Three Steps to Strengthening Medical-Commercial Collaboration

Robert Groebel

Customer engagement and selling models in life sciences are changing, driven by the move to more specialized medicines and the rise of digital channels. Increasingly, key healthcare stakeholders are interacting with both medical and commercial teams across multiple platforms – and too often, receiving a disjointed experience. Now more than ever, we need to take a more coordinated approach.

Strengthening the medical-commercial partnership means overcoming the traditional siloes and firewalls that have arisen over the years, while minimizing compliance risk. Let’s take a look at three ways commercial and medical teams can ensure they’re working together to deliver the experience customers want.

1.  Create a complete customer view – As a first step, companies must determine what information should be shared at each lifecycle stage, based on input from medical, commercial, and compliance teams. While it is not necessary – or useful – to inundate each group with sensitive information, there is data teams can and should share. This visibility is important when determining which function – research, commercial, or medical – should engage a stakeholder at a particular time.

Key data points that can help drive appropriate collaboration include:

  • Engagement status
  • Communication channel preferences
  • Organizational status
  • Communication activities
  • Requests or questions
  • Community
  • level insights

2. Engage a broader network of stakeholders – Life sciences traditionally focused engagement around global/national academic experts. Beyond this top circle, however, regional and local stakeholders play a key role in product success, along with payers, regulators, and patient advocates. Life sciences companies must look beyond the top of the pyramid to identify key stakeholders at every level.

3. Shift to qualitative metrics that demonstrate medical’s impact – The metrics used to evaluate and reward medical affairs’ performance have long been inconsistent or unclear. How can a company appropriately ensure corporate and return on investment goals are met while abiding by regulatory guidance?

New metrics should account for the qualitative aspects of medical affairs’ work. Quantifying how scientific beliefs evolve over time, for instance, crystalizes the long-term effectiveness of medical’s engagements.

Strengthening the Medical-Commercial Partnership, a new industry white paper, provides a full step-by-step guide on driving more harmonized organizational strategies. Check it out for a deep dive into improving customer engagement.

To further the conversation, I also invite you to watch our webinar on creating coordinated organizational customer engagement strategies. Join us to hear a top 10 global pharma outline best practices and share their approach to internal transformation.

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