Reckitt produces and distributes an extensive range of over-the-counter healthcare products and items in both its original home market of Europe and its expanding North American presence. Commanding a broad portfolio of dozens of different OTC pharmaceutical and consumer items, its health and hygiene products have an established presence in homes and hospitals alike. Before connecting with Axiom, the company’s pharmaceutical US sales team primarily focused on direct outreach to healthcare providers (HCPs) with little regard to how many prescriptions and recommendations those doctors provided.
A combination of factors led to stagnation of sales growth and a lack of access to additional healthcare market segments worth up to at least $47 million. The difficulty of obtaining access to sources of additional value, specifically large institutional hospital systems and certain HCPs, led to a prioritization of lower-value targets among field sales teams.
Connecting with Axiom Consulting Partners (‘Axiom’) via a trusted referral, Reckitt’s team found immediate satisfaction in the highly hands-on nature of the Axiom team. Focusing on understanding the current Reckitt sales methodologies and long-term goals, Axiom developed a comprehensive plan based on extensive information gathering, data science, and analysis.
Axiom identified an initial need to understand the mechanics of Reckitt’s sales model from top to bottom. It was essential to see where the existing go-to-market strategy fell short while examining the market and broader trends.
Axiom collected additional data on market segmentation, sales channels, HCP geographic information, prescription, unit and sales/profit data, and targeting, conducting density and territory analysis on hospital networks in the United States to identify valuable target areas. Axiom’s deep familiarity with pharmaceutical data sources enabled a focus on deep analyses of the data. Reckitt’s operations team saved hundreds of hours they would typically spend explaining the data and its format to other consultants. “Axiom was very hands-on and very engaged,” said Tammy Kaiser, head of medical sales and medical marketing for Reckitt. “The team collected a lot of information and asked a lot of questions before providing output.”
Using these insights, Axiom developed a clear story to tell about the current state of the business and where the company should direct its efforts. This step was critical for buy-in from key executives and building trust between the Axiom and Reckitt teams. “The analytics Axiom provided were fundamental to telling the story of what we aimed to do, which was essential both for our company leadership and our sales force,” Kaiser added.
Without consistent inroads into hospital distribution channels, opportunities to capitalize on a $47m market segment were left untouched. To penetrate this market, Axiom first identified the most valuable hospital systems to target via a comprehensive analysis of population density, area demographics, and historical sales and prescription data. This data ultimately produced a target list of 500 hospital networks comprising about 5,000 institutions.
With this information, Axiom recommended using experienced reps to create a new sales team explicitly focused on this market segment. Further, Axiom developed a clear road map towards eliminating redundancy, developing a career path within the sales team, and applying the new sales target methodologies to other segments.
Nearly 90% of the client’s US medical sales revenue stems from one product. Before Axiom’s involvement, the sales team’s time and attention were frequently diluted by the uneven promotion of nearly half a dozen products to different HCP audiences. Unclear and inefficient sales targets contributed to a strategy that left value on the table. Reckitt wished to improve representative impact and effectiveness without undertaking additional hiring.
Axiom, therefore, developed a unique scoring methodology ranking the value of HCPs to better align with strategic priorities and enable improved targeting of specific products. At the same time, this process built in the flexibility reps needed to target the most valuable opportunities and use their local knowledge to maximize impact.
With a continuous rollout and a focus on long-term improvements, Reckitt continues to gather data about the effectiveness of its collaboration with Axiom. Early numbers indicate marked improvements as more reps transition into the new sales model and outreach efforts continue.
The collaborative efforts between Axiom and Reckitt produced numerous changes that represented a notable departure from the prior status quo. By providing big data insights into key aspects of the company’s performance and developing extensive roadmaps, the HCP sales teams have a clear plan to engage the mechanisms for growth once again.
As a result of its partnership with Axiom, Reckitt and its US sales division have begun seeing the first tangible results from its re-targeting and overhauled engagement models. Most importantly, these teams gained insight into highly valuable analytics, creating a smooth process for achieving buy-in across management and sales workforces. With growing coverage of more valuable HCPs and, by extension, a much larger number of patients, the stage is set for long-term revenue growth and refinement of a once-stagnated division.