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Indegene

Biopharmaceutical Hybrid
Go-To-Market Model Trends

This study’s goal is to assess how pharmaceutical industry experts are implementing hybrid go-to-market models. The results of this survey enable marketing, sales, and commercial operations leaders to better understand and plan for the current challenges and coming trends in the industry based on peer-driven insights. It empowers them with practical recommendations to clarify internal definitions of hybrid which can lead to greater alignment, to engage in agile planning that makes it possible to leverage both internal teams and partnerships effectively, and to pursue building domain knowledge that will drive improved customer and market impact.
100 leaders across marketing, sales, and commercial operations functions participated in this study conducted between April 27, 2023 and May 12, 2023. Indegene designed the survey, and it was administered by GLG Research. The results were analyzed by Indegene. Some survey questions included multiple selection options, so totals do not always add up to 100.
Demographics
Which of the below best describes your regional responsibility?
This study shows that 80% of industry leaders indicate that decisions happen most often at the brand level, while 79% indicate the same for the country level. Leaders also shared that decisions are rarely made at the regional level. Biopharma companies with an annual revenue under $1 billion, showed a similar pattern as the larger data set with the brand level selected as the number 1 level for commercial decisions and the country level as the second most likely level where commercial decisions are made.
What are your top three commercialization priorities over the next 3 years?
Launching new products successfully is far and away the focus of leaders, with 39% of respondents listing it as their number one priority. The top 3 priorities of industry leaders highlight the emphasis they put on launching and selling, but it also highlights the continually emerging focus on CX across the industry. Companies consistently ranked launch success as the number one priority with 36% of companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, 37% with revenue between $1 and $20 billion, and 39% of companies with revenue above $20 billion all ranking it as their number 1 priority, Having more revenue in the US led to a higher prioritization of launch success. Only 14% of companies with less than 25% of their revenue in the US listed launch success as their number 1 priority, while 26% with revenue between 20 and 50% ranked it as number 1. 47% of companies with revenue between 50 and 75% in the US and 50% with more than 75% of revenue in the US ranked launch success as their number 1 priority.
What are the top three ways you are building out your organization’s omnichannel capabilities?
Based on leader responses, companies are aggressively employing a wide variety of tactics to implement omnichannel capabilities. Leaders are focused on building a data-driven culture and adopting technology as the key priorities for progressing their omnichannel capabilities. Training is by far the lowest priority for leaders developing their omnichannel capabilities, however, only 13 percentage points separate the top category and the second to last. 25% of companies based solely in the EU or global companies with EU as their primary market ranked partnering with service providers as the number 1 way they are looking to build out omnichannel capabilities. Building a culture of data-driven decision making and building an omnichannel COE tied for the second priority for 17% of EU or EU-centric companies.
What are your top three motivations for deploying a hybrid model?
In the face of ongoing challenges to HCP access, leaders cited improving access as a top motivation to transition to a hybrid model. 24% of respondents ranked it as their top priority, and an overwhelming 59% ranked it as a top 1, 2, or 3 priority. In addition to improving access to HCPs, respondents indicated a high priority for taking advantage of HCP preferences with 15% ranking it as their number 1 priority, and 46% ranking it as a priority overall.
While customer experience was a top commercialization priority, 53% of leaders also prioritized customer experience as a motivation for deploying a hybrid model. Companies operating primarily in the US ranked enhancing customer experiences much higher than EU companies with 20% ranking it as their number 1 motivation, 10% ranking it as their second motivation, and 22% ranking it as their third motivation. For EU and EU-focused companies, only 5% ranked it as their number 1 motivation, with 17% ranking it as their second and third motivations.
Actionable results seem to be more of a driver than corporate mandate or FOMO, with very few respondents citing those as reasons for deploying a hybrid model.
What challenges do you face with deploying a hybrid model?
Deploying a hybrid model can be challenging, and industry professionals ranked data availability, integrity, and actionability as a significant challenge they face. 22% indicated that it was their number 1 challenge, and another 32% ranked it as their number 2 or 3 challenge. In line with the quantitative nature of data, demonstrating marketing ROI and attribution was also a significant challenge that was ranked as the number 1 challenge by 19% of leaders. Perception was ranked in the top half of challenges, with 11% listing it as their number 1 challenge. This may point to significant hesitation to adopt a hybrid model.
Although data was the number 1 challenge for the complete set of companies, for companies with revenue under $1 billion, lack of mandate to support change was the primary challenge with 27% ranking it number 1. And while data availability was the number 1 challenge overall, lack of technology or service providers was not a significant challenge for most respondents.
Which of the following best describes what a hybrid commercial model means in your company?
25%
Field sales reps using rep-triggered digital channels to engage HCPs
23%
Field sales reps using HQ-driven digital channels to engage HCPs
19%
Field sales reps meeting HCPs already primed with digital channels
15%
Field sales reps and digital channels engaging HCPs independently
11%
Field sales, field medical, and field access working together as a pod
6%
Supporting field sales with an inside sales force and RTE and other rep-triggered tools
There is a common understanding of the difference between omnichannel and multichannel across my company. Would you agree?
To what degree is the hybrid commercial model defined and assessed as a mandate across your company?
What is omnichannel?
Definitions for omnichannel varied widely indicating that the definition is still evolving across the industry. 16% of commercial leaders defined omnichannel using words such as connected, integrated, and journey with a focus on orchestrated touchpoints across coordinated channels that factor in HCP preferences and behaviors. 25% defined omnichannel with words such as marketing, multiple, different, and platforms with a focus on a using a variety of channels to connect with HCPs. 25% of definitions contained both elements of disparate channels as well as seamless integration or orchestration indicating that there is flexibility around the definition in the industry.
Just as customer service featured prominently as a priority for commercialization and deploying a hybrid model, 17% of the definitions focused on customer experience. 8% of the definitions focused on concepts such as brand awareness, durability, and connecting all the customers. Only 3% of the definitions mentioned technology.
