KOL Relationship Management in Pharma

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All You Wanted to Know about KOL Management.

This is a special issue with a focus on Pharma KOL Management as an introduction to the KOL Management Workshop by Knowledge Media Venturz

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KOL Relationship Management in Pharma

  1. 1. TM MEDICINMAN February 2014 | www.medicinman.net Field Force Excellence Since 2011 How to Cultivate your KOLs And Grow Your Business
  2. 2. Anup Soans | How to Cultivate Your KOLs and Grow Your Business K ey opinion leaders (KOLs) are innovators and experimenters who are willing to try and adopt new trends in practice, procedures and prescriptions. KOLs possess a unique credibility and standing in their fraternity, which comes from years of clinical practice, academic experience, research or expertise in clinical trials in a particular therapy area. KOLs write scientific articles and often feature as editors or members on editorial boards of medical journals. They present research papers and actively participate in scientific conferences and workshops. KOLs are doctors who have a large influence on the thinking of their professional colleagues and prescription trends in the market. Their influence can be regional, national or international. Doctors in general value the opinion of their professors and peers (KOLs) when choosing the right treatment for their patients. When faced with the dilemma of choosing the right drug regimen, most doctors tend to consider the opinion of KOLs. This makes KOLs the ideal target for product adoption and advocacy. Some KOLs like Dr. Devi Shetty and Dr. Naresh Trehan are actively engaged in social causes and have a high visibility in the media. Understanding KOL Relationship Management - KRM KOL development is well entrenched business practice in Western pharma markets, where the services of KOLS are availed by MNCs from research to all stages of product life cycle of a drug. In India, KRM tends to be a higher level of CRM, i.e. some kind of a special arrangement with top doctors who have a large prescription potential. Senior people from field sales to head office drive the engagement with KOLs in an effort to get maximum prescriptions. But rarely are these KOLs engaged in activities that can be genuinely called KRM, because they lack a coherent KRM strategy and plan. Most Indian companies watch what their competitors are doing and focus on how they can be copy them or at best be one-up on the competition. Rarely do they ask the question – “Why are we engaging the KOLs and what are our objectives in the short, medium and long term”. An effective KOL relationship management (KRM) strategy and plan are essential to the success of a drug throughout its life-cycle. 2 | MedicinMan February 2014 { Key Word: KRM = KOL Relationship Management
  3. 3. Anup Soans | How to Cultivate Your KOLs and Grow Your Business The key difference between CRM and KRM is that while a CRM is measured by its immediate and direct impact on prescription generation, KRM is measured by the favourable perception about the brand and the long term influence created among the target audience in the therapy area through designated KOL activities. 3 | MedicinMan February 2014
  4. 4. Anup Soans | How to Cultivate Your KOLs and Grow Your Business Developing a KRM Strategy and Plan { A well thought-out KRM strategy also deepens collaboration between field sales, brand management and medical affairs. When Medical Reps (MRs) see their efforts being rewarded by faster adoption or advocacy of a brand by KOLs, they begin to value inputs from marketing and medical affairs, who in turn can receive valuable insights from MRs to customize the KOL engagement. 4 | MedicinMan February 2014 With the field force experiencing increasing difficulty in gaining access to KOLs, pharma companies need to discover new sustainable ways to engage and satisfy KOLs. A marketing strategy can be considered successful when the product gains the aura of a fast moving, well accepted brand, based on its adoption and advocacy by KOLs across the country. A well thought-out KRM strategy also deepens collaboration between field sales, brand management and medical affairs. When Medical Reps (MRs) see their efforts being rewarded by faster adoption or advocacy of a brand by KOLs, they begin to value inputs from marketing and medical affairs, who in turn can receive valuable insights from MRs to customize the KOL engagement. Pharma companies that create and implement a robust KRM strategy will experience increased mindshare and faster product adoptions and maintain meaningful and collaborative relationships with KOLs. Effective KRM strategy is essential to ensure the success of new product launches and market expansion – two major drivers of business revenues. Similarities and Differences between CRM and KRM Just as customer relationship management, CRM is necessary to create loyal prescribers, KRM is necessary to create a leadership mindspace in therapy areas which a company seeks to dominate. Although the Indian Pharma market is highly fragmented in terms of overall market shares, therapy areas are dominated by a few market leaders. For example Cipla dominates the respiratory market in India. Cipla has pioneered initiatives like the Chest Research Foundation to engage and keep the KOLs in the respiratory segment interested in its products and services. Broadly speaking, KRM and CRM possess similar business objectives in which both the customers and KOLs play a central role within all business activities. Both KRM and CRM enable organizations to better manage those important and complex relationships through systems, processes and procedures. Essentially, the goal of both CRM and KRM systems is to initiate, engage and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. However, the
