eyeforpharma and Imonic, leading specialists in Key Account Management, recently presented a highly-successful one-day training workshop on the practical implementation of KAM for pharma.
eyeforpharma and Imonic, leading specialists in Key Account Management, recently presented a highly-successful one-day training workshop on the practical implementation of KAM for pharma. The event immediately preceded eyeforpharmas SFE conference and exhibition in Barcelona, thereby providing many delegates with a convenient and timely opportunity to get up to speed quickly and easily in what is universally recognized as one of the most important sales issues for pharma.
The event was well received, with attendees from many leading pharma companies, including Pfizer, Novartis, BMS, Merck, Nycomed, Janssen-Cilag, Sanofi, Roche, Bayer-Schering, Abbott and Wyeth. The majority of delegates attending the workshop were looking for practical answers to questions posed by the introduction of KAM systems and processes into their organizations, and had varying degrees of experience with regard to KAM and its implementation.
So how did the workshop address these issues?
Following a brief introduction and basic definition of KAM terminology, delegates were divided into round table groups of no more than eight, reflecting their main area of interest in either primary or secondary care. Participants completed a number of practical exercises, including customer and supplier role play scenarios, designed to provoke discussion of KAMs major themes account planning, contact strategies, account potential, customer relationships, account strategy and to identify areas of strength and weakness.
In one particular exercise, delegates were asked to assume the role of either customer contact or pharma supplier, with the customer contact scoring the performance of the pharma suppliers questions. In another exercise, delegates were briefed to design a template for a fictitious account plan. This involved discussion amongst delegates about the differing nature of Accounts such as hospitals, major practice/surgery, PCTs, healthcare management organizations etc. Teams of delegates brainstormed the different aspects of successful account plans for differing Accounts and then produced an Account Plan template which was presented for discussion to the other teams.
The highly interactive and discursive style of this workshop produced many interesting ideas and suggestions from which all delegates clearly benefited. With representatives from so many major pharma companies amongst the attendees, the exchange of information, ideas, experience and commentary was immeasurably valuable.
But the workshop was not only a series of practical, hands-on tasks. Delegates were taken through a complete breakdown of KAM and its meaning for pharma, why it is difficult, how it works, the benefits for pharma and how it should be implemented. Defined as a methodology and set of processes for the management of strategically important customers, KAM was recognized as an essential component of the change which pharma must embrace.
Delegates looked at the reasons why KAM may be difficult for pharma to introduce and what can be done practically to reduce or remove these problems. There was a consensus amongst delegates that organizational structure hindered KAM e.g. silo departments in Brand, Sales, Marketing BI, etc, whereas KAM really demands a cross-functional approach. Additionally, most pharma companies were felt to have a product, rather than a customer, focus and to have unclear Account strategies for their major customers.
From the workshop, delegates learned, inter alia, that KAM success for pharma will necessitate new methods of contact strategy and contact management. Pharma must plan properly for mutually beneficial relationships, there must be clear ownership internally of the relationship, and multiple customer contacts across departments must be systematically coordinated and recorded. This approach will enable pharma to improve relationships and identify and develop further potential sales opportunities from each key customer.
In other sessions, workshop participants learned about the KAM Relational Development Model, the differences between basic and advanced KAM, the importance of managing decision-making units for better relationships and opportunity development, and valuechain methodology.
At the end of a day packed full of practical tips, advice, new ideas and suggestions of what does and does not work, and with hard copies of Account Plan templates in their hands, delegates left the workshop buzzing with enthusiasm, energy and a commitment to make KAM work! Feedback from attendees confirmed they found the day hugely beneficial, dynamic, interesting and useful a must for anyone wanting to get started or get ahead with KAM in pharma!
Selected comments from participants included the following:
Very useful day a lot of information that will definitely start me on my way and the organisation RBM, Astellas
Liked challenge of covering main topics at a good pace, alternating exercises and theory Operational Effectiveness Manager, BMS
Liked workshop content and breakout groups and speaking to other companies on how they do things Healthcare Funding Manager, Novartis
Good interactive sessions, pinched some good ideas! Field Force Effectiveness Manager, Schering Plough
Step by step approach clarified key challenges Commercial Director, Abbott
If you were unable to attend the workshop in Barcelona, Imonic and EyeforPharma are holding a similar practical KAM workshop in London on Monday 30 June alongside the Responding to NHS Change Conference. For further details and to register, please contact Gerard Moore at eyeforpharma on +44 (0) 207 375 7510, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: David Wright, director, Imonic
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