November 15, 2018

Stakeholder Engagement Is Key Pharma Topic at TGaS Summit

November 14, 2018. E. Norriton, Penn. The TGaS® Advisors 2018 Fall Summit, "How Commercial Operations Can Drive Stakeholder Engagement in an Increasingly Complex World," brought together 150 pharmaceutical professionals representing 50 companies. The day-long invitation-only event, held November 6 at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare, featured breakout sessions in the firm's client solutions: Executive Commercial Operations, Commercial Analytics & Insights, Digital and Multichannel Marketing, Field Operations, Incentive Compensation, Learning & Development, Market Access & Reimbursement, Marketing Operations, Medical/Regulatory/Legal and Pricing, Contracting & Analytics.

Keynote speaker Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing, showed how "Everything has Changed and Nothing is Different," focusing on engaging better with customers through social and viral marketing. Stratten addressed such issues as "The Millennial Myth," "Social Media Snake Oil" and "The Digital Decision."

Breakout session highlights:

Executive Commercial Operations: Many Senior Executive Commercial Operations leaders said they struggle with hiring key talent. TGaS provided data that addressed this issue, showing key benefits used by companies to recruit talent along with benchmarks noting that key positions are open four months on average. Participants also discussed the increasing demand to support global functions. TGaS presented findings from the 15th Annual State of Commercial Operations showing that while few companies have Global Commercial Operations departments, many use a hybrid structure with certain functions supported globally. Attendees agreed they are all impacted by Market Access challenges and welcomed information from the Market Access & Reimbursement Environmental Scan. This overview included a discussion on value-based contracts, considered a "unicorn" in the industry.

Commercial Analytics & Insights: Insights leaders discussed the most urgent challenges and best practices within their current insights support models. Discussions evolved on how innovation, data quality and infrastructure were challenges impacting the insights function. The group also addressed topics they see as relevant today, such as the patient journey and measurement by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Digital and Multichannel Marketing: Digital Centers of Excellence (DCOE) leaders discussed the ever-changing scope of the COE within an organization, new roles to support growth and the increasing trend to support non-brand aligned groups. The session included engaging conversation around platform integration and data governance to enable more robust omni-channel communications. The summit also addressed the evolution of tactics such as inside sales support, physician portals and leveraging existing capabilities to help drive future growth.

Field Operations: Connecting with peers and sharing current issues was the focus for Field Operations leaders. After a lively discussion on current Incentive Compensation trends, the Field Operations leaders broke into their own groups to explore changes in field technology, data, field resource deployment and alternate selling teams, along with emerging trends in field reporting. Attendees enjoyed hearing from their peers in the TGaS network to understand common and unique challenges and gaining an understanding of "how other companies do 'it'."

Incentive Compensation: Incentive compensation leaders gathered for a day filled with insights, beginning with a review of TGaS's 8th Annual State of Incentive Compensation. Discussion included topics such as Presidents' Club attendance and location and methods for dealing with faulty national sales forecasts. Attendees also discussed specific incentive compensation challenges attendees were facing and used the power of the network to help answer those questions.

Learning & Development: The Learning & Development Solution featured interactive sessions with leading pharmaceutical and biotech training leaders discussing current and future trends in L&D. Attendees engaged in discussions around improving measurement of current training programs, building long-term, sustainable training curriculums and utilizing AI and AR/VR in training programs, resulting in a more engaging and interactive learning experience for all.

Market Access & Reimbursement; Pricing, Contracting & Analytics: The Market Access & Reimbursement (MAR) and Pricing, Contracting & Analytics (PCA) sessions introduced the growing importance and significance of analytics and insights as integral to a high-performing Market Access Organization. As the market continues to consolidate, strategic integration of market access strategies across functions within the Market Access organization becomes a critical success factor from strategy to tactics to pull-through to maximize access.

The MAR breakout session focused on the importance of aligned and integrated go-to-market customer engagement and the importance of aligning strategy, tactics and performance metrics across the market access continuum.

The PCA breakout session kicked off with an in-depth discussion of the increasing role of payer and deal analytics. The participants agreed that effective utilization of insights and analytics will improve customer engagement and profitable market access. A lively discussion on hot topics, such as managing state price transparency laws, downstream effects of lower WAC prices, 340B claim identification, utilization management verification, coverage gap increase strategies and other pricing & contracting topics followed.

Marketing Operations: Leaders had an engaging and interactive peer-to-peer discussion on Marketing Operations' "hot topics" affecting people, process and technology. Leaders also dove down into specific areas within Marketing Operations to discuss industry challenges and share their perspectives on end-to-end promotional content lifecycle management, agency optimization, speaker programs and events planning. Participants walked away with new ideas, industry benchmark data and best practices.

Medical/Regulatory/Legal: Three of the most pressing topics discussed in the Medical/Regulatory/Legal (MRL) session were: 1) Building a strategic cross-functional governance team, 2) methods and frequency of stakeholder process and system training, and 3) best practices in forecasting and prioritizing submissions. The number of companies utilizing a Digital Asset Management repository is rapidly increasing, either through Veeva, an in-house solution or another vendor. Overall, attendees were most interested in how other companies are achieving better quality submissions, managing capacity and faster speed to market.

About TGaS Advisors

TGaS Advisors, a division of Trinity Partners, is the leading benchmarking and advisory services firm for commercial organizations in the life sciences industry. With a roster of top 85, emerging and precommercial life sciences companies, TGaS provides robust comparative intelligence and collaborative network membership services. The team includes more than 50 experienced professionals, most with senior-level experience in the life sciences and related industries.