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The sales representative of a modern-day life sciences organization is expected to “sell value” more than a mere product, not to mention staying abreast of the latest healthcare reforms and regulations, promotional channels, and complex contracting models; also meeting the customer’s demand to reduce costs. Ideally, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application should prepare them with the needed-insights on how best to execute sales strategies that are informative and driven by real-time interaction and feedback from the headquarters. With all the advances in today’s technology, there is no reason to be hunting through multiple sales apps and spreadsheets prior to a discussion with a client.
A traditional CRM application, however, is not designed for the complex and evolving needs of today’s life science organizations. TikaMobile, a New York-based life sciences technology vendor, uses advanced analytics and AI to make sales reps smarter, more strategic, and better-equipped to provide value-added solutions to existing and prospective customers.
In this interview with CIO Applications, Manish Sharma, CEO and co-founder of TikaMobile, explains how his organization is helping sales representatives stay ahead of the competition, and using cutting-edge technology to your advantage.
What are some of the trends in the Life Sciences segment, and how does TikaMobile plan to leverage them and evolve?
Organizations are finally seeing the benefit of replacing a general one-size-fits-all CRM with a vertically-integrated CRM. We have been one of the pioneers in creating the latter for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. By layering a great user experience element atop the application, we have combined several branches into one platform—something that hasn’t been done by legacy CRM companies. We moved away from a traditional web/ list-based CRM approach to simulate the entire day-to-day experience of a sales rep. By having actionable information at their fingertips—which includes comprehensive customer analytics—they can have meaningful conversations during field meetings. Our application is so unique because it has an inside-out approach; internally, it helps sales reps create a business review for their respective managers, and externally, it allows them to do similar reviews, but be customer-specific.
What were the factors that led to TikaMobile moving away from a traditional list-based approach to a comprehensive ecosystem?
We noticed there was a huge gap in the CRM, wherein most existing tools were very IT-driven. They were looked at as IT solutions to solve problems that businesses were facing, which is not an ideal solution for life sciences companies. Originally, there weren’t enough expertise within the industry to improve user experience on various mobile devices. By incorporating field-rep best practices in a therapeutic area, we were able to analyze the business processes of our customers.
By comprehending the factors that went into a molding an effective sales representative in the therapeutic area, we were able to analyze the business processes of our customers and essentially create best practices
Based on those conversations, we were able to create best practices—in terms of how the top-performing sales representatives approach the various responsibilities in their day in the life. We were essentially able to unearth key performance behaviors, while embedding their corporate strategies to drive overall revenue. Once incorporated into the platform, this translated into all reps becoming more prepared and productive, and strategic in their sales success.
Could you delve deeper into the functionalities of your product suite?
At TikaMobile, we offer only the best-in-class mobile analytics, AI and CRM product offerings for pharmaceutical and medical devices companies. Since we’ve integrated big data advanced analytics, our users (sales reps) can identify their best customer targets, segment their customers based on various parameters, deploy the number of resources in the right places, do sales forecasting, customer reviews, and more. Our product is designed to reduce the burden of data mining, to essentially act as an analyst that provides actionable and real-time actionable insights. TikaPharma provides sophisticated recommendation engines directly integrated into the CRM. Users can record all compliance-related issues, so it becomes easier for them during sales calls. With TikaDevice, medical device companies can do bottom-up forecasting, get critical information such as daily sales, customer status, internal sales targets, contract pricing and even best techniques to reach a particular customer and execute on strategic imperatives.
Are there any customer success stories or live implementations that you can speak about?
A leading pharmaceutical company in the women’s health space was launching a new product but wasn’t confident about a positive market response. It was challenging to garner good reviews from two competitor’s previous product launches, and they were understandably nervous. Thanks to the pre-launch capabilities of our platform, their sales reps were able to conduct research on target physicians before launching the new product. Because of this, they hit the ground running, targeting the right physicians early, and successfully launched and substantially outpaced similar prior product launches of competitors. Since then, they have launched other products, and their sales reps are proliferating; their utilization numbers are high, and they can create weekly plans on the TikaMobile applications, as well as capture the appropriate interactions with the physicians on the app itself.
What does the future hold for your organization?
We are excited to have expanded our product line on the pharmaceutical side significantly by bringing tools for medical science liaisons and market access teams. We have also created an integrated product that works efficiently for sales reps of both hospital and physician-centric sales teams. Both can function while maintaining all compliance rules very effectively with their respective medical affairs teams. On the device side, we’ve introduced a new capability, which works as an end-to-end solution for a full commercial team. Most recently, our “contract compliance module” will assist life science companies to generate contracts on the app, as well as study the compliance and performance of the contracts within the platform. Overall, we’ve been picking and choosing capabilities, and want to constantly scale and enhance our product offerings.