Prof. Lere Baale, CEO, Business School Netherlands Nigeria, has urged all pharmacists and non pharmacists across the country to join the newly launched pharmaceutical group called Society for Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing of Nigeria (SPSM), saying it will help in no mean measure in honing their sales and marketing skills.
He stressed the need for pharmacists to have deep understanding of sales and marketing, which will enhance their ability in differentiating between selling and marketing, though often misunderstood by many, but has subtle difference.
Baale was the keynote speaker at the official launch of SPSM on Wednesday, a hybrid event, which was graced by other eminent pharmacists, such as Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, Pharmanews publisher; Pharm. Tunde Oyeniran, president, SPSM; Pharm. Gbenga Falabi, national secretary, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Pharm. IG Anukwu, COO Alpha Pharmacy and Stores Ltd, among others.
The keynote speaker highlighted the difference in sales and marketing saying marketing is all about getting people interested in your company’s products and services, while sales is specifically about selling those products and services.
Sales and marketing should be aligned, he said, as they shared same system of communication, strategy and goals that enable marketing and sales to operate as a unified organisation. He added that there is a need for teams to work together so that they can deliver impact in market activities, boost sales effectiveness and ultimately grow revenue.
“Historically, sales and marketing have worked in ‘silos’- that is to say, segmented one another. Marketing would own the top of the funnel and sales would own the bottom. Organisations must now approach alignment as a necessary key factor of delivering a seamless customer experience,” he added.
Pharmacists must also be aware of what marketing does for sale, he quipped, noting that in a tightly aligned organisation, marketers focus on guiding buyers through the early stages of buyers’ journey in preparation for engagement with sellers later on. Once deal is closed, many organisations will also continue to market in order to deliver additional solution value.
“Which means that to support sales, marketing must educate buyers, nurture and qualify leads, provide competitive intelligence, influence the market and consistently engage customers.
Through these actions, marketing supports sales by ensuring that buyers are educated, interested and engaged, as one is more likely to start, or continue, doing business with them”, he stated.
As a pharmacist cum business man, Baale noted what the top major marketing priorities should be, he said one must generate more leads/demands, also convert leads to customers/ revenue, from there align sales and marketing, and also understand the return on investment of marketing activities and lastly reducing the cost acquisition.
Pharm. Falabi, commended the efforts of Pharm. Oyeniran, in making the programme a fruitful and eventful one. He also appreciated Prof. Baale for taking the participants through a business world.
“This 45 minutes lecture took me two weeks to learn from a university in Boston, and it must not be taken for granted. I sincerely thank you Prof.
“This association will help to foster sales and marketing in the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, as the group is ready to collaborate in order to increase membership. People should feel free to join the association”, he urged.
The convener of the programme and President SPSM, Oyeniran, said: “The pharma sector is faced with many challenges which include inadequate knowledge, poor ethics and lack of integrity among stakeholders, credit giving sales and indebtedness by government. Being on this platform will help to fight all these inadequacies”.
Pharm. Charles Ekokotu, product manager, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals, earlier on appreciated everyone who was present at the event, as the contributed to the success of the programme.