In autumn 2002, the country manager of Organon France was asking himself if Dolphin, the pharmaceutical firm's customer relationship management (CRM) system, was generating the types of results hoped for. As in most Western countries, the relationship between its sales representatives and physicians was changing rapidly. Organon was the first drugs maker in the country to implement a physician-focussed CRM system, and its impact both internally and on client relationships was exceedingly hard to predict.
But communications with physicians is very tightly regulated in France, even though the average medical sales rep can easily visit up to 1,000 doctors a year. Organon had both less resources than its many much larger rivals, and less experience in dealing with family practitioners, rather than specialists. It was no exaggeration to feel that Dolphin could either make or break Organon France to a very large degree
Professor of Marketing Reinhard Angelmar studied Organon France during a period of critical change in the domestic market. The corporation's top product globally, an antidepressant, had traditionally played a minor role in its French sales. But the government was about to boost the allowed number of all types of generic medicines available on the national market, and the antidepressant seemed to have the potential to become a "cash cow" for the firm.