Survey Prescribes PDAs for Pharma Field Reps; Results Demonstrate that Handheld Access to Corporate Systems Improves Return on CRM Investment and Increases Sales Productivity
HAYWARD, Calif., Oct. 22, 2002 -- A recent survey has found that although pharmaceutical sales representatives value the corporate information systems supplied by their companies, key information is not always accessible when they need it most. According to the survey, conducted by AvantGo, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVGO), the leading provider of mobile enterprise software, despite the automation of many systems, sales representatives are still spending almost a day a week on administration.
The survey, which targeted pharmaceutical sales representatives and sales managers in the UK, showed that:
-- Only 25% of representatives feel that vital information is readily available to them when needed, despite more than 60% having some on the road access to feedback reports.
-- Only 15% are able to access the resources available via their corporate intranet 'on demand.'
-- An average of 1-2 hours each day is spent completing administration and call reports--the equivalent of nearly a day a week.
Not surprisingly, the majority of representatives felt that the volume of administration was the most significant barrier coming between them and their customers on a day-to-day basis.
In spite of the exciting possibilities that mobile solutions offer pharmaceutical sales forces for improved field data quality, just 15% of sales representatives surveyed are currently able to access and input work-related information via a personal digital assistant (PDA).
Handheld solutions offer the attractive prospect of allowing representatives to prepare for a call in physicians' waiting rooms and complete reports immediately after their meetings. This direct, quality data can then be fed back to corporate headquarters at the end of each day and each representative can complete administrative requirements in less time and with greater accuracy. The more accurately and frequently data is reported, the better-equipped corporate headquarters is to plan effectively and maximize sales force efficiency.
The survey found mixed opinions of current sales force automation (SFA) and electronic territory management systems (ETMS). While sales representatives valued the range of information available to them, they access these systems on average just two to three times each week, often to fulfill company access requirements. Reasons for low levels of usage include the difficulty of logging on while on the road and the inconvenience of carrying a laptop to meetings. Only 32% of sales managers described themselves as 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with the systems currently in use by their representatives.
Given the opportunity, representatives would like to be able to access sales and customer information (59%), optimize schedules (55%) and share information with others in the field (51%) via a PDA. The sales representatives surveyed felt that the major advantages of being able to do this would be reducing the amount of time spent completing administration requirements and enhancing customer service through increased on-the-spot access to information.
Both representatives and managers agreed that a handheld solution could improve the quality of data collected from the field--an important consideration both for companies investing millions in customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which depend on effective data capture, and for time-pressed representatives striving to meet performance targets.
"Implementing a handheld sales solution is the logical next step for companies that have invested in CRM solutions, but are experiencing low user adoption," said Ojas Rege, vice president of Applications at AvantGo and author of the whitepaper 'Driving Market Share with Mobile Detailing.' "Handheld solutions deliver real value to field reps, pushing adoption and improving the quality and quantity of information. As a result, a handheld solution can increase the ROI of that existing CRM solution."
This survey was conducted by AvantGo in conjunction with PharmaField (Pf) magazine during September and October 2002.
AvantGo, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVGO) is the leading provider of mobile enterprise software. AvantGo solutions automate business processes and improve the exchange of information between companies and their employees and customers, resulting in improved business efficiencies and more effective customer interactions. AvantGo solutions include the best-of-breed mobile software platform for creating and deploying enterprise applications, proven customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), field force automation (FFA) and personal information management (PIM) mobile business applications, and professional services to assist in the strategy, design and delivery of end-to-end mobile solutions. AvantGo's customers, which include 28 of the Fortune 100 and over 2,500 companies in 50 countries, include McKesson Corp., Ford Motor Co., Cisco Systems, FedEx, Scottish Power, The US Senate, Tyco, Harvard Medical School, American Express, The World Economic Forum, BG Group, plc., Genencor and Alcatel. For more information, please visit www.avantgo.com.
Except for historical information, all of the expectations and assumptions contained in the foregoing are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the accuracy of the survey results, the extent to which mobile solutions offer increased access to corporate systems to improve customer relationship management, reduce admin and increase sales productivity. For additional information regarding these and other risks associated with the companies' business, refer to the companies' latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.
AvantGo, AvantGo Enterprise, AvantGo M-Business Server, AvantGo Mobile Sales, AvantGo Mobile Delivery, AvantGo Mobile Pharma, AvantGo Mobile Inspection, Dynamic Mobility Model and the AvantGo logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of AvantGo in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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