Digitizing your Strategic Account Plans and Abandoning the Slide Deck
In the face of the technology revolution, many organizations typically have a tough time adjusting to new ways of thinking. Instead of embracing innovation, it sometimes is easier to rely on old traditional platforms and systems that tend to hinder their ability to be more efficient and organized. Especially in the life sciences industry, there are several functions that could immensely benefit from doing away with legacy systems and antiquated workflow management.
When it comes to commercial organizations, National Account Managers (NAMs), should be embracing digital tools that streamline account planning and targeting to improve their overall strategy. Progressing toward a common goal and being able to track it in one seamless interface promotes pull-through strategies with the field. Consequently, driving accountability and accuracy in tracking progress to goals and educating the field team helps better reach strategic accounts.
Cyclical nature of the strategic account plan
Like all strategies, there is a cyclical nature that follows the process of creating, tracking, sharing, and revisiting them. For NAMs, this cyclical nature occurs on a daily basis when assessing each individual account to pull through strategies with sales reps. With the right digital tools, the steps that make up this cycle are much easier to manage and maintain in the long-run. They are as follows:
1. Create a strategic plan for a specific account by setting up objectives, priorities, activities, and tasks.
When the right digital technology has been implemented, NAMs become better equipped to delegate the strategic account plan to the field teams within their accounts, allowing them a better shot at driving the strategic plan forward. In assigning activities and tasks to the field, NAMs and commercial teams can better penetrate certain facilities and key decision-makers.
2. Track the progress and make it available throughout the organization.
A well-thought out account plan should be visible to both reps in the field but also senior leadership. Having 360-degree visibility drives accountability within the team and promotes strategic collaboration on how to target specific IDNs and GPOs. More importantly, visibility into territory and national goals creates synergies between field teams and health systems.
3. Share with others on the team, enabling everyone to work together to move the strategic plan forward.
Digital tools that promote collaboration also boost productivity. Traditional, offline methods of strategic account planning tend to cause discrepancies across accounts and decrease collaboration. However, with enhanced technological capabilities, all team members can have account data in plain sight and always remain updated of the current status of a strategic plan.
4. Begin the process again by revisiting your IDNs and GPOs.
The strategic account planning process is never-ending, as revisiting your IDNs and GPOs is necessary to drive long-term customer engagement and success. Constantly revisiting digital dashboards with quick insights will make the cycle of strategic account planning more efficient and effective and help drive lasting value for your customer base.
Shifting away from traditional planning methods
Strategic account planning tools take traditional offline planning to a more democratized strategy that is visible to the entire commercial team. In embracing tools that make your team more effective, NAMs can also maximize customer engagement and value on a more consistent basis. Equipping NAMs for success with the right digital tools will help reduce time for senior leadership and make delegating easier to perpetuate the strategic account planning cycle.
TikaMobile’s platform for life sciences commercial teams, TikaNAM, puts strategic account plans at the forefront of your organization's NAMs, field reps, and even senior leadership. The Strategic Account Planning capability allows your team to create strategic account plans and makes the progress available throughout the organization using one digital platform.
This capability promotes internal transparency and collaboration and proved to have lasting positive effects for a global medical device company:
- Made better contracting decisions and pull-through strategies for the field
- 50-60% reduction in daily NAM Requests to pricing team
- Saved time resulting in prioritizing Level 5 Analytics on strategic contract pricing analysis