Customer-Centric vs. Roles Curriculums

Customer-Centric vs. Roles Curriculums

Customer-Centric vs. Roles Curriculums

Training curriculums are a essential tool to initiate and install internal collaboration and bring cohesion.

Learning and development capabilities need to be integrated into the COE to build a customer-centric curriculum. This curriculum ensures that every customer-facing individual is aligned to the same engagement or selling model and this is a key success component of SAM transformation. Training curriculums are a essential tool to initiate and install internal collaboration and bring cohesion, avoiding misalignment of a company value proposition. To achieve this, a well-established COE – where the learning and development team builds curriculums with the customer-centric mindset and needs – is key. Such a COE-supported and centralized approach has the potential to establish engagement model branding, enabling a  instinctive, differentiating engagement model shared by every customer-facing individual versus the traditional way of building role curriculums. Despite the complexity and variability of roles, centralized curriculums also provide the same principles to apply and create that differentiating model for engaging with the strategic accounts.

Think Global, Act Local: Focus on Localization

Many organizations that have implemented SAM realize that finetuning is needed to be successful, not only at the global culture and mindset level, but also at the level of local execution. For example, in life sciences, a SAM COE must have the flexibility to execute according to country healthcare archetypes. This means, depending on the decisionmaking and level of healthcare integration, the execution of the SAM competency and processes will vary. 

Going faster than the evolution of the local health system will be detrimental to commercial success; falling behind will impede an ability to participate in and impact the creation of solutions for shared health issues. Centralizing common vision, strategy and main process within the COE is key, and is a pragmatic way to free up local SAM capabilities to focus and adapt efforts to locally varied business priorities and customer realities.

Breaking Down Silos: Enabling Alignment

SAM is a journey and is about team selling. Despite SAM being the owner of the relationship with the account,  bringing value beyond products and services requires thorough organizational alignment, including the alignment of all enabling functions. COEs help enabling functions speak the same language as the commercial organization, aligning communication, content and purpose. Such COE efforts give functions like economic, outcome research, marketing and others greater capability to bring insight for the SAM to be differentiated in the relationship and in the mind of the customer as bringing business relevance and value. COEs also help enabling functions participate as a part of the team and have their voice at the table with the organization and customer teams, in order to foster innovative and valuable solutions delivered to the strategic accounts. Breaking down internal silos amongst functions remains one of the biggest barriers to overcome in the SAM journey, and COEs play a key role in this regard. 

About the Author

Dominique Côté brings  30 years of experience leading commercial teams in global pharmaceutical and biotech organizations.  Her consultancy work is focused on Commercial Excellence, Executive coaching &  leadership, KAM/SAM roadmaps & journeys, as well as Account based Marketing.

She is an accomplished international business leader, recognized as a chief architect of global account program journeys, leading corporate changes and cultural shifts for customer-centric innovation and patient value.

Dominique is  a panelist and keynote speaker in Europe and the U.S. in the areas of commercial  Excellence and Customer centricity. She writes and is published in journals like Journal of Sales Transformation, Velocity, and others on these topics.

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Building global excellence

Building global excellence

Building Global
Centers of Excellence

The center of
excellence has
emerged as a best
practice for stabilizing
organizations

Much has been said about the challenges and values of building global centers of excellence for key account management (KAM) and strategic account management (SAM) as a strategic operational group within organizations. Each year, the Strategic Account Management Association (“SAMA”) issues awards for SAM programs and mature programs. One thing every winning company has in common is they all had an established centralized programming office, or center of excellence (“COE”). An irrelevant coincidence? We think not. Establishing a COE is the key success factor for implementing an effective strategic selling and strategic account management approach. Despite this fact, only 10 percent of SAMA member companies have a COE, let alone an effective one. With such a clear business opportunity, it is time to take a closer look at COEs, i.e., their challenges, benefits and key characteristics for SAM impact and success. 

The COE has emerged as a best practice capable of stabilizing many organizations, independent of industry sector. These COEs can be the catalyst to create the right mindset, skillset and process for distinctive go-to- market and customer-centric engagement models, with direct mid- to long-term impact on bottomline results. Despite this fact, strategic account managers still report that their own internal  organizations’ navigation and alignment is one of the biggest barriers to their success.