What is the sense of urgency to evolve your company’s commercial model?
21% of commercial leaders answered that it was a very high priority to evolve their current commercial model, while 72% indicated that it was a somewhat high priority. Only 7% indicated their urgency for evolving their commercial model was low.
Urgency varied across company revenue. For companies with revenue over $20 billion, 31% rated their urgency to evolve their commercial model as very high and 69% rated it as somewhat high. 0% rated it somewhat low or very low. For companies between $1 and $20 billion, 13% rated their urgency very high, 80% rated it somewhat high, 7% rated it somewhat low, and 0% very low. For companies with revenue under $1 billion, 27% rated their urgency very high, but only 45% rated it somewhat high, while 9% rated it somewhat low, and 18% rated it very low.
Leaders at companies with the majority of their business in the EU or US also indicated different levels of urgency for evolving their commercial model. For companies in the EU or global companies with the majority of their business in the EU, 22% rated their urgency very high and 78% rated it somewhat high. 0% of EU-focused companies rated it somewhat low or very low. While companies in the US or US-focused, 20% considered their urgency to be very high, 54% considered it somewhat high, 8% considered it somewhat low, and 3% consider it very low.
How many dimensions do you use when segmenting HCPs?
Segmenting by 2-5 dimensions is the most common response with 33% saying they almost always or mostly use 2-5 dimensions to segment their target HCP audiences. Despite the importance of segmenting for targeted campaigns, 15% of respondents list that they often do not use segmentation
How has your field sales strategy changed in the past two years?
Leaders’ answers indicate that the way companies coordinate their digital channels and reps in a hybrid model varies widely across the industry. 40% of leaders indicated that they use digital to enable and inform reps while 16% divide the channels more clearly using reps to reach targeted territories and deploying digital strategies to expand HCP reach in whitespace. 5% of companies have reduced their field force efforts without supplementing them with digital efforts.
Do you consider your field sales reps as a part of your omnichannel mix?
Commercial leaders overwhelmingly consider field reps to be a part of their omnichannel mix. Across all companies, regardless of revenue, 91% considered field reps as a channel. For EU-focused companies, 98% consider reps to be part of their omnichannel mix, while for US-focused companies, only 86% consider reps to be a channel.
Do you measure digital channels’ impact, relative to field sales reps in your company?
When measuring the impact of a promotional campaign, 26% of commercial leaders rely on different metrics to measure digital and in-person interactions. 73% of commercial leaders, however, measure the relative impact of a digital channel to a field sales rep interaction using an attribution model.
Annual revenue greatly impacted the likelihood of measuring the relative success of digital channels and reps using an attribution model with only 55% of companies under $1 billion using an attribution model. 75% of companies with revenue between $1 billion and $20 billion and 85% of companies over $20 billion in annual revenue cited using an attribution model.
Which of the following ways do you leverage customer insights from HQ-directed digital and marketing campaigns to inform your field sales reps’ focus, call plan and messaging?
A slight majority of commercial leaders, 51%, leverage their customer insights by sharing broad category insights with field sales reps on a regular basis. 21% of commercial leaders collect and share HCP individual-level customer insights with the field reps. A quarter of the commercial leaders collect customer insights, but they do not share them with their field force.
The way industry leaders report how they leverage customer insights varies based on company revnue. For companies with an annual revenue over $20 billion, 29% do not share insights at all while only 18% share them at an individual level. For companies between $1 and $20 billion in annual revenue, 24% do not share insights and 24% share them at an individual level. For companies with an annual revenue under $1 billion, 18% do not share insights and 18% share them at an individual level.
How is your budget allocated between digital strategies and field sales reps now, and how do you expect it to be allocated in three years?
On average, sales reps currently receive the majority of the budget at 56%, while digital campaigns currently receive 25% of the budget. In the next three years, commercial leaders are expecting on average to allocate 35% of their budget to digital channels, while reducing the sales rep budget to 45%. Inside sales is also expected to increase slightly by 1% on average over the next three years.
What KPIs do you use to measure the impact of your commercial model?
87% of respondents measure the effectiveness of their commercialization model based on revenue. The top four metrics for measuring the success of a commercialization model were centered on sales and included revenue, market share, profitability, and total prescriptions. Although customer experience was a priority for leaders looking for deploy a hybrid model, when it comes to measuring success of that model, customer experience is in the bottom half of the list.
While all companies cited revenue most often as the KPI they use to measure, there was some variation in the top 5 KPIs cited based on annual revenue. For companies with an annual revenue over $20 billion, the rankings were slightly different than the larger set with 91% citing revenue as a KPI, 82% citing market share, 68% citing prescriptions, 55% citing profitability, and 53% citing share of voice. Companies between $1 and $20 billion, 84% cited revenue as a KPI, 76% cited market share, 73% cited profitability, while only 56% cited prescriptions, and 36% cited customer experience. Companies with an annual revenue under $1 billion 91% cited revenue, 80% cited prescriptions, 70% cited profitability, 60% cited customer lifetime value, and 50% cited market share.
How confident are you that your existing commercial model is set up well to achieve your goals?
Despite the desire and urgency to evolve their GTM model, commercialization leaders are overwhelmingly confident that their current GTM model is set up for success. 25% of commercial leaders are very confident, and 65% are somewhat confident, but only 3% of commercial leaders are not confident that their current GTM model will be successful.
There was some variation in confidence based on annual revenue and geography. Companies with an annual revenue over $20 billion, 29% were very confident, 38% were somewhat confident, 6% were neutral, and 3% were not confident. Companies between $1 and $20 billion, 20% were very confident, 71% were somewhat confident, 5% were neutral, and 4% were not confident. For companies with an annual revenue under $1 billion, 36% were very confident, 45% were somewhat confident, and 18% neutral, and 0% were not confident.
For EU-centric companies, 29% were very confident, 69% were somewhat confident, 2% were neutral, and 0% were not confident. For US-centric companies, 22%, were very confident, 63% were somewhat confident, 10% were neutral, and 5% were not confident.
Implications for Industry Leaders

