Account Management Effectiveness as a Competitive Advantage
The US Healthcare system changes rapidly which requires Pharmaceutical/Life Science Companies to manage and adapt to multiple complex stakeholders including Payers, Providers, Distributors, Specialty Pharmacies and Employers. Prior to Account Managers engaging accounts, a Managed Markets group should develop a customer master database and complete some basic analysis to identify & evaluate the top customers. Ideally, the analysis should identify characteristics of various customer segments including the ability of different stakeholders to control or influence the product performance within the product classes the company markets products. Establishing the best strategy and approach depends on multiple factors such as the characteristics of the product portfolio and the level of control/engagement administered by the payers and other stakeholders.
After the leadership of a Managed Markets group develops and agrees on the strategy and approach, execution via strong Account Management is a key component to achieving the goals of the company. Consistent implementation of a proven approach, such as the “Three-Step Account Management” process developed by NavAxxess, helps organizations establish and exceed their objectives. The three steps in account management includes: Account Profiling, Account Planning and Account Engagement. Let’s take a brief look at each of these areas:
- Account Profiling: The first stage of account management is to identify and analyze the profile of the account. Account profiling includes gathering data on the size and performance of the account as well as information on the account’s strategy and business priorities, management team and primary contacts. The Account Manager should be using this information to identify potential changes in the account including the level of control for the therapeutic area the company provides branded treatment options.
- Account Planning: At this stage that the Account Manager aligns their account profile with the product and account goals of the company to develop and refine an account plan that is aligned to both organizations: the Account as well as the company. The components to develop an account plan depend on the needs of the company and characteristics of the account. The Account Manager should also plan their engagements with the account as part of developing the account plan.
- Account Engagement: The third stage is when the Account Manager and other team members conduct engagements with the Account. These engagements should be aligned to the goals of the account plan and are frequently part of the overall negotiations strategy for the account. Strong account teams consistently engage their accounts in a way that is relative to the needs of the account and aligned to the account plan. Account engagements have many variables from the number of team members at a meeting to the topics being discussed to the environment where the engagement occurs. For instance, the environment of an account engagement can vary from meeting in the main office of the account to meeting at a trade or association meeting. The Account Manager should review and appropriately adjust their account profile and account plan after each engagement.
When a Managed Markets organization develops a team of Account Managers that consistently gain alignment between the needs of their accounts and the needs of the company, the company is better able to develop and execute product and account strategies with various Accounts. A high level of team performance requires Managed Markets leadership to help their teams focus, to provide relative training, and consistent execution.
Many Account Managers are seasoned professionals who want relative and interactive training sessions with support resources that are linked to their needs while helping them improve their skills as well as their ability to achieve various business goals. The feedback we usually receive after providing the three step account management training is that Account Managers increase their skills by leveraging a proven account management approach and the managed markets organization improves the execution of their business goals. We believe the reason for these results is because we use a structured and proven account management system and work with each organization to customize the resources and tools to their particular needs and challenges.
About the Author: Ken Dominy is a partner of NavAxxess Health Solutions, LLC who has over 25 years of experience helping pharmaceutical companies, life science companies and provider groups exceed their goals and objectives. Ken’s experience includes development and implementation of enterprise systems and processes to managed Medical Practices and Medical Companies, contracting, payer negotiation, profitability analysis, and account management.
To learn more about the NavAxxess Three Step Account Management approach or discuss a customized solution to help your organization meet their goals, please feel free to contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org
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