This decade has been one of ground-breaking transformation in life sciences. The COVID-19 pandemic and rise of telehealth have shown that pharma, medical device, and biotech enterprises are capable of rapidly adopting cutting-edge digital initiatives to stay ahead of an ever-evolving medical landscape.
When it comes to improving healthcare outcomes for customers, life sciences organizations are always innovating. Yet—like the proverbial shoemaker whose own children go barefoot—non-clinical departments often remain mired in manual, time-consuming practices. For many sales and marketing organizations, manual data recording and sharing has changed little over the past five years. To maximize revenue, these teams would benefit from the same commitment to digital innovation seen in their clinical and research peers.
Indeed, a holistic embrace of intelligent solutions is the key driver of growth for all life science enterprises. We’ll explain how by covering four key areas that require innovation. For each area, we’ll examine how digital advances in the clinical realm have transformed current practice. We’ll then examine how the same information technology can be applied to modern sales scenarios to dramatically improve revenue outcomes.
Why Embrace Digital Transformation in Life Sciences?
Human beings are resistant to change by nature—most organizations have the same tendency. As a result, some may be hesitant to embrace digital transformation. After all, it requires investment and overhauling of legacy operating procedures. Here are two major reasons why the undertaking is a business imperative for sales and marketing teams.
Solving for the Patent Cliff
Many life sciences organizations have a “patent cliff” problem. As their medical patents expire, more generic alternatives become available on the market. When these major sources of revenue disappear, pharma and med tech companies need to find ways to make up the difference—fast.
The “patent cliff” problem impacts everyone, from research and development to sales and marketing organizations. In the face of this challenge, digital transformation is a powerful weapon to increase efficiency and spur innovation across the organization. When applied to sales teams, it can also drive the development of new revenue streams.
Limited Customer Base
There are only so many pharmacies, doctor’s offices and hospitals. When life sciences organizations can’t rely on signing on new clients, they must find new sources of revenue growth. The only solution is for life sciences sales teams to penetrate their existing accounts as widely as possible.
Embracing digital transformation solves both problems. The same technologies used to improve patient outcomes in clinical scenarios can also be applied to increase sales rep productivity and maximize marketing return on investment.
Let’s explore a few areas where intelligent solutions benefit patients and drive organizational growth.
The Cloud Improves Data Sharing
Electronic medical record (EMR) keeping and sharing is revolutionizing how medical professionals provide care. Standardized EMR sharing encourages efficient collaboration among medical staff. With medical staff on the same page regarding healthcare decisions:
- Patients have better chances of improved health
- Hospitals face less risk of potential mishaps
- Doctors can easily track patient progress over time
Here are a few examples of how the cloud improves hospital functions:
- Cloud data storage makes sharing medical data between institutions easier
- Medical devices can share real-time data with patients and caregivers
- Medical devices can share predictive data with hospitals, such as maintenance needs
- Hospitals and medical practices can more easily analyze treatments and outcomes to develop higher quality, lower cost standards of care
Clearly, sharing accurate activity data produces better patient outcomes in a broad range of clinical scenarios.
The same is true of sales and marketing scenarios. Cross-team sharing of centralized sales data helps sales leaders:
- See customer relationship history
- Benchmark sales team performance
- Learn what behavior is working and what’s not
- Optimize team structure for maximum business impact
For all life sciences teams, the ability to fully capitalize on centralized and automated data is a gamechanger.
Artificial Intelligence Optimizes Decision Making
If improving patient outcomes is the North Star for life sciences enterprises, then artificial intelligence could be the Holy Grail.
Applying AI to clinical and research data is leading to breakthroughs in our understanding of diseases and the best ways to treat them.
Today, healthcare professionals are using AI modeling to more accurately predict when patients are likely to require an ICU transfer. Hospitals and caregivers are using AI-derived models to provide intervention treatment before an ICU transfer is needed.
And in the realm of personalized and precision medicine, AI modeling and individual genomic sequencing is revolutionizing the way we diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases.
While not life saving, predictive sales analytics is transformative for life sciences sales and marketing teams. Instead of guessing, AI-powered data analysis provides insights into:
With these machine learning insights, institutions can make strategic decisions that maximize growth.
Of course, AI models need accurate data to be effective. To fully capitalize on the power of AI, life sciences organizations must invest in tech management software that securely captures and manages high-quality data.
Tech Management Supports Data Safety
In clinical life sciences scenarios, safeguarding patient medical data is both a moral and legal obligation. Data leaks or exposure result in disastrous consequences from legal, financial, and patient trust standpoints. But unfortunately, it seems like a new data breach makes headlines on a regular basis.
