Digital Collaboration – the catalyst for commercial success in life science organizations
The life science industry is a complex and ever-evolving field, with organizations developing innovative solutions to address global health challenges.
From drug discovery to clinical trials then on to sales and post marketing surveillance (PMS) efforts, collaboration is essential for success. This blog post will explore the importance of collaboration in life science organizations from the development of a drug or medical device to its sale.
Life science organizations are responsible for researching, developing, and commercializing drugs and therapies that can help improve patient outcomes. Essentially, the entire life of a human can be changed from discovering a cure to drugs and medical devices being developed that help with everyday life.
This includes pain management, facilitating better care and communication, improving mental health, diagnosing, and treating diseases and preventing death. The challenge to accommodate all these patient outcomes is enormous and often prioritized due to most commercial value since discoveries take year, if not decades, to come about and cost billions of dollars.
The challenge of collaboration
Cross-functional collaboration can be challenging. The discovery of a drug can take anywhere between 10-15 years and, the number on people involved from the scientists, clinical trial volunteers and onto the PMS and field sales teams can be in the thousands.
Life science organizations typically include pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, medical device manufacturers, research institutes, universities, and government agencies. These organizations and the teams within them are geographically disparate with their processes and information stored in any number of systems and apps that are inaccessible to all the right people.
To maximize their impact on human health outcomes, these organizations must come together to collaborate not only at the R&D and clinical trial stages, but through to sales and PMS.
When your teams are using outdated information because it hasn’t been stored or shared effectively, you risk:
- The product or device being taken off the market
- Your organization’s reputation, and
- Most critically, endangering patients.
Bridging the collaboration gap
It’s important to understand how each department can work together to overcome challenges they may face and create a successful working relationship using digital tools that work for all.
Sales teams are responsible for driving revenue and closing deals, while scientists focus on research and development. Both departments must come together to ensure that products are developed with customer needs in mind and that commercial goals are met. This means scientists sharing new scientific research and reports relevant to the sale of products and, the sales and PMS teams providing on the ground feedback vital to improving the performance of the drug or medical device.
In order for this collaboration to be commercially successful, it’s important to foster a culture of collaboration, communication, and trust between departments. Digital tools that provide a single source of truth (SSOT) can be the bridge you need to close the collaboration gap.
By bridging the collaboration gaps across the value chain, you will help enable the evolution of a modern, digitally nimble workforce - particularly with field reps. You will also become much more efficient and productive as you encourage agile practices. This allows life science organizations to invest more time and resource into additional innovative, lifesaving R&D initiatives that have perhaps not had as much attention.
Single source of truth
A digital SSOT can help you intuitively and securely store, manage, and share content that is produced throughout the product lifecycle. Whist enabling you to build better connections with your team, you will also showcase professionalism when sales teams engage with healthcare providers during detailing.
Having an SSOT that contains you research, reports and promotional materials is a useful tool for detailing and field teams. They can access these documents from anywhere, be updated with the latest information and see narrative added by scientists which aid in explaining and persuading health care professionals to prescribe the drug or device.
Additionally, e-detailing is becoming more commonplace. Although e-detailing isn’t taking over traditional e-detailing just yet, it provides an extra avenue of communication for teams and healthcare professionals to utilize.
By building relationships face-to-face and through digital tools, you are creating greater rapport and trust. Your sales teams appear professional and well-informed when they have the answers at the fingertips. Having to constantly wait for or go in search of answers to questions your potential buyers have may make you look uninformed and inexperienced, damaging your organizations credibility.
An SSOT will also aid in your PMS activities which begin as soon as you start commercializing. Collecting and storing this information in a central platform will streamline the process and create a robust feedback-loop.
Creating this feedback-loop provides the most current information and data to each team in the value chain which is an invaluable asset. Having your information in an SSOT can expedite the time it takes to gather information from a wide range of sources, enabling you to:
- Evaluate findings faster
- Improving safety and efficacy
- Comply with regulations
- Be audit-ready
- Saving time and money for the company
- Put patient safety at the heart of your activities.
The pursuit of excellence
Digital collaboration plays an integral role in driving innovation within life science organizations, from R&D through to sales. It can be the catalyst that allows for greater market reach and increased product awareness among potential customers.
When in the pursuit of excellence, a digital collaboration may very well be the leg up your life science organization need. You are able to present new and effective ways to engage each party, actively access information quickly and present the results immediately; all whilst running the race to commercial success.
By digitally leveraging internal and external collaboration with global teams, partners, and stakeholders, it is possible for life sciences companies to excel beyond expectations. You can gain access to new resources, better quality information and a higher standard of data while also reducing costs associated with drug development processes such as clinical trials, sales methodology and PMS.
The digital collaboration path to success
An SSOT which enables you to collaborate efficiently, store extensive documents, share promotional materials and automatically audit all activities encourages an ethical mindset. This mindset is crucial throughout the long process of drug and medical device development; establishing you as a trustworthy company to do business with.
Collaboration between science and sales teams is no doubt an essential component for success in the life sciences industry. By fostering a culture of controlled collaboration, communication, trust, and respect between each department, partner and stakeholder, organizations can ensure that they are able to meet their goals while providing customers with products that meet their needs.
With the right strategies and collaborative tools in place, life science organizations can create an environment where collaboration leads them down the path towards success!
Find out more about Ideagen's digital collaboration tools and how we support the industry.Find out more