How can an established global pharmaceutical brand rebound sales efforts after losing patent protection?

A common problem with major pharmaceutical brands is answering the question of what comes after patent protection ends. As part of an effort to refocus and reinvigorate its sales force, this global pharmaceutical company embarked on a Field Force Re-Optimization project.

Legacy behaviors from the sales operation indicated that significant field force costs were needlessly being continued. Sales reps were getting insufficient direction around sales targeting and call plans post LoE. In addition, the Incentive Compensation Plan lacked sophistication to account for geographical market influences and changes in doctor and patient behaviors.

The project was a comprehensive field force optimization exercise, reevaluating every stage of the sales force process to build a new model. The Field Force Re-Optimization effort included targeting/segmentation, field force sizing, re-alignment and call planning, people placement, performance reporting via KMK’s software platform, BiT, and a revised incentive compensation plan, as well as for KMK to assume responsibility for managing IC Administration.

In addition, we developed a data warehouse tailored to the company’s brand integrating various data assets to help inform the entire sales force effectiveness process, performance reporting, incentive compensation, and an internal CRM system.

Activities

  • Targeting/Segmentation
  • Field Force Sizing
  • Re-alignment & Call Planning
  • People Placement
  • Performance Reporting via BIT
  • Revised IC Plan & managed IC Administration
  • Developed a Data Warehouse, integrating various data assets to help inform the entire SFE process, Performance Reporting, IC and internal CRM system

Results

  • Reduced unnecessary territories, resulting in nearly 33% of overhead savings
  • Grew gross sales by 10% with smaller field force footprint, focusing on greater call intensity
  • Re-targeted leveraged the historical promotion response and Health Care Practitioner TRx potential
  • Implemented a “dynamic call plan” to account for both rep input and real-time prescribing trends
  • Delivered “real-time” results to reps and field management via BIT on a weekly basis
  • Incorporated adjustments into the IC payout process that took into consideration natural disasters that affected Rx utilization geographically

Key Learnings

  • In order to reinvigorate sales force effectiveness after a legacy brand loses patent protection, it’s important to re-evaluate and re-optimize the complete process for the best results.
  • By customizing the data warehouse, reps are better equipped for their particular needs and informed in real-time about next best actions.
  • It is imperative that sales reps are included in the process and have buy-in on the incentive compensation plan
  • Large scale sales change efforts require strong communication.