How the pharmaceutical industry can maintain its pace of growth

Data published by the Brazilian Association of Pharmacy and Drugstore Chains (Abrafarma) show that Brazil currently has more than 118 retailers in the pharmaceutical sector and almost five thousand drug distributors. This contingent was responsible for moving BRL 66 billion between August 2020 and July 2021 and, keeping pace, should place Brazil among the top five markets in the segment worldwide.

One of the factors driving the sector in this direction is the fact that industries have large sales forces, which makes it challenging to manage all the work that needs to be done at the end. These companies currently face several obstacles related to topics such as organizing the agenda of the sales staff, which products to present to certain customer profiles and, mainly, how to understand the impact of visits and presented results, turning them into actionable information. establish new strategies. All this while closely monitoring the productivity of these sales staff.

Growth supported by technology

Accomplishing all these tasks is only possible when it is possible to centralize this information and really understand how the team works. In addition to visibility and predictability for business, the consolidation of this information brings greater agility for accessing this data and making decisions. This is where the use of CRM combined with a data strategy can be key to guaranteeing the necessary visibility into the direction to go, going down to the details of helping script visits, providing greater value to the sales team.

By value, we can also list the support needed by sales representatives to keep up to date with new products or new versions of old ones. Often the industry cannot effectively communicate this information to the sales team. This can be done by a good CRM system, able to centralize the information needed by representatives to better engage the end customer, who will prescribe the product.

Using a data strategy aligned with CRM is also the beginning of a change in decision-making, which can no longer be based on placed orders and start taking into account the work done at the end, adopting and analyzing metrics such as the effectiveness of visits, how they are carried out and how compare that information, giving managers a broader view.

Ammunition for the sales team

We’re talking about delivering a number of real-time KPIs, which show data such as sales volume, order volume, established routes, time between visits and information delivered to the customer, among others. This creates a more complete picture, allowing everyone – managers and salespeople – to monitor these indicators. The lack of funds to implement this monitoring is a latent pain in the segment and that is why many companies are watching it more closely.

New business models

In addition to the better equipment of the sales team, the sector’s sales growth also includes new business models. An example is the use of existing touch points in the B2B system to understand how a product comes to market and thereby generate insights that will increase the penetration of that product in the B2C segment. With a better understanding of what the end customer consumes in large pharmacy chains, the industry brings new information to guide its business strategies.

These strategies have in many cases resulted in the adoption of a direct sales model for some products. In recent years, we have seen many pharmaceutical industries move to B2C as well. The strategy has been successful, for example, in the sale of nutritional supplements, where data collected in B2B systems help create differentiated experiences, which consumers often do not find in traditional retail. All this is a reflection of a global trend that has led to the growth of the sector: the use of technology, translated into data strategies and e-commerce at its peak.

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