Changing the Face of Pharma Sales with AI

September 15, 2021
Changing the Face of Pharma Sales with AI

This article was originally published on Pharmaceutical Technology on May 7, 2021 by Chloe Kent

Using artificial intelligence (AI), pharmaceutical sales platform ODAIA is attempting to change the way pharma sales reps approach their work. Pharmaceutical Technology sat down with the company to learn more about how its platform works and the successes it has seen so far.

Covid-19 has forced pharmaceutical salespeople out of the office and on to Zoom, a drastic change to the in-person meetings with clinicians that reps have traditionally relied on. This move, artificial intelligence (AI) company ODAIA estimates, has cost them access to 80% of their customer base – but AI could be the key to getting pharma sales teams back on their feet.

Founded in 2018, ODAIA has developed an AI-powered platform called Maptual, designed to expedite pharma sales. The platform uses data analytics, process mining and machine learning to analyze customer touchpoints and provide real-time personalized insight into their actions, all with the intent of boosting commercial success.

While the company only started engaging with its first large pharmaceutical client at the end of 2019, interest in the product surged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

ODAIA co-founder and CEO Philip Poulidis says: “In the second half of 2020 we were inundated with return calls from everyone we’d reached out to, primarily because our tool really helps them in accelerating their digital initiatives. When they found themselves sitting on Zoom, planning and access to data became so much more relevant to them.”

How does Maptual work and who is it for?

Maptual users have access to data streams covering healthcare provider engagement, patient support programmes, claims data, prescription data, physician-authored publications, as well as population demographic information within specific regions. The AI then crunches the data to provide users with specific insights into their customer base, to help their make smarter sales by targeting physicians more effectively.

Poulidis says: “There are two types of users that we have on our platform; back office, and the field force. The back office team typically consists of either commercial operations, brand teams, or omni-channel marketing teams and the user experience is very simple. It’s akin to a dashboard or a command centre, linking datasets from across different places. The AI goes off and does its magic and comes back with actionable insights and predictive analytics.

“That can then deliver a user experience directly to the field force, which is used by pharma reps. They have their own command centre where they can have a single view of all the activity that takes place between sales, marketing, omni-channel, their customer. Our predictive model tells them which physicians they should be targeting, so that we can help them get the right therapeutics to the right patients at the right time.”

While it cannot disclose specific details about its customers, ODAIA says it is now working with three of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies by revenue, as well as a few other mid-size pharma companies on the platform.

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