The pharmaceutical industry has many sectors and operations connected to it. For a company to be a successful pharmaceutical leader, the entire team must understand its roles and tasks. Every industry has its tasks and objectives, all working together to build a successful product and company.

What are the commercial operations in pharma is a question that many ask. The answer to this can be somewhat complex. Commercial operations consist of the sales and marketing team. The commercial operations will present a product and service to potential clients.

The commercial team will work hard to ensure that the best-suited customers can find the product or service created for them. Companies depend heavily on the results of commercial operations.

Why Should Companies Introduce Commercial Operations In Pharma?

Creating a product and clearing the FDA process is a difficult task. The company will spend months on end trying to pass these tests to ensure the safety of the product and the customers that will use it.

The entire process is well-spent if customers are interested in buying the product. Commercial operations can advertise and market the product to potential customers.

Without the sales and market team, the company will have the drug stocked at the warehouse, yet no sales to ensure the product’s release and use. The team will have insight into the clinical trials and patient outcomes, increasing commercial organizations’ accuracy. 

By investing in a strong sales and marketing team, the company will have the customers ready and waiting to purchase the product when it is accepted by FDA and released by the company.

What Are The Components of Commercial Operations in Pharma

Commercial operations have components and sectors to ensure the entire system functions professionally. These components are critical; with a part, commercial operations will succeed.

After COVID-19, change was critical for any internal pharma company. The entire business model had to change to adapt to the pandemic. The challenge for pharma companies stretches far and wide and includes the incorporation of commercial operations. 

Marketing and Sales Strategy

The marketing aims to find an action plan allowing the pharma team to advertise the product directly to the potential customer. The pharma sales reps will create a plan to ensure customers buy and rebuy the company’s products. A marketing and sales meeting will ensure that the two teams have the same strategy or incorporate strategies at hand.

Market Research and Analysis

The marketing team of the pharma company must conduct in-depth research on the market they want to enter. This means that they must evaluate the need for the product and identify key role players and companies already within the market.

This will allow the team to take a different product marketing approach. They will be able to identify whether the competitors are using effective marketing. The team will have the time to adjust their strategy to ensure maximum reach of the product.

Product Positioning and Branding

Identification and product positioning are two key factors that will have a massive impact on the product’s success. The marketing team must develop a strong brand for the company and the product. The product will be an extension of the brand; thus, ensuring a strong label that can be identified is of utmost importance.

Product positioning refers to where the product will be displayed. The positioning will determine the target market. The team will have to position the product in such a way that it stands out among the competitors.

Target Audience Identification

Businesses must remember to identify and clarify their target audience. This can lead to companies creating products that no customer wants or needs. The team must first identify the customer before starting a product.

This customer identification will allow the team to create a product that a target audience needs. This means the product has potential buyers for a high-quality drug due to their needs and wants. This process can make or break the entire marketing strategy; thus, adequate time to identify the target market is crucial.

Sales Forecasting and Goal Setting

Sales forecasting is when sales and marketing calculate an estimate of sales that will occur within a specific period. This is important because it will determine a set operation system and the sales strategies the team will use to ensure that these sales are reached or surpassed.

The team should focus on setting achievable goals throughout the process. Goals will drive the team members to complete the necessary tasks to push sales and increase effective marketing. Setting goals will motivate the team and produce highly productive team members.

A strong sales team will not ensure that the pharma company’s commercial operations feel the impact of sales. The team’s informed decisions on their quarterly sales will determine the effort’s outcome.

Product Launch and Lifecycle Management

This process within the entire system is where all the foundations are tested. The product launch and lifecycle is when the product is placed in the pharma world, where people and customers can experience and purchase the product. Either once off or regularly.

Pre-launch Activities

Pre-launch is all the tasks and activities that must be completed before the product’s release. This will build some excitement among the target audience, which can lead to them informing others. This will usually boost sales and builds a broader audience.

