BusinessDay

SPSM platform launched to reform Nigeria’s pharmaceutical marketplace

The Society for Pharmaceutical Sales and Market (SPSM) has debuted in the Nigerian market to help in reforming the country’s pharmaceutical market place while addressing challenges in the industry.

The newly launched group has created a marketing and sales model that will enable the country’s pharmaceutical industry to sell its products effectively, create new opportunities and generate greater customer loyalty across the healthcare spectrum while recognising the interdependence of the pharmaceutical and healthcare value chain.

Tunde Oyeniran, president and chairman of council SPSM said during the public presentation of SPSM in Lagos that simple idea of the group is providing a single and unifying platform for all and every sales and marketing practitioner in Nigeria’s pharma space, irrespective of educational background.

According to him, the platform is to enable us to interact, network, share ideas and best practices, discuss common problems, challenges and opportunities thereby developing best practices and professionalism.

“Indeed, the pharma sector is faced with many challenges of inadequate knowledge, poor ethics and lack of integrity by some sections of stakeholders, credit-driven sales and indebtedness by government institutions and agencies worsen the situation which we believe SPSM can contribute to solving either alone, or in cooperation and collaboration with other stakeholders,” Oyeniran said.

“We have spoken to many pharmaceutical industries – leaders: C-level/senior managers, past leaders, importers, local and multinationals as well as indigenous manufacturers. And the consensus is that we have a gap to fill and a veritable role to play, starting with transforming willing reps, area sales managers, business development managers, product/brand managers, marketing managers, national sales managers, among others into thorough-bred professionals,” he said.

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He called for the support and commitment of all stakeholders in the country’s pharmaceutical industry.

Also, Lere Baale, CEO, Business School Netherlands Nigeria, in his keynote address spoke on aligning sales and marketing functions for optimizing business performance.

“One good definition is that marketing is all about getting people interested in your company’s products and services, while sales is specifically about selling those products and services.”

“Pharmacists must be aware of what marketing does for sale. Understanding the difference between selling and marketing is tricky because the difference between the two is subtle, however, it is necessary for an organisation to have both sales and marketing departments,” he said.

Speaking further Baale, said sales and marketing should be aligned, as they shared the same system of communication, strategy, and goals that enable marketing and sales to operate as a unified organisation.

“Overcoming sales and marketing misalignment is necessary to secure long-term success. However, working together, aligned teams can deliver high-impact marketing activities, boost sales effectiveness, and ultimately grow revenue.

Adding that historically, sales and marketing have worked in ‘silos’ — segmented from one another, noting that “marketing owns the top of the funnel and sales owns the bottom.”

Commended the efforts of Pharm, IG Anukwu, CEO Alpha Pharmacy, and Stores Ltd, said the SPSM is an opportunity for huge networking especially for the young ones who have joined the profession.

“We believe this group will help train members in sales and marketing and when the value is given to the society, the society has arrived,” he said.