‘If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’
This paraphrase of the Law of the Hammer, attributed to both Abraham Maslow and Abraham Kaplan, references the habit that individuals have to adapt the situation around them to the tools they have on hand.
It is typical for medical devices, diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies to develop core value dossiers, which, in principle, are a compilation of the technical, clinical and economic data around a certain product. Ideally, core value dossiers are adapted to reflect local needs, support reimbursement applications and receive constant updates to integrate the latest evidence and materials.
Like ValueConnected, many companies offer services to develop and deploy core value dossiers. Companies urge the importance of having a core value dossier, but, in practice, most do not know exactly why.
So Much Effort…
One of the biggest assumptions companies make is that a core value dossier will be used by sales teams to extract the right information at the right time to demonstrate value to decision-makers.
In reality, as explained in our article Teams, Not Tools, Communicate Value, not all members of commercial teams are willing to talk about the value of medical products. In fact, sales teams are under constant pressure to generate sales and every minute counts to achieve their goals. A busy mind will likely follow the known and common path towards its goal.
Unfortunately, many market access specialists and firms still believe that deploying an extensive core value dossier will solve the sales problem, or that everyone in the commercial teams will read it.
It is hard to quantify the several benefits apps and other electronic tools have brought to our lives. Therefore, it would not be a bad idea to apply the same concept and create “electronic value dossiers”, or “digital value dossiers”.
Imagine a sales person, about to enter a meeting, who accesses their tablet and downloads the latest material available based on the core value dossier; like magic. Problem is, to create that magical experience, you require a magician.
Typically, electronic value dossiers fail due to lack of accountability of who will keep the platform updated and push its use within the teams. An idea that starts logically and beautiful is left aside and replaced by the day-to-day routine.
Not long ago, I saw a magical, jaw-dropping platform that included all possible materials about a certain product, however, we had to click everywhere before we could obtain the information we wanted.
As great as the platform seemed, it appeared that the latest materials on it were from 2010. The magic of the platform was not being used and nobody seemed to care about it.
Quick, Easy, Simple
Truth is, a core value dossier is not needed for most interactions with decision-makers. Of course, there are specific reimbursement or funding application processes that require a systematic approach to organize the information and under these circumstances, a value dossier is simply invaluable.
However, teams cannot afford a systematic process to extract simple information and address questions from decision-makers. Core value dossiers were created for complexity, not simplification.
There are other simpler and more advanced methods to categorize data specifically to address certain needs, like a basic value package. Based on our experience, although these tools cannot be standardize for everyone, their adoption by teams is significantly higher, because they have the information needed for the intended value message. Nothing more, nothing less.
This article will certainly not satisfy everyone, so there should be no problem to include one final comment.
Imagine a F1 racing team. A mechanic is an important team member, but cannot teach a pilot how to drive. Likewise, the pilot is not trained to fix the suspension of a racing car.
In our healthcare race, technical teams do not know exactly what commercial teams need. How can you know what the market needs if you are not out there?
Instead of forcing core value dossiers on all teams, companies should work with commercial professionals to develop simple value messages in “commercial language” that drive business and address questions easily.
Are core value dossiers important? Absolutely.
Do we all need them? Certainly not.
What is your opinion about core value dossiers? Would you like to know more about alternatives to it? Tell us at [email protected] and stay tuned in this newsletter. There is more to come on that!