For the past 346 years, people around the world have trusted Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany with their most personal asset: their health. The Germany-based pharmaceutical company has kept a close focus on its millions of customers throughout the years, innovating countless medical treatments. Today, Merck KGaA must innovate more rapidly than ever before — and Salesforce is at the center of that innovation. According to Dorothea Wenzel, SVP of Global Business Franchise Fertility, “Relationships between physicians and patients have become too technical. The personal element has gotten lost over time. This is where we see the clear potential of Salesforce to help facilitate this exchange again.” Merck KGaA sees the potential for one-to-one healthcare that mirrors the personal attention patients would have received in old-fashioned pharmacies, but on a digital scale. Thanks to a perfect storm of technology, new business models, data, and cloud computing, Merck KGaA is building a customized experience for every patient.
“With Salesforce, our physicians deliver better interactions on every front.”
Consumers today can access more information about health and medicine than was possible 10 or even five years ago. According to Wenzel, “The patient is more empowered today. Patients are taking a more active role in their own health.”
Merck KGaA’s traditional model of selling pharmaceuticals to hospitals or physicians instead of to patients was outdated. Merck KGaA needed a new way to communicate directly with consumers to drive the most sales.
Mark Dawson, VP, global head of Marketing, Sales & eBusiness, elaborates, “Our traditional indirect selling model is no longer sufficient to be competitive in the market. We need to ensure that we are actually starting to communicate directly to consumers.”
EMD Millipore, the life science business of Merck KGaA, has been able to get products to consumers faster than ever before with Sales Cloud. “Now we can build on a story that started on our website or on a mobile device — maybe a day back, maybe an hour back, or maybe a couple months back. Now we can connect the dots, continuing that dialogue and showing we really care, since Salesforce enables our sales reps to do just that,” says Christian Stuppy, director, Global Marketing & Sales Domain Architect.
EMD Millipore uses Sales Cloud to centralize all customer data so that leads, contacts, and accounts are in one place. That helped the division build a new lead to order (LTO) process that revolutionized sales. LTO requires understanding customer needs, putting together engineering drawings, and formally completing a quote — which used to take weeks or even months. Now, with the help of Sales Cloud, EMD Millipore sales reps can generate direct quotes in a matter of hours.
Increased sales efficiency has changed the game, allowing EMD Millipore to help consumers get vital products in record time. Stuppy explains, “Salesforce makes us smarter — and smarter means better for our customers.”
Merck KGaA has the delicate task of selling products for sensitive issues like fertility, MS, and diabetes to name a few. To treat these personal matters with the utmost respect, privacy, and compassion, Merck KGaA designs tailored customer journeys.
Since Marketing Cloud integrates with Sales Cloud, there’s a seamless flow of lead and contact information from marketing to sales. For example, global sales and marketing teams can build lasting relationships with universities, hospitals, and research centers by inviting them to attend webinars and events.
Merck KGaA can then customize landing pages to collect relevant information and segment its customers for one-to-one follow-up phone calls or marketing emails. Everyone is on the same page — so Merck KGaA can ensure a great journey for every customer.
“Customers today choose companies that provide the best customer experience. And building a customer journey is our way of doing that,” says Stuppy.
Dawson agrees: “For the first time in our 346-year history, we are able to create one-to-one relationships with the consumers of our products.”
When dealing with sensitive health issues, Community Cloud also steps in. Customer communities help patients work through their health questions and concerns. For instance, a couple looking into fertility options can enter a community to read FAQs, connect with other couples, discover expert articles, and even schedule doctor appointments; they are in control of their own journey. “By giving customers a forum to open up and ask questions, we help them make important decisions and gain their trust,” says Wenzel.
It’s all about more effectively connecting patients with their health providers. To that end, Merck KGaA is also using Salesforce Salesforce Platform to build apps that facilitate better patient-doctor exchanges to connect initially and between appointments. “With Salesforce, our physicians deliver better interactions on every front,” Wenzel affirms.
What’s next for Merck KGaA? Whether it’s steps tracked on a Fitbit or heart rate data from an Apple Watch, Merck KGaA foresees that patients will decide to share wearable data with physicians to improve their journeys. The company is hard at work discovering how to improve patients’ lives and serve them more holistically with wearables data and analytics. “We all know that there’s an explosion of data. Wearables technology will create an explosion of biometrics-related data. We are looking for ways that we can help our patients improve their health using Salesforce,” says Dawson. Merck KGaA uses Analytics Cloud to pull richer insights about its customers. This helps to focus efforts on customers highest priorities. Analytics Cloud will be key to help Merck KGaA apply predictive intelligence to wearables data, helping doctors anticipate future health issues and plan treatments in advance. This is the future of Merck KGaA’s business and the future of healthcare. “Analytics Cloud is a wonderful opportunity to deliver smart productivity,” says James Stewart, EVP & Group CIO. The Salesforce Customer Success Platform is positioning Merck KGaA for an exciting future. Every step the company is taking — from accelerating processes and creating dynamic communities, to building powerful apps that help patients lead healthier lives — is helping Merck KGaA deliver innovative solutions to customers more quickly. Wenzel reiterates that Merck KGaA’s partnership with Salesforce has been critical to ongoing success: “What we’re envisioning with Salesforce is really a revolution in medicine. This is what made the company successful in the first place, and this is what still makes the company successful today — and what will make the company successful tomorrow.”