Upcoming Webinars

The goal of the PMSA Virtual University is to establish a venue for discussion & collaboration on best practices in analytics, marketing and sales operations.

Members & Account Holders: Click here to access the archived presentations from past webinar sessions.

Non-Members: Please create a free account to access the Virtual University resources.

Improving Targeting and Call Plans with Inclusion of Managed Care and Health System Considerations

Wednesday, May 1, 2019   |   12:00 PM ET
Presenters: Rakeshkumar Shingala, Associate Director, Axtria, and Anuj Sheoran, Senior Manager, Axtria

In order for pharmaceutical companies to achieve favorite formulary position, they are providing more discounts and rebates to payers. In addition, the key account management (KAM) team is also investing significant effort with HS/IDNs for influencing treatment guidelines. Manufacturers must consider the influence of payers and providers on treatment decisions and reconfigure their strategy and operations. The objective of this webinar session is to provide an overview of the HCP scoring and segmentation approach based on payer and IDN influence, and how HCP scoring can be leveraged to optimize call plans.

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Application of Analytical Models in Commercial Deployment and Operations: Current State and Evolving Industry Trends

Wednesday, May 15, 2019   |   12:00 PM ET
Presenters: Vineet Rathi, Principal, Axtria, and Erik Christianson, Director, Axtria

There is a lot of focus and investment in developing multiple analytical models each year by Insights and Analytics (I&A) teams. However, only a select few models are making the cut and being leveraged for translating strategy into actionable deployment. The objective of this webinar session is to provide an overview of various popular analytical models being leveraged across the Pharma Commercial Operations value chain. Additionally, the evolution/emerging industry trends will be addressed.

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Use of AI/ML Techniques in Sales Planning and Operations

Wednesday, May 22, 2019   |   12:00 PM ET
Presenters: Tej Pandey, Lead, Commercial Excellence, Axtria; Ellie Houck, Consultant, Commercial Excellence, Axtria; and Landi Huang, Consultant, Commercial Excellence, Axtria

In the last few years, many companies have started to implement AI/ML practices to elevate user experience. Common examples of AI/ML include movie recommendations on Netflix, self-drive cars from Google, and photo tagging face recognition on Facebook. Pharmaceutical companies are also exploring ways to leverage AI/ML to improve the efficiency of their Operations and Sales teams. For example, AI/ML techniques can be used to perform early-stage error detection during data ingestion processes, leading to significant time and cost reductions. Additionally, AI/ML techniques can be utilized to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of sales representatives by providing them suggestions on next best actions. Throughout this session, we will be covering use cases of advanced AI/ML techniques to help pharmaceutical companies answer three key questions when working on Commercial Operations projects:
  1. How can AI/ML techniques help improve incentive compensation execution?
  2. How can AI/ML assist the sales reps in determining the next best target to call on?
  3. How can AI/ML help with optimizing territory alignments?
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Presenter Bios

Erik Christianson, Director, Axtria, has 15+ years of experience working in the Life Sciences space. At Axtria, Erik is driving end-to-end Commercial Excellence with a focus on SPM systems, sales force alignments, technology platform implementations, IC design, administration and governance.

He has been supporting technology transformations of commercial operations across many therapeutic areas in the Life Sciences including oncology, primary care, specialty and rare disease. He has managed the delivery of commercial ops projects from start to finish, including requirements gathering, software implementations and ongoing administration. He is actively responsible for innovation initiatives for commercial operations systems, technology integrations and the application of AI/ML in the commercial operations process. He is responsible for conducting effective software demonstrations to help companies unlock the value of cloud-based automation for call plan management, alignment maintenance and SPM processing.

Erik also possesses strong Program Management experience with a track record of delivering top quality communication services to the field to drive understanding and motivation through training programs, effective documentation and video creation.


Ellie Houck, Consultant, Commercial Excellence at Axtria, has a variety of project experience in Commercial Operations. Specifically, she has experience in the pharmaceutical domain working on reporting, incentive compensation, targeting, and call planning projects. She is passionate about helping pharmaceutical companies to optimize commercial operations and sales planning through analytics and automated data modeling. Ellie earned her M.S. in Business Management and B.S. in Bioengineering from Lehigh University.


Landi Huang, Consultant, Commercial Excellence at Axtria, is a data-driven consultant with a passion for delivering actionable insights, driving key business decisions. Currently, she is supporting Commercial Operations projects through incentive compensation analysis, goal simulations, and forecasting analysis within the pharmaceutical industry. She also uses her Salesforce expertise to further drive product development. Prior to joining Axtria, Landi used her Data Analytics Master’s Degree from Rutgers University to provide machine learning solutions for the retail, pharmaceutical, and consumer services industries. Her enthusiasm for big data and machine learning allows her to support Axtria’s AI/ML implementation in sales operations.


Tej Pandey, Lead, Commercial Excellence at Axtria, is leading the AI/ML initiative for Axtria’s Commercial Excellence team and is responsible for implementing it across sales operations. He has over nine years of experience working in pharmaceutical sales force operations and incentive compensation, with a key focus on the US markets. He has a deep understanding of incentives and sales performance management solutions. He has led projects on end-to-end sales operations for multiple pharmaceutical companies. He has been working at Axtria for the last 5 years. Before Axtria, he worked at marketRx where he executed incentive compensation projects for many large pharmaceutical companies. Tej holds a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India.


Vineet Rathi, Principal, Axtria has over 15+ years of experience in leading commercial analytics, sales operations and consulting engagements in the Life Sciences domain. At Axtria, Vineet serves as a Principal and is focused on delivering solutions across the Commercial Excellence value chain for Axtria’s clients. Vineet’s functional experience includes sales force effectiveness, alignment design, call planning, incentive compensation management, commercial data governance and reporting. Vineet has worked across primary care, specialty and rare therapeutic areas with a focus on both traditional retail customers and organized customers like integrated delivery networks (IDNs). Vineet has experience in managing PMOs for mid-size to large multi-million-dollar commercial analytics and operations engagements across top US Pharma, which also includes supporting major events of commercial model transformation and sales force restructuring. Vineet has also helped clients establish best practices in data governance and cloud platform based end-to-end commercial operations management.


Anuj Sheoran, Senior Manager, Axtria, brings in 8+ years of experience in consulting, data analytics, and sales operations. He has rich experience in incentive compensation quota setting, call planning, drug sales forecasting, and business intelligence solutions in managed markets. At present, he is working on targeting and call planning for orphan drugs.

In his prior stint at GlobalData, Anuj gained insights into the U.S. pharmaceutical regulatory framework and the various strategies employed in drug life cycle management. He also developed models to assess sales potential of pipeline and branded drugs, and epidemiology based market sizing and forecasting of disease indications.

Anuj holds an integrated first degree - M.S. in Technology from Birla Institute Of Technology & Science, Pilani in India.


Rakeshkumar Shingala, Associate Director, Axtria, has 13+ years of professional experience, working in the areas of Commercial Operations, Managed Markets, business reporting solutions and ad-hoc analytics across top pharmaceutical companies. At Axtria, he has been leading engagements and delivering projects in the space of call planning & incentive compensation across multiple clients.

His last stint was with Cognizant/marketRx, where he was responsible for supporting the Managed Market team in end-to-end strategy development and implementation of several new capabilities. He has extensive experience in requirement gathering, design, development, automation, and delivery of reports for HQ/field users.

Rakesh completed his Master’s degree in Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Nirma Institute India.