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Pharma CRM: The Key to Ditching the Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets still have their place in the pharmaceutical digital workbench. They're easy to use, accessible to most users, and cost-effective for simple data analysis. However, they're terribly unsuited for anything dealing with patient management. Consider the data validation, security, sharing, and reporting issues alone.

Despite their limitations, many specialty pharmacies continue to manage patients, referrals, and other aspects of their business in spreadsheets. Meanwhile, referrals from providers are often delivered via fax and email, leading to additional manual work, errors, and poor physician experiences.

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As more and more pharmaceutical companies take steps for digital transformation, it’s becoming clear that those who don’t adapt will be left behind. However, the process for replacing manual processes with cloud-based solutions is more accessible than ever – and the ROI generated by unifying processes across sales, marketing, and operations is clear.

What are Cloud-based speciality pharma solutions?

Cloud-based solutions for speciality pharmacies took the customer relationship management (CRM) model perfected by retail businesses and applied it to patients.

Because the pharma CRM is the single source of record, it’s simpler to create meaningful relationships between data points. Consider inventory control based on demand, engagement based on communication method, and referral sources based on provider type. All of these connections can be made at scale, a difficult feat for spreadsheets.

Provider-facing Portals: Improved Service for Providers 

A pharma CRM streamlines the clinical, billing, and reporting operations of a provider, making it easier for physicians to submit referrals. The system helps physicians execute referrals quickly by storing patient records, capturing new referrals, and managing eligibility verifications and prescriptions electronically. Physician facing portals allow physicians to submit referrals through a secure web form, eliminating the inefficient faxing process that many clinics still use.

Furthermore, physicians can access real-time clinical, financial, and operational data with a single glance at a secured dashboard. The system also has intelligent tools that ensure regulatory compliance and optimize business operations. The result is a system that processes prescriptions fast, reduces errors, and improves provider satisfaction. 

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We helped Medbox ditch the spreadsheet.

See how Salesforce pharma CRM enhanced patient management, streamlined the referral process, and unified data at MedBox, an industry-leading speciality pharmacy.

Process Automation

The centralized data processing capabilities of a pharma CRM empowers speciality pharmacies to collaborate across the healthcare ecosystem and manage complex relationships between providers, suppliers, and patients. It promotes inter-departmental collaboration by centralizing data across sales, marketing, operations, and IT. This means that inventory, ERP, RX, and financial systems can be viewed in a single dashboard, empowering better decisions. 

Increased Revenue 

We’ve all heard the phrase "garbage data-in, garbage data-out." Spreadsheets as a source-of-truth often result in outdated data, inaccurate sales projections, and ineffective sales strategies. It makes leadership reactive to changes in the market because they lack reliable data to make accurate predictions. 

Cloud-based pharma CRM solutions empower the sales team with proactive sales management processes that enable them to make accurate predictions. The platform keeps track of daily sales, provides data analytics, and even publishes reports, which enable them to make intelligent and informed marketing and targeting decisions. The visualized reports help sales managers interpret different types of data and make timely interventions with their teams.  

Informed marketing
Pharma CRM solutions increase revenue by capturing important customer data that the sales team can use to inform marketing decisions. By analyzing data on metrics such as purchase frequency, the sales team can determine the drugs that sell fastest and use the information to generate more sales through customized messages. 

Better relationship management
The sales team can also use the data to generate insights on the attributes of the sales process that customers value most and use the information to improve customer relationship management. The sales team can use feedback data to understand the most important issues and develop strategies to address them. Enhanced customer engagement drives repeat sales, increases customer lifetime value, and converts customers from shoppers into brand ambassadors. 

For sales agents, the centralized data enables them to track the patient’s journey from the point they made the first query to their current status. The system is useful for tracking patients with chronic conditions because they consume drugs regularly and need personalized care for the best outcomes. The sales staff can perform all these tasks remotely, leading to increased sales and improved process efficiency. 

Penrod’s Final Take

A pharma CRM has the potential to transform specialty pharmacies with a digital platform that centralizes data and automates the most time-intensive manual processes. The result is a system that increases collaboration across the healthcare ecosystem, improves patient experiences, and generates definable ROI.

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