In a recent Pharmagin blog post, we discussed the compliance challenges around speaker management – do your systems allow you to be sure speaker training, contracts, honoraria caps are handled correctly? In our continuing study of compliance-related issues, now we ask – Are Your Sales Operations Compliant? Here are a few of the key questions to ask yourself:
How do you know when you are close to or have exceeded the budget allocation?
When a Sales Rep requests a new meeting, they’ll enter all sorts of information about the attendees, venue, location, special requirements and so on. But if we’re nearing the end of a quarter, how do they or their managers know if there is remaining budget available for this program? Do they have to manually review the total allocated budget compared to the spending in the period to date? This can give rise to all sorts of issues. A sophisticated platform like Pharmagin stops these problems from happening at all – it offers easily accessible reporting on allocated vs spent budget, and an immediate warning if a new program is going to exceed the remaining available budget for the period.
Can budgets be easily tracked by Region/District/Territory? For a brand? For a program type?
Considering overall allocated budget is one thing, but of course it’s equally important for a local team to know how much budget is remaining in their particular area. Similarly managers will need to know what the spend vs allocation looks like at a brand level, or for different types of programs. With all that in mind, your speaker program management systems must have robust, in-depth budget control. If they allow program requests to occur without automatically checking against budget balances, that is simply storing up potential trouble that will have to be retrospectively resolved at great time and expense to your resources.
What happens when you exceed the budget?
From time to time, inevitably there will be miscalculations and requested programs will exceed the available budget. If you’re manually keeping track of your programs and spending, or using technology that is not tailored for the life sciences space, then this can cause unnecessary headaches. At the least it will need a flurry of emails resulting either in budget reallocation or meeting cancellation. This could uncover further issues, for example if the Sales Rep has engaged one or more speakers thinking there is budget for the program when there isn’t. Again, a system like Pharmagin will ensure that this problem never occurs in the first place, as you won’t exceed budget.
How are reallocations and reorganizations handled?
Speaking of budget reallocation, how easy is that to accomplish with your current workflows? There are many reasons during the course of a fiscal period that budgets will need to be moved around by managers. We fairly regularly encounter a client need to reorganize sales teams, either for new product launches or simply to drive improved efficiency. We see that regions, Districts and Territories are regularly realigned, sales team organizations rarely stay static for long. Budget allocations may also fluctuate over time within or between regions, based on sales trends or shifting corporate priorities. These changes can prove a real challenge if it involves multiple independent tracking sheets or systems, across multiple teams. Does your existing technology make it easy to stay on top of these changes: to easily make structural changes to your team or reassign personnel, then to automatically calculate the resulting budget balances in the new setup?
All of these challenges are minimized by using a robust, tailored life sciences solution like Pharmagin. Our platform performs automatic checks for available budget allocation before a new program request is even completed, and flags any potential issues. It also provides comprehensive reporting on budget on all relevant dimensions, and includes flexible admin tools for any mid-period changes that may be needed. So if you’re wondering Are Your Sales Operations Compliant, perhaps you’d like to hear more about what the Pharmagin system can do – contact us for a no-obligation demo now.