and data into your strategies to allow your teams to take action quickly and seamlessly on evolving data. Here are three principles of an agile HCP engagement to help you get started.

1. Develop a single execution roadmap

Moving away from the traditional POA cycle towards more regular updates through daily or weekly suggestions and insights helps implement strategy while making it actionable across commercial teams. This cadence allows teams to have more regular touchpoints around the strategy, allowing them to continuously improve and tighten execution. The goal is to move towards a fully integrated plan with a single sales and marketing execution journey through the use of data and technology to drive next best action. This approach, however, can be difficult, so an initial step is to ensure sales and marketing execution is at least coordinated.

Aligning sales and marketing execution will provide greater visibility into each side’s activity, creating a more cohesive customer experience. For example, marketing teams can enhance targeting, messaging, and preferences using rep input on a particular HCP’s feedback, while reps can better understand how their customers are engaging with marketing campaigns.

2. Act on dynamic information

Even high performing sales reps meet challenges keeping up with the constantly evolving market trends, data, and HCP behaviors. Reps have historically been inundated with information scattered across a variety of platforms and places to be gathered and assessed. By shifting to a more agile approach with tailored next best steps, interactions with HCPs will become more meaningful and personalized.

There is a change of mindset that must happen on the brand side as well. Traditional marketing calls for large pieces of content that are difficult to change and optimize throughout the year. Moving towards a more agile approach with bite-sized content, seasonal materials, templates, and A/B testing will help keep content fresh and relevant depending on audience reaction and engagement.

3. Anticipate information needs

In this age of big data and 1:1 marketing, sales and marketing teams must stay up to date on HCP needs. Let’s say, for example, that a relevant patient diagnosis was recently made by Dr. Khan. Even if the sales rep wasn’t planning to see Dr. Khan for another two weeks, we can prompt the rep with an urgent suggestion to call on Dr. Khan. When the rep pulls up the physician’s profile prior to their visit, the rep can review insights that are the most critical to know, such as an observation about market share and a formulary reminder.

This example shows the importance of utilizing intelligent technology to allow teams to act quickly to changes through a streamlined and simple platform. Without this technology and insight, this would have likely resulted in a missed opportunity with Dr. Khan.

The life sciences industry has been making investments in new technologies in an effort to help their teams become more data-driven and improve the HCP experience. As you begin shifting towards an agile approach, you will start seeing a steadier and more consistent impact on your strategy and execution. There are many different approaches and solutions to become more agile, but it won’t be perfect out of the gate.  It is important for you to just get started so that you can begin to learn and adjust.

For a deeper dive into this topic, view our recent webinar to hear some real-world examples of becoming more agile from Eli Lilly and Company’s Ryan McGinnis.