Patients and business associates need to know that the institutions handling their medical data prioritize data security. This can be complicated when data sharing between institutions is involved, as in cases where patients see multiple providers.
Available solutions allow for tech innovation without violating patient privacy/confidentiality.
- Enterprise security capabilities keep patient data safe while allowing efficient sharing between trusted individuals.
- For added security, life science enterprises layer sensitive data filtering to remove protected data when needed.
- Patient data is anonymized when shared in clinical research.
The same principle applies to sales and marketing scenarios. For example, consider a CRM solution that sifts through email data to automatically capture sales activity. Without data filtering, encryption, and enterprise security, the solution could potentially expose employees’ private information.
Sensitive data filtering is especially crucial to protect employee privacy. Fortunately, available AI-powered SmartMatch technology is capable of filtering sensitive information before it synchs to your CRM—ensuring that only relevant business-related activities are captured, analyzed, and shared.
Digital Communication Drives Accessibility
Telehealth grew enormously during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March to April 2020 alone, telemedicine visits increased 683%. And while in-person visits have increased sharply in the wake of the pandemic, it’s clear that telemedicine is here to stay as a popular and cost-saving healthcare option.
Life sciences organizations invest in digital infrastructure that supports telemedicine for multiple reasons.
This technology removes barriers for patients to access the care they need when they need it. It gives patients more flexibility to find a clinician or provider with whom they feel most comfortable.
From the caregiver’s perspective, it can help medical staff quickly sync with their peers to provide better care for each patient. Clinicians can also reach more patients in underserved areas, given the speed and efficiency of digital communications.
In a similar vein, investing in digital communications infrastructure helps sales and marketing teams synchronize sales activities, improve team flexibility, and increase the speed and efficiency of the sales cycle.
3 Steps to Lead Sales and Marketing Transformation in Life Sciences
With so many exciting developments in life sciences technology, the sky is the limit for organizations that embrace digital innovation. Now is the time for sales and marketing organizations to embrace the same technologies to supercharge revenue development.
If you’re evaluating your organization’s sales and marketing IT infrastructure, here are three steps you can take to successfully guide the process.
1. Strategize Digital Implementation
Digital transformation needs a thoughtful and well-planned strategy. To build an effective digital implementation plan, start by:
- Investigating where new tech is needed and most likely to succeed
- Prioritizing areas that will offer the greatest immediate return on investment
- Building comprehensive activity datasets to document progress
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for success, the next step is developing a top-to-bottom culture that’s open to digital transformation.
2. Engage Sales Teams and Sales Leadership
To build a digitally-minded sales and marketing culture, you need to create implementation frameworks that put people first. People won’t be invested in solutions that don’t solve relevant problems.
Sales teams, sales leaders, and supporting employees all need access to tech that addresses their needs. To identify those needs, provide open forums for employees to give feedback (such as online surveys).
This feedback should give you enough data to determine:
- Pain points throughout your organization
- Possible solutions
- Potential roadblocks
When your people have a voice in the implementation process, they’re more likely to embrace the solutions you provide—even more so when they start seeing positive results.
On the sales side, implementing a customer success outreach process can reduce your churn rate and increase cross-sell/upsell opportunities.
Installing an effective RO&I platform can help you:
- Synchronize your customer outreach with new product and service releases
- Track and measure customer interactions automatically
- Identify at-risk customers that aren’t getting the attention they need
When your customers feel they’re getting value out of the relationship, they’re more likely to sign on for multi-year renewals.
3. Push for Innovation
This will be an ongoing process that builds off of the previous steps you’ve taken. With a strong strategy and a supportive organization, continue searching for new ways and areas to innovate.
By leveraging the activity datasets you’ve built, you can:
- Identify new opportunities
- Uncover inefficiencies to address
- Create pathways for innovating current tech and imagining new solutions
The next step is to find the right solutions to make these changes a reality.
Supporting Digital Transformation with People.ai’s Sales Solutions
We’ve shown how digital innovation is revolutionizing healthcare across a range of scenarios. We’ve covered key ways life sciences enterprises can grow revenues by embracing digital transformation. If you’re interested in accelerating your growth, revenue, and innovation, People.ai’s ability to put your CRM on autopilot and provide AI-powered insights may be right for you.
People.ai delivers the industry’s leading Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I) platform. Our patented AI technology transforms business activities such as email, meetings, and contacts, into actionable insights for your go-to-market teams.
Get in touch today to learn more about how your life science organization can get more out of your data, grow pipeline, improve win rates, and increase revenue per rep every year.