How we changed a sales force with great analytics and made their working culture more digital

There’s no contention that data analytics has impacted the modern business environment across industries, but can data analytics technology actually reform outdated operations in other areas of a business?

We’ve written before about the expansion of PharmaData into the European retail pharmacy market and how our company PharmaData adapted to this scale-up.

When we made this transition we were prepared for the inevitable transformations this would mean for our own operations, but we weren’t anticipating some of the transformations we saw pharmacists and sales representatives undergo after taking up our generic intelligence platform.

Alongside seeing improved rates of generic substitution across 5000 individual sites, we began to see indications that using our platform had actually catalysed a shift towards a more digital culture among the pharmacies and sales representatives who we were working with.

When we first installed our platform into these pharmacies, we were definitely interloping on their normal way of doing things. Most had been collating data using paper reports or excel spreadsheets on usb sticks to collect information about their sales. They were sitting down infrequently with their sales reps to look at this data, which meant that what should be a mutually beneficial relationship — where sales reps help pharmacists to find molecules that will increase their sales, and sales reps get an opportunity to increase their sales volume — wasn’t effective. Both parties were relying on old, hard-to-understand data to make improvements to their business.

PharmaData’s generic intelligence platform provided both parties with real-time insight into the pharmacy’s data, displayed in beautiful dashboards. Pharmacists become better informed about how specific molecules were selling. They could measure how well they were performing against their targets and see opportunities to sell generic medications over branded medications while the transaction was being made. Our technology meant that all throughout the day, Pharmacists were engaging with their sales data to reach their business goals.

For the sales representatives, getting relevant information in real-time as well as increased engagement from pharmacists meant that they gained a significant amount of traction in their role. Their ability to track and measure the success of each molecule in an instant transformed this salesforce into a highly engaged team. They were able to determine the best molecules for each individual pharmacy, and instead of relying on their old paper reports, sales reps used their mobiles and tablets to keep a track of pharmacies as they were on the move. Talking with one pharmacy, they could check their metrics in a moment and then compare them with another pharmacy in the area. Simply the ease of accessing correct and recent data, transitioned this salesforce into a more productive, customer-focused and successful team.

Still today we remain engaged with these teams, and have seen not only their transformation continued and repeated among new staff, but we have also seen it echoed in other countries after installing our generic intelligence platform.

It has been said before that the real success of a data analytics platform derives from a cultural affinity for data, and not simply a technology purchase. We pride ourselves on offering analytics technology good enough to traverse a culture with little affinity for data and help pharmacists and sales reps alike to make data central to their operations.