Years of operational integrations and globalization of many organizations’ enabling functions have provided great pilot programs opportunities for organizations to try, fail and learn how to be successful in centralizing SAM centers of excellence and programming. There is a fine balance needed to centralize operations, process and governance while preserving and enabling customer proximity and localization. 

A better understanding of a COE’s primary benefits and characteristics is clearly needed to help companies overcome their internal barriers and failed initiatives. Effective COE operationalization requires a close attention to each of the following COE characteristics and values.

The Cultural Shift: Alignment
of Mindset

SAM is not only a business initiative, but a cultural shift and a journey. It requires passion, resilience and a strong understanding of SAMs ability to increase revenue generation. Effective SAM is at the core of how a company appears and stands out in front of its customer. If an organization wants its SAM initiatives to be successful, it must align both its SAM mindset and communication.

How is this done? By establishing an effective COE. By targeting integration and alignment of mindset and communication, COEs can drive cultural and engagement model continuity throughout the organization.

Implemented effectively, COEs can even avoid the creation of silos when SAM journeys are established outside of sales and commercial groups (as separate initiatives and engagement models).

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About the Author

Dominique Côté brings  30 years of experience leading commercial teams in global pharmaceutical and biotech organizations.  Her consultancy work is focused on Commercial Excellence, Executive coaching &  leadership, KAM/SAM roadmaps & journeys, as well as Account based Marketing.

She is an accomplished international business leader, recognized as a chief architect of global account program journeys, leading corporate changes and cultural shifts for customer-centric innovation and patient value.

Dominique is  a panelist and keynote speaker in Europe and the U.S. in the areas of commercial  Excellence and Customer centricity. She writes and is published in journals like Journal of Sales Transformation, Velocity, and others on these topics.

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Towards a healthier sales model

Towards a healthier sales model

Towards a healthier sales model

Pharma needs to transform the way it engages customers if it is to adapt to disruption in the healthcare landscape

For the past 20 years, I have been involved in pharma discussions regarding the need to radically change our sales and engagement model. The pharma industry has shifted from defi ning its customers as the physicians prescribing to patients to a much more complex environment – one where the customer is defined by a diverse group of players which participate in the decision-making around treatment and access to treatment. From my perspective, the ultimate customer, although indirectly, has always been the patient. This is now becoming increasingly important. However, in an industry that is being highly disrupted by the current technology explosion and remains under signifi cant regulatory pressure, both the demand and the uncertainty are making it easier said than done to engage in a cohesive fashion with the different customers.

Mega trends

These are a few of the mega trends that are forcing us to change our traditional engagement models:
• Value-based healthcare is putting pressure on contracting and pricing as we move away from price-per-unit and volume-based pricing to value outcome and risk sharing; this is resulting in increased sophistication and partnering.

• Technology – from 3D printing of tissues and organs to machine learning and AI. The days of being diagnosed using a mix of a scanning app connected to personal health
data via a virtual platform—where a doctor can diagnose and prescribe— to delivery of your prescription to your doorstep by drone may not be that far away. The  echnology will also transform our landscape from drug discovery to commercialization, as well as how patients access our products and solutions. By 2020, chronic conditions like diabetes will be diagnosed in minutes using
cognitive systems.

• Patient empowerment. Today’s patient is becoming increasingly important as a decision-maker. Meanwhile, the defi nition of health is shifting from being illness free
to simply being well. It is also broadening – today the solution to a disease is not simply medication  ut increasingly about a holistic approach that goes beyond the product to include devices, apps, environment, diet, and so on. Moreover, the overall solution is different for each patient, and getting more individualized.

• Competition landscape. Given this backdrop, pharma urgently needs to evolve how it partners around the basic issues and broad healthcare challenges. It is critical to create a more collaborative model aimed at curing illness and to provide holistic solutions to patients. All of  his means that our competition is no longer solely the pharma industry, but technology companies and
startups as well. To be successful, we need to change our mindset to create partnership with organisations, which we formerly used to view as our competitors, in order to  provide more value to the healthcare systems and their patients in a coordinated effort.