Some companies take the time to create a checklist to ensure that all the activities and tasks are completed. This will ensure that the team will have their pre-launch ready and that every possible problem has a solution ready.

Companies must use an event to ensure that the product launch is met with the successful event that the audience awaits. The pharmaceutical drug launch will allow the team to inform the attendees and answer some questions they might have about the product or the company.

Here are some tips that any company can use to ensure a successful product launch of their drugs.

Go-to-market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy is the step-by-step process the team will use to bring the product to the audience. This process will ensure the team has a system to market and display the products. The target audience can identify, experience, and purchase the product through the go-to strategy.

The go-to strategy can have many forms. Many choose to use a product launch or an event to provide the team with the platform to educate and inform the audience as the product is released. Other pharma companies want a silent release and see if the product marketing is strong enough to draw the predetermined sales.

Salesforce Training and Deployment

A strong salesforce can sell the product to the target audience. Without a trained team, sales can decrease, and the company will run the product at a loss. Thus educating and training the team’s ability to sell the drug is paramount.

The training can include product or drug training to ensure the team can produce the correct information for the audience. The team can be trained in closing deals and interacting with potential customers to ensure the salesforce has the knowledge to increase sales.

Post-launch Monitoring and Optimization

Post-launch monitoring and optimization will play a critical role in the continued development of the product and the company. The post-meeting evaluation will give the team the audience’s faults or negative experiences.

The team will receive feedback from the audience and the product users, which will then be used to upgrade and improve the product. The team will reduce the negative feedback until the product is optimized.

Distribution and Supply Chain Management

Pharmaceutical companies have to find a sustainable chain and a reasonable distribution strategy. The distribution strategy will include finding stores holding the drug the company created. This will allow customers to find the product at their local drugstore. Customers cannot ship or call the company to place an order but can purchase it at their local store. This will increase not only sales but customer satisfaction as well.

Supply chain management will ensure the product supply chain is safe, cost and time effective. This will ensure that the company still spends enough money to produce a profit. The supply chain will produce the product, bottle it and ship it to the distributors. Managing this chain will enhance its effectiveness.

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Key Account Management

The relationship between the pharmaceutical company and the customer is significant. This will dictate the sales, the advertising, and the use of the product. Thus keeping this relationship healthy is of utmost importance. The team must find a strategy to keep all their relationships healthy. This includes the relationship between the distributor, manufacturers, and the FDA.

Data Analytics and Performance Measurement

Continued development of the product and the strategies for selling it is critical. The team must use data analytics to evaluate the marketing performance, sales, and product. This evaluation will allow the team to identify issues or underperforming areas.

When the performance is measured, the team must find creative and innovative ways to improve the problem areas. By improving the issues, the team will build a strategy and process that can be used for any product or service they want to sell.

Role of Commercial Operations in Pharma Companies

Commercial operations will bridge the gap between the company and its potential customers and distributors. A product will be only helpful if the customers can experience it.

Commercial operations will take the product to the market. The marketing team will advertise and market the product, while the sales team will close the deals and ensure the target audience purchases the product. This will lead to the success of the product and the company itself.


What Does Commercial Mean in Pharma?

Commercial refers to the sales and marketing team of the company. These two teams will ensure that the target audience has the opportunity to witness the need for the product, which will ensure that they purchase the product as it will improve their life.

What Is The Commercialization of Drug Products?

The commercialization of a drug product means the company will take the product to the target audience. Customers can purchase and experience the product due to its availability on the market. This will only be possible due to the commercialization of the drug.

Final Thoughts

Creating and manufacturing a drug will take time and energy. The company must find reliable resources and fight through FDA approval. However, this will be helpful if the company has strong pharma commercial operations.

The pharma commercial operations team will ensure the target audience sees and purchases the product. They will use set strategies to ensure that the product reaches the target market and perform well enough to produce more of the product. They are increasing the sales and the production of the drug. Commercial operations can have a significant impact on the company. Thus, investing in a strong team will only set a strong foundation for commercial operations and the entire business.

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.