Collaborative Sales Planning: Adding a Dynamic Dimension


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Collaborative sales planning is quickly becoming a key component in the ongoing transformation of leading life sciences commercial operations to leaner, more data-driven organizations, capable of shifting dynamically to capitalize on real-time market opportunities.

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Collaborative Sales Planning: Adding a Dynamic Dimension

  1. 1. • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsCollaborative Sales Planning:Adding a Dynamic Dimension Executive Summary savings, improved data quality and access, a more effective sales force, and greater top- and Life sciences commercial operations are being bottom-line benefits. While achieving collabora- hard-hit by increasing cost pressures, growing tive planning is challenging, it is not theoretical. compliance requirements and demands for Leading life sciences companies are planning greater sales force effectiveness. These forces are collaboratively today, with significant results. also changing the nature of sales planning and its role in transforming commercial operations. Collaborative Sales Planning: In traditional sales planning models, planning Creating Business Opportunities activities typically are based on a range of Collaborative sales planning makes commercial disjointed and nonstandard business processes. operations more agile by making strategies and That fragmentation creates longer implementa- plans dynamically responsive to changing market tion cycle times, with resulting plans misaligned conditions. To accomplish this, collaborative sales with real-time/unfolding market and regulatory planning builds on a range of innovative compe- dynamics. Targets are not precise, data is difficult tencies and capabilities that unlock a variety of to collect and distribute, and sales professionals new opportunities, including: are not as effective as they should be. • Dynamic brand/field allocation. Life sciences Today’s market realities demand new agility companies can tie dynamism in brand strategy in commercial sales planning. Processes to dynamism in resource allocation. As market- must support the ongoing transformation of driven events unfold, they can more quickly commercial operations in a world of smaller redesign alignment and targeting strategies target populations and therapies. Sales and and adjust resources mid-cycle to recalibrate marketing organizations must have the flexibil- and execute those initiatives. Commercial ity, tools and processes to quickly create dynamic operations also can develop cross-business-unit plans that can flex mid-cycle to take advantage of reporting relationships and create new terri- the real-time perspectives and knowledge of sales tories that span multiple territories as events professionals. Simultaneously, clear governance warrant. and compliance boundaries, plus standardized • Localization. When field management is and integrated business processes, must coexist empowered to make decisions based on local — and even enable more agile responses to fast- needs and knowledge, the biopharma company changing conditions. can base planning and strategizing more closely on ground realities. Commercial operations can These capabilities unleash the enormous poten- also get real-time feedback on the impact of tial benefits of collaborative sales planning: cost cognizant 20-20 insights | march 2012
  2. 2. multichannel efforts and adjust strategies as • Lack of data and process integration: Dispa- necessary for better results. rate and often disconnected systems manage and support different parts of the sales and • Cross-channelvisibility. Customer-centric, planning workflow. This makes it difficult to cross-channel visibility improves collabora- tion across the sales and marketing organiza- quickly identify changing data and adapt neces- tion and enables effective execution of brand sary processes. and marketing strategies. Cross-team visibility • Poor enterprise visibility: With multiple reveals all of the “touch- systems and data silos, sales professionals Traditional sales points” the life science often cannot see the plans and activities of support systems company has with a customer or account so it can fine-tune other sales teams and channels. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve customer- and processes often tactics such as the timing and centric views for more efficient and effective stand in the way of content of sales calls. In turn, resource allocation.achieving capabilities that marketing to improve and clarity enables sales • Limited analytics-based decision-making: Data trapped in silos across business units that power product, resource and target and disparate systems makes it challenging to collaboration. allocations to reach brand deliver high-quality information at the point of and sales objectives. decision-making for sales professionals. • Account-driven strategies. Visibility into • Operational inefficiencies: Many manual, account-level hierarchies and affiliations disjointed and non-standard processes delay enables commercial operations to adapt commercial operations’ ability to identify and quickly to launches of accountable care orga- adapt to changing conditions, resulting in nizations and other emerging managed care longer cycle times for new initiatives and less entities. Companies can capitalize on existing ability to seize on market opportunities. touchpoints and relationships with decision- makers for more effective penetration of these • Poor data quality: Lack of standards and accounts. Other tactical opportunities include non-uniform business data exchanges across targeting specific accounts by creating a new, business units create data inconsistencies that multiple product portfolio spanning multiple undermine plan effectiveness. Operational costs territories. also increase because managing poor-quality data is time consuming and labor intensive. • Field visibility for analytics. Making analytics available at decision points makes customer • Inflexible business rules management: While interactions more effective and planning frameworks are required for governance and decisions more information-based than intu- compliance, often these are too rigid to easily ition-driven. It offers more substance for adapt to market changes and are not aligned effective collaboration between the field and with local needs and realities. home office, while making the field accountable • Limited eco-system integration: Commercial for alignment and targeting decisions. operations rarely can present a correlated and consistent view of data across their ecosystem, Overcoming Common Challenges to including human resources, training, sales Collaborative Sales Planning operations, analytics, SFA, incentive compen- Traditional sales support systems and processes sation, etc. Internal and field users often must often stand in the way of achieving capabilities navigate many interfaces and applications and that power collaboration. Instead of dynamic correlate data themselves from these disparate agility, many existing sales tools are built on more systems. The lack of integration makes it chal- static, less flexible processes that create issues lenging to treat analytics, sales planning and obstacles. They include: and incentive compensation as interrelated components, slowing initiatives and innovation. • Complex reporting relationships: Sales repre- sentatives with multiple product portfolios often Overcoming these obstacles begins with clarity must meet an array of reporting requirements about where, when and how to derive the most that lead to less correlated, less visible data value in moving to collaborative planning. that in turn makes business and compliance Solutions supporting collaborative sales planning management more complex. must include the following components: cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  3. 