In our previous blogs, we outlined how the use of different data sources can impact on sales figures and the impact of this for sales territory structure and management.
The way we use data sources can also have a significant impact on the way we target and manage key accounts. As previously discussed pharmaceutical companies traditionally measured sales on the basis of how much of their products pharmacies dispensed, and these data were collected at postcode level of the pharmacy location.
Traditionally pharmaceutical sales teams have visited the surgeries within a high market potential postcode locality on their territory. Using practice level prescribing data, we can now target key accounts more precisely and focus on the ones that have the best potential for using our products.
We are able to accurately establish the size of the market for a particular account as well as our relative market share. We can also monitor monthly trends within accounts to anticipate those that may be about to change prescribing, and act accordingly.
Recently, we were able to improve our client’s understanding of their market share at CCG level. This comparison revealed that in their top territory the difference in sales using pharmacy based data versus practice level prescribing data, in one CCG was 98% lower and over 50% higher in a neighbouring CCG as illustrated below.
So how can we explain this difference? Principally it comes down to how those sales are calculated: postcode data has to be fitted into the CCG boundaries whereas practice-level data can be aggregated exactly into their member CCG. We examined how postcodes fit into UK primary care organisations in an extensive mapping exercise and the results are quite surprising. Even outside high density urban areas, postcode town boundaries cross several CCGs. Being able to attribute sales to a precise location, a more accurate picture emerges on which to rank high potential accounts.
Typically, key account managers are tasked with gaining formulary listing of their product at CCG level. Attaining this is not enough to increase sales: this is only realised with practice adoption. Practice prescribing data helps key account managers to work with the CCG to identify practices who are not following such recommendations.
These insights at a practice level allow our clients to better plan sales efforts and allocate resources by focusing on significant practices rather than diluting effort across all practices within a locality.
In the context of an increasingly complex and competitive market, cost containment, and pressure on access to health care professionals it is becoming increasingly critical to effectively target and manage key accounts. Using practice-level data as a basis for this can increase targeting accuracy in order to achieve successful results.