Would you like to be one of the 30% of companies whose CRM project turned into a bitter failure? Here are seven bad practices to follow with your eyes closed. But if you are going for success, consider them to be pitfalls to be avoided.



Trap #1: Favor a CRM tool because it offers a maximum of functionalities


Is the ideal CRM, the one that offers the most functionality?

Beware of overbidding: according to a British study, 43% of CRM users say they use less than 50% of the capacity of their tool, while 72% would be ready to reduce the options of their CRM to simplify its use. Prioritize efficiency and productivity above all.

The best apps are convenient, fast, and intuitive. You don't need an endless number of clicks to achieve a satisfactory result. Better yet, opt for a scalable solution, where the user increases with the number of options offered, reducing the learning curve.

The ideal CRM is easy to use, adapted to your needs, and offers the essential functionalities used by your Representatives and your animators-trainers daily. You can always enrich it gradually with new programs as you develop.


Trap #2: Opt for a generalist CRM


For a sales or marketing manager in the health and wellness sector, choosing a "multi- sectors" CRM that is not explicitly designed for the pharmaceutical world would be the best choice. It would be wrong to think that a neutral solution is best placed to meet its need. Customer relationship in the world of health and well-being are sufficiently well-known to be able to find on the market solutions designed as closely as possible to their business issues: sell in, sell out, customer management, territory alignment by bricks (Geographic Units of Analysis)…

For example, a specialized CRM takes care of complex customer master files, particularly those involving hospitals or pharmacy specialists (merchandising managers, sales of solar products..). It centralizes and streamlines each type of treatment's processes requiring specific actions (doctors, dentists, pharmacists, supermakets, marge retailers...).

The specialized CRM also has all the appropriate terminologies and offers a precise vision of how the health and well-being sector works. It provides a better knowledge of the internal organizations, the field hierarchy, and the processing of each business profile (Retail Pharma Representative, Animator, Trainer, Medical Representative), the data flows involving logisticians and actors (zones, headquarters, call center, Pharma-ML). In short, so many integrated concepts on which it is easy to adapt its commercial activities.



Trap #3: Improvise project management


For a CRM Pharma solution, you should not limit your scope to only day-to-day functionalities for the field and management. It is also necessary to be interested in the practical modalities of the deployment.

During the implementation, the foundations of the solution are established, the constraints are established and the roles distributed. We ensure the quality of a solution for deployment and support in the implementation. A clear and transparent implementation process punctuates the deployment and distributes the tasks for each stakeholder. It is security and comfort in the implementation.

The project's implementation will revolve around significant phases, all-important: the needs and objectives, the setting of business rules, the pilot phase, and finally, training and roll-out.

The needs and objectives. This phase corresponds to when you define all the business rules specific to your internal processes and those of your partners, customers, or suppliers: scope of the solution, number of networks, external and internal actors.

Then comes the phase of implementing these business rules, namely territory alignment, product catalogs integration, commercial conditions setting, visit reports setting, contracts, activity, dataflows with partners. (logisticians, service providers, business partners) and finally, the development of the activity monitoring dashboards (teams, visit reports) and sales.

The pilot phase then consists of data input into the tool corresponding to your current situation (orders, discounts...), then testing the proper functioning of the business rules. Once the job is complete, the tool is validated and put into production.

Finally comes the training and roll-out period. This phase does not end the deployment of the solution but is followed by listening to users' feedback on the appropriation of the functionalities. Later, regular interchange with field managers should help optimize use and analysis.


Trap #4: Give up investing in change management


Faced with implementing a new Pharma CRM, some members of your team may present some resistance. You will therefore need to put in some effort to make this change successful. 

The challenge is to show that the new tool fits your pharma representatives' daily tasks (visit preparation activity analysis,...).

The change management must direct all employees towards fewer repetitive tasks and low added value towards enhancing customer relations. To learn more about best practices in change management, read this dedicated article



Trap #5: Do not invest in a trustable and recognized solution


A trusted and recognized CRM solution is not set in stone. Having room for maneuver to adapt the solution to your strategy is a must. It is in no way the CRM that drives the strategic choices

The project team must benefit from the potentials of the chosen solution with plenty of scope for improvement. It must work with a software editor capable of meeting new challenges in the service of commercial policy. A recognized CRM solution, yes. But an open solution to adapt to each business unit's challenges and capable of securing sustainable competitive advantage.


Trap # 6: Choose a closed solution


Your activity is not limited to sales.

From order taking to delivery, several players like call centers, customer service, web store.. are involved in the process. Hence, the information must be easily shared and secured to streamline work.

Therefore, you must choose a CRM solution that easily interfaces with market logistics players and management software (ERPs). This aspect is fundamental and is an excellent indicator of the maturity of a CRM suite. It bodes well for successful implementation and positive evolution of the solution daily.

Besides, your CRM Pharma project requires the involvement of your internal teams and your logistics providers. Throughout the implementation of your CRM project, their involvement will save you time, maximize their participation, and above all, take into account their constraints to be as close as possible to realities on the field.

Thus, logisticians and service providers should be involved in defining CRM management rules. These choices will affect the delivery instructions (portfolio of orders, customer payment status, etc.) and your products' promotion at points of sale. 



Trap n ° 7: Do not value the customer relationship


A good Pharma CRM should be a decision support tool. It is perfectly suited to the field and makes everyday life more comfortable. It not only optimizes your business performance and better achieves your goals, but it also brings you closer to consumers.

Thanks to the pre-configured or tailor-made dashboards, you and your retail pharma representatives can analyze sales performance, receive alerts and react when necessary - for example, by launching a promotional operation to increase your points of sale activity or by personalizing your offers according to very fine segmentation criteria.

You will understand that the success of your CRM Pharma project is built methodically and collectively. And it all starts with a first step: refining your needs.