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Partnership brings cloud-based CRM applications to mobile communications to empower field sales forces
Model N (Redwood Shores, CA) has been pushing the value of its revenue-management tools—programs that allow for both tracking and forecasting of pricing decisions in pharma sales contracts—to cloud-based platforms for several years. Now, the company has taken a deeper step into the cloud with an arrangement with SalesForce.com, the company that pioneered customer-relationship management (CRM) in the cloud. Model N clients will be able to download two new apps—REVVY Global Price Management and REVVY CPQ (for “configuring, pricing and quoting”) to mobile devices, creating the possibility of determining the business impact of a pricing decision when meeting with market access groups at pharmaceutical purchasers, or in conversations with physicians about prescriber choices.
Arnaud Grunwald, a Model N marketing executive, describes an “upstream” and “downstream” client of the mobile Model N tools. Upstream, he says, corporate trade relations and marketing executives will have better access to contracting data and analytics from regional managers around the world. (The value of knowing this is helped by the realization that some countries make their own pricing decisions based on a “basket” of other countries’ pricing; thus a decision in one region can affect pricing in others.) SalesForce.com’s infrastructure for storing and communicating client data globally makes this an easier undertaking for corporate IT departments.
The “downstream” value of the mobile apps could appear when a field salesperson interacts with a prescriber, and is able to illustrate the impact of formulary tier decisions on a drug’s affordability by patients, as well as other communications in the CRM realm that might be relevant to the prescriber. “The idea is to pull through relevant data in a timely manner,” says Grunwald. He also notes that the SalesForce platform is used both directly by some pharma companies for their own CRM systems, and by licensees such as Veeva, Inc. (which signed a 10-year agreement with SalesForce.com several months ago).
Combining CRM data with global pricing tools brings a potentially new level of power to multichannel marketing; it remains to be seen that pharma companies can make effective use of such broad data access. But the impetus to do so is further evidence of the pricing pressure the pharma industry is subject to, and how their internal operations could be tailored to market needs.