  5. 5. E Anup Soans | How to Cultivate Your KOLs and Grow Your Business key difference between CRM and KRM is that while a CRM is measured by its immediate and direct impact on prescription generation, KRM is measured by the favourable perception about the brand and the long term influence created among the target audience in the therapy area through designated KOL activities. The quantitative and qualitative measurement means a different set of KPIs to measure the effectiveness of KRM strategy and plan and fine tune it based on KOL response and insights from the KOL management team. How KRM Strategy and Plan Works Pharma companies work with a large number of established and emerging KOLs. Hence an enterprise-wide adoption of KRM strategy and plan is essential. Without an organization wide KRM strategy and plan, different departments may unknowingly approach the same KOL with different objectives. Sales and marketing people, clinical research and medical affairs connect with KOLs on a regular basis but lack a reliable way of keeping track of these KOL relationships. This lack of coordinated approach can damage pharma companies and make it difficult to measure outcomes or ROI. Different departments can make multiple commitments to KOLs without being aware of the total cost to company per KOL. A well thought out KRM strategy and plan must create a budget keeping the therapy area leadership objectives in sight instead of a product to product budget, in which the KOL may end up benefitting unduly at the expense of the company. A dedicated KOL management team with clear cut KPIs, but free from the sales target pressure, could be the first step to implement the KRM strategy that ensures KOL satisfaction. Although specific KRM strategy and plan will vary based on company size and therapy area, they generally involve the same critical elements. To engage the KOL most efficiently, companies must develop a systematic approach to KOL identification, profiling and influence mapping, as it is important to understand the capabilities and professional objectives of individual KOLs. As KRM becomes a business function, the underlying process needs to be considered and documented with a greater degree of rigor. In addition, KRM strategy and plan must envisage a commitment to objectives as market dynamics change and business priorities evolve. 5 | MedicinMan February 2014 A well thought out KRM strategy and plan must create a budget keeping the therapy area leadership objectives in sight instead of a product to product budget, in which the KOL, may end up benefitting unduly at the expense of the company.
  6. 6. Anup Soans | How to Cultivate Your KOLs and Grow Your Business KRM Customization and Measurement In order to successfully manage and streamline complex key relationships, pharma companies require a flexible and customized KRM program that fits the unique needs of each KOL. Pharma companies must begin by identifying how each KOL defines value and then design a KRM plan based on individual needs and expectations. Within the overall KRM strategy, there should be an element of flexibility that allows for modification according to customer needs that may change as a product progresses through its life cycle. Personalized KRM programs play a major role in ensuring satisfaction and determining the success of the relationship with KOLs. Understanding each KOL network, its influences and the way information is disseminated, is essential to maximizing the effectiveness of KRM. With processes, plans, and technologies, it is possible to measure the impact of KRM. The Future of KRM in India Meet the Editor Anup Soans is an Author, Facilitator and the Editor of MedicinMan. Write in to him: anupsoans@medicinman.net Connect with Anup Soans on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter Visit anupsoans.com. The impact of KOL on product adoption and advocacy is undeniable. Mutually beneficial, collaborative relationship between a pharma company and its KOLs is invaluable to understand how advocacy, i.e. opinion creation and dissemination works. As pharma companies experience the impact of KOLs on their business, KRM will continue to evolve and develop as a business discipline with lessons learnt and adaptations made to suit the company’s therapy area leadership and other business objectives. -AS MISSING SOMETHING IMPORTANT? You can access all past issues of MedicinMan at: http://medicinman.net/archives Be sure to SUBSCRIBE on our website (top-right corner: www.medicinman.net) to stay up-to-date with us. 6 | MedicinMan December 2013
  7. 7. KOL Management Workshop A MedicinMan Initiative CONTACT: Anup Soans: +91-934-2232-949 | anupsoans@gmail.com Chhaya Sankath: +91-98674-21131 | chhaya@kmv.co.in Arvind Nair: +91-987-0201-422 | arvind@kmv.co.in OBJECTIVE: This workshop will be hands on approach to understanding the challenges and identifying solutions to help you develop an effective KOL management strategy. TARGET AUDIENCE - Field Force people responsible for KOL management - Marketing team people involved in KOL management - Medical Affairs people engaged in KOL management - Members of existing KOL management team - MSLs responsible for KOL Management - Company shortlisted candidates for KOL management TOPICS (included, but not limited to:) 1. Moving from a Sales Mindset to KOL Relationship Management Mindset 2. Understanding Factors that Lead to KOL Satisfaction 3. Effective Communication – The Key Skill for KOL Relationship Management 4. Understanding and Executing Effective KOL Relationship Management program 5. Interaction and Q & A with a leading KOL OUTCOME: 1. Clear understanding of issues in KOL Management 2. Fine tuning existing KOL management programs 3. Developing a KOL management strategy and plan 4. Executing the KOL strategy WORKSHOP DURATION: 1 Day WORKSHOP MATERIAL: Delegate notes - synopsis of the workshop WORKSHOP COORDINATOR: Knowledge Media Venturz WORKSHOP LEADER - Anup Soans Anup Soans has worked as a Medical Rep, Oncology Product Specialist and Front-line Manager in Pharma. Later he moved to IJCP, a pioneer in CME, medico marketing, healthcare communication, where he rose to become the Executive Director. At IJCP, he was responsible for identifying, developing and sustaining a mutually rewarding relationship with over 300 KOLs in all major specialties for 12 long years. Many of the leading and emerging KOLs identified and nurtured by Anup Soans went on win prestigious awards like the Padmashri and Dr. B.C. Roy awards among others.
  8. 8. Empower Your Field Force with MedicinMan! MedicinMan Volume 4 Issue 2 | February 2014 Editor and Publisher Anup Soans CEO Chhaya Sankath COO Arvind Nair Chief Mentor K. Hariram Advisory Board Prof. Vivek Hattangadi; Jolly Mathews Editorial Board Salil Kallianpur; Dr. Shalini Ratan; Shashin Bodawala; Prabhakar Shetty; Vardarajan S; Dr. Mandar Kubal; Dr. Surinder Kumar International Editorial Board Hanno Wolfram; Renie McClay Executive Editor Joshua Soans MedicinMan Academy: Prof. Vivek Hattangadi, Dean, Professional Skills Development Letters to the Editor: anupsoans@medicinman.net Subscribe for a FREE copy of the digital edition at medicinman.net

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