Updating our go-to-market model

In order to be able to face these changes and adapt to them, our go-to-market sales and engagement model will need to evolve as well. We will need to really start looking “outside in” and understand the broad view of our  customers’ clinical, business, environmental and financial needs. We will need to look at our patients’ journeys and what is important to them, and then to explore how we can partner both within the organisation and externally to provide that holistic solution in a synergistic way. We will need to listen differently to bring simplicity and insight in a complex environment, understanding the whole customer, while also being proactive in identifying their challenges.

What does this mean for sales?

Our sales approach will have to change in three signifi cant ways:

1. Integration – We can expect to see a more integrated sales model aligning with the healthcare environment evolution. These will be based on account teams, where both the customer and the pharma put teams together to resolve issues and co-create solutions that have the most impact. These account teams are no longer the salesperson in a silo anymore, but a full crossfunctional team including enabling functions, marketing, procurement, alliances and so on; they bring their own thinking to the table to create innovative value with the external customer with the fl exibility of personalization for the patient through a holistic disease view.

2. New emerging customers – We need to embrace new, emerging customers that are becoming critically important in decision making, and continue to evolve in step with the evolution of the healthcare environment, including home management groups, healthcare businesses, and outsourcing businesses to name a few, and engage with multidisciplinary teams.

3. Globalisation – Despite years of looking at accounts defi ned by countries, we can expect to see more and more emerging accounts in the healthcare system that are regional and global; as with other industries’ strategic account models we will be breaking boundaries. This will require account management individuals who can understand the needs and priorities of these regional/global accounts and connect internally with the sales organization to offer a full account view and accompanying strategic planning. This will also need us to connect the dots between the customer organization and the often-complex internal organization, initiating a shift to mirror key customers in our own organization.

The business model shift in pharma will require companies not only to build their ability to look beyond the pill/devices and innovate in terms of the value they can offer, but to embrace a true internal transformation involving the whole organization. The need is for a cultural shift to get closer, more human for our customers and our customer’s customers – the patients. Pharma will need to enable the engagement models through people, technology and processes, and be driven by this. They will need to align their models with their respective healthcare environment, working collaboratively with their partners, competitors and customers to co-create solutions for the real needs of the patients. This will hopefully lead us back to a more human approach to medicine, spending more time focused holistically on the patient and also fulfi lling their unmet needs. We are going through exciting time where organizations that focus on this transformation will thrive. This is a great opportunity to make healthcare better for everyone, especially the patient: a role that we all fi nd ourselves in at one time or another.

About the Author

Dominique Côté brings  30 years of experience leading commercial teams in global pharmaceutical and biotech organizations.  Her consultancy work is focused on Commercial Excellence, Executive coaching &  leadership, KAM/SAM roadmaps & journeys, as well as Account based Marketing.

She is an accomplished international business leader, recognized as a chief architect of global account program journeys, leading corporate changes and cultural shifts for customer-centric innovation and patient value.

Dominique is  a panelist and keynote speaker in Europe and the U.S. in the areas of commercial  Excellence and Customer centricity. She writes and is published in journals like Journal of Sales Transformation, Velocity, and others on these topics.

Recent Posts

Developing and enabling the cultural shift

Developing and enabling the cultural shift

The COEs an emerging best practice and critical success factors that can be the catalyst to create the right mindset process and skillset while ensuring evolution and sustainability. Disruption, although most times unwelcome, gives way to innovation. Could the mother...

Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

One could argue that in today's environment that COEs (Center of Excellence) is overused. Whether you call it COE or “SAM program office”,the message is the same: These enabling units are critical to your SAM roadmap's success.  As we work with organizations on their...

Want to accelerate your SAM journey?

Want to accelerate your SAM journey?

Disruption, although most times unwelcome, gives way to innovation. Could the mother of creativity and innovation be, in fact, disruption?  This last year has certainly proven this saying in our customer-centric aspirations. We have seen seismic shifts within...