Case Studies:

Biotechnology Company Evaluates Role Design and Optimal Sizing for KOLM

coverSituation: While preparing for a highly-anticipated product launch into a new marketplace, a leading global biotechnology company determined that using Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) was critical to impacting post-launch uptake. As well-respected practioners, KOLs have the ability to influence other physicians through their usage of and discussion about a particular product. The company had a role designed to interact with KOLs, the Key Opinion Leader Manager (KOLM), but it was unclear how well-suited the existing role was for the new marketplace. The role had evolved over time, therefore sales leaders wished to validate critical KOLM activities as well as to review sizing alternatives to reach the desired KOL population.

Challenge: Given its importance to achieving a successful product launch, the Company sought to understand different launch scenarios and size the KOLM role accordingly. Leadership required a dynamic model to facilitate real-time discussions with multiple internal stakeholder groups. These senior-level meetings determined critical tradeoffs impacting the size, focus and “reach” of the KOLM team.

Solution: The Alexander Group conducted a comprehensive fact-finding effort that included field and management interviews, a web-based productivity study and field accompaniments with current KOLMs. The productivity study enabled AGI to systemically quantify where KOLMs spent their time across different departments and call points. Using insights from the fact-finding efforts, AGI designed and facilitated stakeholder working sessions to validate KOLM priorities and understand model requirements. We then created a dynamic trade-off model with inputs unique to each KOLM team and product group. The model acted as a real-time service level agreement (SLA) that codified expectations and outcomes for all stakeholders. Alexander Group ensured maximum benefit for our client by creating an end-user guide and supporting the testing, rollout and use of the model.

Benefit: The Company’s new dynamic trade-off model played a vital role in vetting and testing post-launch resource levels and capacity. The product allowed for efficient, fact-based hypothesis testing and decision-making. Built-in flexibility meant the model remained relevant even as business priorities and/or market characteristics changed.

“Alexander Group’s team was (as always) very pleasant, knowledgeable and competent. I say pleasant first, because how they interact is more important than their raw knowledge and intellect (which they have).”
– KOLM Leader and Project Sponsor

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