GSK’s field reps had long been its source of truth for data on healthcare professionals (HCPs). But when the global biopharma company adopted a new commercial data solution in the U.S., it quickly discovered that its customer reference data was at odds with what reps had provided, and they could not easily correct it. GSK turned to Veeva Align’s Field Feedback feature, which allows field reps to share their territory knowledge in ways that can prevent or correct errors in alignments. In five weeks time, with almost no additional spend, GSK’s sales alignment problem was fixed.
Shaping Align from its early days
GSK was an early adopter of Veeva Align globally and it forged a partnership with Veeva that helped drive the innovation that has become a hallmark of the product. The commercial team took advantage of features, such as relationship-based assignment rules to distribute targets, and CRM user management to easily onboard new hires. Align is used as a collaborative sales planning and execution tool that lets operations teams quickly make territory changes without involving IT; alignments can be made more frequently and flexibly.
“We made an investment in Veeva Align, and we’re pleased that Veeva’s investment in the product has grown. We’re getting more value without an increase in license costs.” Monique Long, Director, Sales Support Services, GSK
The switch to an outside data solution, however, put that speed and agility in jeopardy. The new dataset created an over-alignment based on administrative addresses and not the practice addresses that reps use for calling on HCPs. GSK tried to resolve the over-alignment on its own, but had limited success. That’s when it turned to Align’s Field Feedback, which was already part of its license, to get input from reps that could solve the problem quickly.
“GSK had a business need and Veeva was not only willing to hear our needs but to test things out and, sometimes, let us drive,” says Monique Long, director of sales support services at GSK.
A faster process for alignments
To resolve the over-alignment, GSK notified reps that it would be seeking their input on a new sales alignment, and gave them five days to review it. Using Align Field Feedback, reps identified 66,845 records in the customer reference data that needed to be removed—and they were, almost seamlessly.
“When we have a new alignment to deliver, our reps get an alert through Veeva CRM, a tool that they are already very comfortable using,” says Long. “When they go into Veeva CRM, they see all the details about the new alignment, including channel goals.”
Field Feedback is an embedded user interface within Veeva CRM. So, when reps need to request a change, they simply navigate to the Field Feedback screen, click on the item, select one of the pre-configured reasons for their decision, and submit their changes for manager approval. Any change that a home office has deemed automatically permissible is instantly accepted in Align. Once all changes are approved, the data is pushed to Veeva CRM at the start of the new alignment period.
“GSK had a business need and Veeva was not only willing to hear our needs but to test things out and, sometimes, let us drive.” Monique Long, Director of Sales Support Services, GSK
Faster alignments, improved rep trust
Thanks to Veeva Align, GSK cut the time needed for planning alignments from 90 days down to 30. By giving reps a voice, Field Feedback has also increased the reps’ trust in the data they are given. The company has since run pilots of Field Feedback in other markets, with an eye to a wider rollout globally.
“We made an investment in Veeva Align, and we’re pleased that Veeva’s investment in the product has grown,” says Long. “We’re getting more value without an increase in license costs.”
Craig Hughes, field operations planning manager at GSK, believes that the company can do even more with the new functionality. “In the future,” he says, “we would like to use Align to give the reps the ability to manage their territories more effectively using Align’s built-in multichannel cycle-planning capabilities.”
“We leveraged and got more return on investment that we’ve already put into Veeva…. This makes the case stronger for why we need Veeva” Phil Wellerstein, Director, Field Platform Enablement, GSK
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