Pharmaceutical Company

Taking pharma sales digital to engage physicians in a hybrid world—driving $35M in revenue growth

Taking pharma sales digital to engage physicians in a hybrid world—driving $35M in revenue growth

Our Impact

This client delivers medicines and compassionate support for patients with rare, autoimmune, and severe inflammatory diseases. The pandemic upended its traditional in-person sales approach for engaging physicians. With physician access more limited than ever, the sales organization had to move quickly to design and adopt a new hybrid sales model. This required not only new digital communication capabilities but also new skills, a new supporting organization, and significantly different ways of working. That’s where we came in—with an approach and solutions designed for maximum impact. 


anticipated revenue growth


Veeva CRM enhancements facilitated, supporting 20+ sales initiatives


business units enabled with data-based insights and dashboards

The Full Story

The challenge

For this pharmaceutical company, selling was all about a boots-on-the-ground approach, engaging with healthcare providers in their offices. When the pandemic hit, that channel closed. Physician access became even more limited than it already was—and that access became compounded as doctors developed digital fatigue.  

The company needed a fundamentally new selling model—and needed it quickly. But this didn’t just mean replacing physical meetings with digitally enabled meetings. It meant creating intentional, personalized, and differentiated virtual experiences that both benefitted physicians and increased the effectiveness of the company’s highly experienced—but non-digitally native—field sales reps. 

We quickly collaborated with executives to define the work ahead: 

  • Design a hybrid selling model, supported by the right technologies 
  • Elevate sales representatives’ digital selling capabilities 
  • Use data to deliver a personalized experience for physicians based on their preferences and previous interactions  
  • Improve lead generation and qualification so that field sales representatives can be efficient and effective in a hybrid environment 
  • Adopt a company-wide approach to sales measurement and reporting 

An undeniably different approach

We understand that building a value-creating digital business starts with humans, not technology. So we got right to work looking at how the pandemic affected people: their needs, their challenges, and their pains. We:  

  • Talked to more than 40 executives across business units and functions 
  • Held focus groups with sales reps across brands 
  • Created journey maps to understand how sales reps interact with physicians 
  • Found 99 different friction points 

We created sales rep personas for different working styles, allowing us to design solutions to address their unique challenges. For example: To help sales reps overcome physicians’ digital fatigue and intolerance of inefficiency, we designed a better user experience for sales reps to be able to navigate and search digital content as well as act on high-impact leads. Likewise, we designed new digital connection capabilities to allow in-depth conversations.  

Altogether, we generated 76 ideas for using new digital tools and processes to strengthen provider engagement, increase sales rep effectiveness, enable more strategic interactions with physicians, and reduce manual effort. We then organized those into a plan with 12 priority initiatives based on business value and complexity. Here are two: 

Establishing a new Digital Field Enablement team tasked with providing the insight, systems, and training to support sales and patient services representatives. Key elements included: 

  • A revised inside sales program—with a new vendor—that will generate and qualify leads for field sales personnel, allowing sales reps to focus on qualified opportunities 
  • Enabling new virtual tools and capabilities such as Veeva Engage, Veeva notifications, and PowerBI Dashboards 
  • New approaches for engaging providers such as expanding focus to other professionals in physicians’ offices  
  • New roles responsible for training field sales personnel to use digital tools 
  • Program management and governance approach to organize and execute requests from the field 

Developing company-wide metrics and measurement dashboards. We worked across business units to develop standard metrics for quantifying impact. The result is a balanced scorecard of digital adoption, healthcare provider/patient experience, field experience, and impact metrics.  

Real Results

Changes to the sales approach and team have expanded the company’s reach, as well as its frequency of contact with potential leads – creating more and better sales opportunities while driving an anticipated $35M in revenue growth. 

Enabling field sales representatives to better prioritize and track leads through data-based insights and customized dashboards has freed up more time for our client to make meaningful contact with physicians and patients—and they have more effective tools for communicating, whether through boots on the ground or digital channels. 

With a streamlined CRM system navigation—as well as new metrics and reporting processes—sales leaders can see and act on sales opportunities faster than ever before. They can also quickly assess representatives’ adoption of digital tools, which enables proactive coaching. 

Project Timeline

Gathered insight on current-state processes and sales team needs
Designed future-state hybrid sales approach
Developed roadmap to enable desired future-state
Established a new Digital Field Enablement team and structure & developed and implemented a new measurement approach with updated KPIs

Want to learn more?