3. • Consolidated platform and workflow of sales strategies and sales professionals more effective. planning processes integrating data from Here’s one real-world example: all applications and systems: Such integra- Challenge: A top-five global pharmaceutical tion enables users both in the home office and organization with 9,000-plus users, 15 business in the field to see the entire ecosystem from a units and 24 selling teams faced long cycle times, single interface. Further, the whole ecosystem inconsistent data, frequent manual interven- should be refreshed as data is collected and tion, rigid business rules and a general lack of created. That means relevant data is available data transparency to the field. These challenges to any authorized audience when and as it is generally stemmed from data being trapped in needed, from field leadership to field managers a variety of silos, multiple systems performing to sales professionals. Integration also makes different workflow tasks, and no regular updating it easier for commercial operations to adopt of ecosystem applications. new processes and alignment with greater automation. Key collaborative innovations: The company implemented a cloud-based comprehensive work-• Efficiencies and effectiveness and getting flow to execute end-to-end processes, including more and better data when and where it needs a standard integration framework to integrate to be: This improves cycle time by driving data- upstream and downstream systems and stan- driven decision-making. Uniform data standards dardized some of the key sales planning business applied across integrated workflows improve processes. The solution offers dynamic product quality data and ensure that compliance and and resource allocations; analytics-driven deci- governance standards are met; yet greater sion-making; built-in compliance and targeting automation alongside more visibility enables rules; and flexible alignment models. Other tools use of more flexible business rules. include a maps-based graphical user interface• Flexibility to support innovations: Applying field used to make changes visually, and a robust industry best practices in optimizing and imple- home-office governance and business rules menting solutions across mobile computing framework. platforms continues to gain power, social media Results: The company achieved complete visibility continues to gain credibility, and consumers into its business processes while gaining the flex- will likely be increasingly important as targets. ibility to handle different resource alignment Collaborative sales planning tools must be as scenarios based on market realities and merger adaptable to these trends as they are to current situations. It reduced the sales planning cycle developments. time by almost 60% while achieving a 100% ROI• Cloud-based delivery: Collaborative planning on its initial solution investment, with savings of delivered as a service enables a life sciences approximately 50% on the ongoing support costs. company to gain powerful new capabilities, while Data quality was improved in the sales operations eliminating capital investments and making eco-system through standard data interfaces, operating costs predictable. Cloud solutions while robust validation rules led to reduced work easily scale, are often easier to integrate with related to validation and quality control, resulting existing applications, and inherently are more in significant bottom-line improvements. effective at delivering data to and collecting data from smart mobile devices, Web-based sources Collaborating Sales Planning: Meeting and other cloud providers. Cloud solutions Commercial Operations Challenges Now delivered by an experienced third-party service Gaining bottom-line results from collaborative provider offer end-to-end management so sales planning can be achieved in months, as that life sciences sales professionals can focus long as the commercial operations organization’s on their core competencies of strategy and implementation methodology: execution — not on technology management. • Defines project priorities and scope.Collaborative Sales Planning in Action: • Creates a phased implementation roadmap.A Case Study • Establishes pilot programs.Leading pharmaceutical companies already are • Manages ongoing data and services integration.using collaborative sales planning to transform • Integrates collaborative planning with analyticscommercial operations by reducing expenses, and incentive compensation.improving dynamic decision-making and making cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  4. 4. Balancing speed of innovation with cost savings Collaborative sales planning is quickly becomingand effectiveness is critical. A third-party service a best practice for adapting to and thriving underprovider with substantial life sciences consulting emerging market and regulatory forces. It isexpertise can help determine an optimal route to also a key component in the ongoing transfor-collaborative planning. The benefits of customer- mation of life sciences commercial operationscentric views, faster information flows and to leaner, more data-driven organizations abledynamic shifting of tactics and strategies are to shift and flex dynamically to capitalize ongained even more expeditiously when the service real-time market opportunities. Given that it canprovider delivers collaborative functions as a be delivered relatively quickly and cost effective-software service. ly, with minimal capital investment, life sciences companies must make collaborative planning core to their commercial operations today.About the AuthorDhiren Patel is a Principal with Cognizant’s Enterprise Analytics Practice, leading the Collaborative SalesPlanning Solutions Practice. He can be reached at Malhotra is an Associate Principal with Cognizant’s Enterprise Analytics Practice, working withinthe Collaborative Sales Planning Solutions Practice. He can be reached at Cognizant Life SciencesCognizant’s Life Science Practice partners with 27 of the top 30 global pharmaceutical/biotech organi-zations, in addition to serving companies in the medical devices, CRO and life sciences product sectors.Whether it’s driving process improvements to your clinical operations, increasing sales and marketingeffectiveness, meeting regulatory requirements or enhancing drug safety, Cognizant is redefining theway companies benefit from and experience global services. We enable business transformation bydelivering consulting, analytics, IT and business process support to fuel innovation and competitiveadvantage.Cognizant’s Enterprise Analytics Practice (EAP) combines business consulting, in-depth domainexpertise, predictive analytics and technology services to help clients gain actionable and measurableinsights and make smarter decisions that future-proof their businesses. The practice offers comprehen-sive solutions and services in the areas of sales operations and management, product management andmarket research. EAP’s expertise spans sales force and marketing effectiveness, incentives management,forecasting, segmentation, multi-channel marketing and promotion, alignment, managed markets anddigital analytics. With its highly experienced group of consultants, statisticians and industry specialists,EAP prepares companies for the future of analytics through its innovative “Plan, Build and Operate”model and a mature “Global Partnership” model. The result: solutions that are delivered in a flexible,responsive and cost-effective manner.About CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 137,700 employees as of December 31, 2011, Cognizant is a member ofthe NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: Email: Email:©­­ Copyright 2012, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.