There are many ways for sales, marketing, and commercial operations leaders to work toward creating and deploying more effective and efficient hybrid go-to-market-models.

“Omnichannel” is still being defined and there is variability in understanding across internal teams. Simplify language and terms where possible so that everyone is clear and aligned when it comes time to operationalize.

Launch success is critical, and it is important to avoid waiting until launch to try something for the first time. Actively sponsor omnichannel learning sessions and market tests so that when launch arrives, there is a strong basis of understanding and knowledge to apply for launch success.
Establishing an internal “learning agenda” for omnichannel is key to learning, adapting and leading.
With the increase in channels, including the rep as a channel, it is critical to intentionally coordinate and synchronize to gain maximum impact. This will require a higher level of integrated and agile planning across internal teams and partners/agencies than is “standard” today.
When leading omnichannel campaigns and building support internally, tie performance measures to revenue and market share rather than softer KPIs like “engagement” to drive alignment with the broader organizational goals.
Given future prediction of a much more balanced investment across inside sales, digital and F2F reps over the next 3 years, take steps today to build domain knowledge in working together across all three to drive improved customer and market impact.

Authors

Nancy Phelan
Nancy Phelan
Milesh Gogad
Milesh Gogad
Brooke Anderson
Brooke Anderson

Insights to build #FutureReadyHealthcare