Closed Loop Marketing is “Like High School Sex…”
“…everybody’s talking about it but nobody’s really doing it,” says Philippe Kirby, EUCAN MCM IT Director at Merck.
Speaking to eyeforpharma for our instructional white paper, Implementing CLM, Kirby warns, “If you really want to stand this thing up, it requires a large multidisciplinary team. There’s a need for significant involvement from line managers, marketing managers, and brand managers, as well as IT, Medical Legal & Regulatory, all of whom need to have a clear understanding of the overall business strategy.”
As the industry seeks ways to re-vitalize sales to compete in a new era defined by limited access and heightened competitiveness, closed loop marketing is widely recognized as an important progression. According to Morten Hjelmsoe, CEO and Founder of Agnito, a provider of CLM solutions, there are “two schools of CLM”. The first sees businesses “use new technology to do more of what they’ve already been doing.” Which means closing the gap between preparation prior to a sales call and review following a sales call. “It’s like putting a GPS on a bus – you learn about the drivers route and schedule (i.e. the salesperson), but you learn little or nothing about the passengers (i.e. the customers).”
The second approach is customer-centric. Sales representatives can use questions to shape the agenda of sales calls based on dialogue with customer. In turn, data collected about the customer is applied to inform marketing and business strategy. “This strategy is more like putting a GPS in a limousine because it tells you about the customer’s preferences,” Hjelmsoe explained, and added that “true CLM is not software, it’s a strategy shift from marketing push approach to a customer centric pull approach.
CLM is all about closing the loop between sales and marketing, and it is critical that these functions work together. One of the key challenges with implementing CLM is aligning marketing and sales to ensure the customer gets the best experience and the business gains the greatest insight. Kirby believes that sales and marketing can work together. “The key all along is ensuring that sales get something out of the tracking in terms of planning their next visit to a physician. They need to be able to get some information that will help them,” he said.
The ultimate goals of implementing CLM will vary both between and within individual organizations. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, each brand and region will have a different mix of goals. However, broadly speaking, the goals of CLM will fall into three categories: first, improving customer experience and interactions; second, revenue opportunities (through greater insight into customer’s needs and preferences); third, cost efficiency opportunities (using insights to better target how we interact with customers).
Deciding on the objectives will influence which metrics you want to track to measure results. Brand managers and marketers will want to track information that helps them to improve targeting and to gain a complete understanding of customers. Sales managers will have different reporting requirements. Sales managers will want to evaluate their field force, which can be achieved through data collected through CLM. That data allows, for example, to deduce how many times a topic was discussed by a particular rep in comparison with the best rep.
A 2010 study conducted by Capgemini found that the “primary reason CLM initiatives fall short is that companies are not able to apply the data they collect from customer interactions.”
In addition to the management goals of sales managers, the CLM data also equips the sales reps with superior pre-call preparation capabilities. As such having clear data profiling physicians and insights that assist with planning the next visit is an important reporting requirement.
To take the strategy to the next level, multichannel approach should be introduced. Other channels include physician web portals, video details, email and websites, medical enquiries, virtual communities; call centers and meetings or conventions. Hjelmsoe believes that although 80% of communication with physicians goes through sales reps, multichannel is crucial. “Customers will want to consume information in a variety of ways and their experience needs to be aligned,” he said, adding that the key challenge is achieving alignment across multiple channels while ensuring a seamless and positive experience for the customer.
Implementing CLM is a free instructional whitepaper. Featuring insights into how to successfully roll out a CLM strategy and including interviews from experts within industry users, the paper is available for download now.
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