In a recent conversation with a client, a CEO lamented the stark contrast between the present and a year ago. Twelve months prior, their facilities were booked solid for half a year, and they were contemplating a move to new premises to accommodate burgeoning demand. Fast forward to today, and they’re still in their old location, with room to spare for new projects. The CEO’s question was simple yet piercing: “Why aren’t we booking as many sales meetings as we used to?”
This isn’t an isolated incident; it’s symptomatic of broader shifts in the biopharma landscape. So, let’s dissect the problem and explore what we’re doing to adapt.
The State of the Biopharma Sector: A Snapshot
First, let’s consider the macro trends. On the one hand, you have companies like 2seventy bio and iSpecimen slashing their workforce by 40% and 20%, respectively. Inflation and drug pricing are emerging as formidable barriers to growth. On the other hand, there’s a silver lining: ROME Therapeutics recently closed a $72M Series B, and the Massachusetts biopharma workforce grew by nearly 7% in 2022. The sector is not monolithic; it’s a patchwork of triumphs and tribulations.
The Ground Reality: What We’re Hearing
Our outreach efforts offer us a unique vantage point. We’ve heard biopharma employees say, “This is my last day here; collaboration talks are moot.” Others mention a strategic shift to focus solely on clinical programs, sidelining preclinical efforts. And then there’s the ubiquitous “no longer with the company” response.
The Digital Deluge: A New Challenge
Post-pandemic, the business world has migrated online, leading to a deluge of digital communication. Hugh Geiger’s observation on LinkedIn encapsulates this well: “Hyper-scalable spambots are coming. Abandon your email and turn off your phone.” The sheer volume of emails and calls has made it increasingly difficult to capture attention, let alone engage in meaningful dialogue.
The Confluence of Trends and Challenges
When you overlay industry-specific trends with universal challenges like digital overload, the picture becomes clear. We’re navigating a complex maze, but it’s not a dead-end. There’s a way out, and it involves adaptation, resilience, and innovation.
Our Adaptive Strategies
- Per-Meeting Model: We’ve stuck to our per-meeting pricing structure, ensuring you only pay for meetings that actually materialize.
- Email Refinement: We’re in a constant cycle of improving our email content to make it not just relevant but also easy to read and act upon.
- Alternative Engagement Channels: We’re not putting all our eggs in the email basket. LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important in our outreach strategy.
- Smarter Contact Identification: We’re honing our algorithms to identify the most promising contacts, focusing on those who are most likely to benefit from our clients’ offerings.
- Prioritized Outreach: We’re strategically reaching out to biopharma companies that are making significant progress in their programs, as they’re more likely to require vendor services.
So, what are you doing to not just survive but thrive in this intricate landscape? The challenges are formidable, but they’re not insurmountable. It’s a test of our collective ingenuity and resilience, and I’m optimistic that we’ll emerge stronger on the other side.