In the dog eat dog world of pharmaceuticals, winning or losing your renewal contract has heavy ramifications. Knowing your customers’ experience and the key decision drivers that keep them coming back is critical when playing at this level, as the competition is fierce, and loyalty is in no way guaranteed.

Knowing your customers’ experience and the key decision drivers that keep them coming back is critical when playing at this level, as the competition is fierce, and loyalty is in no way guaranteed.

We helped a major pharmaceutical company that needed to win that fight come hell or high water. All suspense aside, you already know by the title of this post that they were successful in exploring the voice of their customer to win the deal.

By incorporating a customer experience program, our client successfully renewed a billion dollar contract. Here’s how we helped them do it.

Customer Experience Analysis Saves Renewal Contract

Our client’s primary business is to deliver pharmaceuticals to hospitals and pharmacies. It is a high volume, low margin business, but one that has allowed the client to be in the top of the Fortune 500.

Their prize accounts are IDN (integrated delivery networks), which consists of hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies under one ownership.

To help them with their renewals, they engaged us for a customer experience program. As part of the program, they provided us with multiple contacts within an IDN in California so that we could take an account of the needs of each to assist them in utilizing the Voice of the Buyer program offered at Primary Intelligence.

Understanding What Drives Decision Makers

Most of the contacts provided were managers within the largest hospitals in that IDN. To be thorough, they also included the executive in charge of all pharmacy matters.  We were able to successfully complete comprehensive interviews with five of the contacts, including the executive to gain an understanding of what was driving the critical pre-renewal decision making.

Our client’s contract with this IDN was approaching fast, and these multi-year contracts can be worth more than $1 billion. In the case of this IDN specifically, a three-year contract was in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion.

When these deals go to renewal, anything can happen. The major players all submit bids, and there isn’t a lot of loyalty out there. Just because our client had served the IDN’s needs for a couple of years did not provide much in the way of a guarantee for future business.

Customer Experience Reports Create Action Plans

After the sample had concluded we provided the Customer Experience intelligence reports we gathered via our TruVoice software, conducting a recap of the account by phone, inviting our client’s stakeholders and team members to participate. These events are extremely enlightening, as they make heavy use of quantitative data, qualitative analysis, recorded interviews, and data transcription, tagged for ease of use. This helps illuminate clear paths to action.

A few months later, the program consultant was on-site presenting to their sales and account managers. During this presentation, the consultant asked them about our program and the value that had been realized.

Each of the account managers mentioned that through our efforts, they had been able to see far more deeply into the key decision making of clients, including those they “work with every day.”

What the Big Pharma VP of Marketing Said

The most valuable comments came from their VP of Marketing. In the example he gave, he mentioned that while reading our reports and participating in the Primary Intelligence recap he noticed comments and concerns of a key executive director.

Immediately afterward, he flew out to meet the director. The day after they won the contract, the VP said:

We shared a nice bottle of wine and an Italian meal and talked through all of the issues from our published Customer Experience Analysis debrief. By the time dinner was done, the deal had gone from a competitive renewal to a three-year extension of the current agreement.

Instead of a strategic client’s business being put at risk through an unknown bidding cycle, they were able to keep $1.5 billion in the fold, non-competitively.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 9, 2014, and has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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