Customer Relationship Management

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Pages: 12

In pharmaceutical sales, the traditional approach for increasing market share has been brute force – more reps, more calls, and more talk time. But now, the sheer number of reps has caused physicians to severely limit access. As a result sales strategies must evolve from quantity to quality through targeted messaging. (Hall, 2004) In December 2006, the marketing VP for Sanofi-Aventis stated: “We are so far behind other industries but the good news is that CRM can change marketing practices.”
With the above indications of the importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in mind, I am going to discuss the implementation of a CRM system in a pharmaceutical organisation.
Definitions of CRM and CRM systems are wide
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CRM systems will therefore provide a Healthcare Development Manager discussing budgets with the same knowledge of the customer as the sales representative for that account.
Increased collaboration through CRM provides a great opportunity for relationship marketing in the pharmaceutical organisation. Company employees can share information about the needs of individual customers. This was shown by Johnson and Johnson who introduced a CRM system that prompted users to fill in information about the personal attributes of customers. For example:
‘Dr Collins likes to receive extra training resources for nursing staff’
‘Leicester Royal Infirmary consultants a negative attitude towards cold calling’
This can establish a learning relationship between the customer and the entire organisation, where experience of one employee enhances the experience of the entire organisation. An example of this was provided by the CRM manager at Johnson and Johnson:
“A member of the e-business team was collecting responses from a direct mail campaign. One of these responses contained a note that said ‘Please stop sending me junk mail!’ He was able to use the CRM system to take the customer off of the distribution list and write a note on the customers’ file explaining what had been done. The next time the sales representative visited the physician in question, he was able to apologise for the inconvenience and assure