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Cloud-based system is intended to focus reps' sales efforts more effectively
Newly announced Nexxus Mobile Sales (NMS) is the latest in a series of applications for pharma commercialization efforts building off the IMS One cloud-based platform, according to the Danbury, CT company. NMS is intended to work with most available salesforce automation (SFA) tools, which are commonly used today by reps to schedule calls, locate physicians and plan weekly or daily schedules. (This would include IMS Health’s own 360 Vantage system, which the company acquired in early 2013, now rebranded as Nexxus Sales.)
“One of the problems with today’s marketing efforts for field sales is that reps are inundated with information,” says Chris Bayles, Center of Excellence leader at IMS Health. “Our own and other industry surveys show that 30-40% of marketing strategies are not executed by field sales effectively, and the ‘noise’ in the system is a reason.” NMS is designed to take the marketing strategy and messaging that a brand team has, match it against the territory and customers of a rep, and deliver focused information that the rep can put to use in a call.
John Daly, senior principal in US Pharma Solutions at IMS, gives the example of a typical field rep, who might spend Sunday evening reviewing new instructions from the brand team as part of organizing the next week’s visits. “Picture the situation when a competitor’s product suddenly goes off formulary at a certain health plan,” he says. “Nexxus Mobile Sales will enable the brand team to identify which physicians are affected in that rep’s territory, and that in turn allows the rep to identify new opportunities.” There is a lot of data mining, analytics and decision support behind that capability, Daly notes; and while many brand teams use existing IMS Health data services for master data management, prescriber activities and the like, the NMS program enables marketing managers to blend those data with other sources, or no IMS data sources at all, to develop the action plan. Another typical instance could be the “next best customer” calculation (IMS Health has patented aspects of this capability): a rep’s scheduled appointment suddenly falls through; who would be a suitable fill-in visit, depending on the geography of the rep’s territory and the suitability of a physician who could be seen.
What about no-see physicians, and the growing trend of non-personal selling in pharma? Bayles says that some of the decision support inside NMS is applicable regardless of whether it’s a face-to-face call or another form of communication; meanwhile, IMS Health is busy building out other applications that will run on the IMS One platform to address nonpersonal selling.