Creating Customer Value: New Horizons on the Managed Markets Journey - Pharmaceutical Executive


Creating Customer Value: New Horizons on the Managed Markets Journey

Pharmaceutical Executive

Crossing Customer Frontiers

Another new finding jumped out from our research: More than half of managed market organizations have not attempted to build a B2B relationship with customers other than payers. Developing partnerships with these "new" customers represents the next frontier for managed markets. Customer segments to be developed include hospitals, retailers, and wholesaler/trade accounts, but may also include reaching patients through direct relationships with employers and unions.

These customers complete the healthcare ecosystem that exists to provide patients with the best possible health outcomes and with an efficient allocation of costs and resources. Companies in the vanguard of efforts to cross this border are finding a self-made barrier to success; the people who fill account manager and support positions today may not be the same people required for success tomorrow.

In our survey, only 44 percent of managed market organizations indicated that they had the right people in place for the required force of the future. New customers with differing business models require people with new competencies and experiences. In today's managed market organizations, developing and hiring the right people—always important business activities—is fast being elevated to a status of "crucial."

Investing in Organizational Progress

According to our research, a majority of life sciences companies are stuck in a traditional mindset when choosing how to invest in improved organizational effectiveness. These companies cling to role improvements and force size as the only priorities worthy of investment. Two other priorities—process improvements and the tough work of improving implementation and execution—are managed as important but underfunded change drivers.

These decisions may be shortsighted and forestall progress toward building relationships, solving problems, and creating value. Here's why: Building fruitful B2B partnerships is not just about having the right number of the right people. Results flow from executing the right behaviors, sustained over time, backed by performance measures and rewards. In short, it's about creating and managing critical processes and following through on promises.

What are the critical processes for solving problems and creating value? Our work with managed markets organizations indicates that account management sales processes that dig deeply into customer organizations and create a network of advocates is important. Another necessary process is one that justifies resources and creates support teams. Partnering with marketing to align messages and initiatives is a third. There are more.

Ultimately, a successful shift of organizational effort from managing contracts to creative problem solving involves a new assessment and balancing of risk. Will the change result in lost market access? Will new organizational investments lead to measurable gains? To some extent, these questions are unanswerable in the short run. But the healthcare market is evolving on its own, and allowing the future to arrive without active participation carries a risk of its own—the risk of inaction, or action without sufficient forethought.


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