Pharma Commercial Leaders Share Views, Issues at TGaS® Advisors Summit

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E. Norriton, Penn., May 7, 2019.

The TGaS® Advisors 2019 Spring Summit, “Becoming Indispensable Business Partners,” brought together 167 pharmaceutical professionals representing 51 companies, one of the benchmarking and advisory services firm’s largest turnouts. The day-long invitation-only event, held April 30, 2019, at the Renaissance Hotel Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL, featured breakout sessions in the firm’s client solutions, including Commercial Analytics & Insights, Executive Commercial Operations, Field Operations, Incentive Compensation Excellence, Learning & Development, Marketing Operations, Medical/Regulatory/Legal, Omnichannel Marketing and Pricing, Contracting & Analytics.

TGaS, a division of Trinity, also presented the second annual Best of Benchmark “BoB” Awards for commercial excellence at a special awards dinner at the Renaissance on April 29. Awards were presented to 11 companies, including three vendors. Fifteen awards were given across 12 categories.

Inky Johnson, sports motivation expert, told his dramatic personal story of relentless determination, surviving poverty, violence and a life-changing college football injury to become a leading author and motivational speaker.  

Breakout session highlights:

Commercial Analytics & Insights: Insights leaders discussed the latest trends and best practices in forecasting, involving forecasting frequency and alignment with relevant aspects of the business. The session also addressed insights generation, including related points on KPIs, measurement, and data challenges. Other topics included changing responsibilities within insights teams, vendor management and skills gaps and training techniques.

Executive Commercial Operations: Attendees represented clients from both the Life Sciences and Emerging Life Sciences (elsN) networks. Discussions focused on organizational structures, global vs. regional, strategic and commercial planning, capabilities profiles for recruiting and retaining top talent and outsourcing vs. insourcing for non-strategic functions. The group also exchanged ideas on improving marketing capabilities and better utilization of data analytics structures with a large concentration on omnichannel marketing and innovation.

Field Operations: Connecting with peers and sharing current issues was key for Field Operations leaders. The session focused on current issues and future priorities, including changes in field technology, evolution of CRM, data, field resource deployment and alternate selling teams, along with emerging industry trends impacting field operations teams. A discussion of evolving compliance requirements wrapped up the day. Attendees enjoyed interacting with and hearing from their peers in the TGaS network to explore common and unique challenges and an understanding of “how other companies do ‘it’.”

Incentive Compensation Excellence (ICE): Incentive compensation leaders gathered to discuss wide ranging issues including innovations in “alternative” sales awards such as consistent performer recognition and the granting of sabbaticals for tenured employees. Significant time was spent discussing specific questions the group had including best practices for managed markets incentive compensation planning; innovative methods for calculating goals for field sales teams; and how to create incentive plans for products in the rare disease space and other challenging therapeutic areas. The group shared best practices and other lessons from their collective experience and concluded with action items to bring back to their companies.

Learning and Development: The Learning & Development Solution featured three interactive sessions, each focused on the concept of delivering value. Metrics that Actually Matter to stakeholders challenged participants to discover what value means to business partners and to monitor, collect, analyze and communicate that information frequently. Scaling Up for the Future of Market Access and Reimbursement Training included discussion on how to better develop account-facing teams whose own focus is on delivering The Value Story to customers. Demonstrating Value to Stakeholders brought the Value theme together using principles of Human-Centered Design to understand, develop and test value-based solutions that CL&D leaders can customize and deliver to contribute to operations performance and outcomes.

Medical/Regulatory/Legal: MRL/PRC leaders discussed 2019 trends, challenges and best practices on a variety of topics, including process optimization, technology, metrics and governance. The group also shared their experience and approaches to onboarding and training marketers and agencies on the MRL review process and system. While many attendees shared similar challenges, the discussion highlighted different approaches to solving those challenges.

Marketing Operations: Marketing Operations leaders from across the industry came together to discuss 2019 trends, priorities and metrics being utilized to measure performance and drive behaviors. Two interactive sessions addressed topics related to end-to-end promotional content lifecycle and speaker programs, providing new ideas, solutions and best practices.

Omnichannel Marketing: Multichannel and omnichannel marketing leaders discussed the evolution of staff and capabilities within their organizations, with an increased focus on integrated campaigns and intuitive analytics that provide insight and action. Attendees engaged in-depth about the growing force of customer experience and how it differs from marketing, and the benefits and challenges of embracing customer experience principles. The session concluded with discussions about pricing transparency, fluidity of technology and content, and driving business impact through multichannel initiatives.

Pricing, Contracting & Analytics: Pricing & Contracting leaders discussed the impact of Safe Harbor Protection changes on biopharmaceutical manufacturers, PBMs and payers, as well as possible transformations of existing business models. The group also addressed outsourcing trends in Contract Management, including satisfaction with outsourcing partners. Other key topics included latest trends in revenue management, deal analytics, gross-to-net and contract lifecycle management systems, as well as Pricing Committee structures and account segmentation, 340B scrubbing, value-based contracting, and other areas.

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