Does online call reporting make you truly digital?
Since 2000, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have gone out of business. Do you know why? Digital disruption is to blame. Organizations that adapted to changing business environment survived the storm and others were swept away at a startling pace. Can Indian Pharma industry be immune to this universal “business” law?
More than a decade ago global pharma companies have started their transformation into digital but Indian pharma companies have been a slow starter in this front and still making baby steps to become truly Digital. When we analyzed by working with some of the Pharma executives, we observe that the awareness and intent towards digital transformation is apparent but there are few factors that are holding these wonderful companies back. On the other hand, some pharma companies tend to believe that migrating from paper based call reporting to online reporting is digital transformation. While online reporting brings the convenience of reporting from anywhere and saves considerable administrative costs, realization of the true power of digital is merely a perception in this situation.
So what is Digital?
Digital is now everywhere in our daily lives. Our personal lives are far more digitized in reality than what we see in today’s pharma industry in India. Think about the social media apps, video sharing platforms, messaging apps etc.. “Digital” connects our lives with rest of the world in unprecedented ways and yet the same experience is not fully put to action in the industry. Yes, it’s that simple to define “Digital”. There are hundreds of pharma companies in India that don’t use email system for communication and digital calendars for team meetings. Does that mean the employees are not net savvy? Absolutely not. It is the same fraternity that has embraced advanced digital experiences in their day to day lives but still hasn’t been able to enjoy the benefit from similar experiences in their professional life.
So where is the resistance?
Everybody agrees that digital experiences hold the future to sustain in a competitive pharma market in India that is highly dominated by branded generics. This means that doctors are flooded with multiple brand options of the same drug leaving pharma companies scratching their heads for getting their share of the prescription. Will online reporting of sales DCR solve the problem of bringing that differentiated experience to customers? Highly unlikely! How will you make your brand stick to your customers against your competition who has the same product and benefits? The answer lies in the experience that companies deliver to their customers. Now, where is the resistance coming from? What is preventing pharma companies from bringing memorable experiences to customers? Based on our interactions with some of the senior pharma executives, we observe the following challenges that are holding companies back from embracing digital.
- Awareness – Top management must be convinced that digital experiences are the key enablers of differentiation in the market.
- Strategy – A comprehensive, customer centric CRM strategy must be devised to reach customers.
- Change Management – Adoption is a key challenge in any organizational change. Leadership must inculcate the new culture within the organization and spread the word from top down.
- Trust – One of the key resistances we are noticing in adoption among end users is the apprehension among field sales reps that they are more likely to be monitored. This apprehension is detrimental to any digital strategy the company may come up with. Leadership must address this apprehension among the downline staff and build a trust based relationship and establish the belief among field staff that CRM apps used in the field are more of a personal sales assistant than a prying eye.
Considering these factors, has your organization truly become digital? Will online reporting alone enable you beat the competition?