Carolyn Zele is a client success advisor at MMIT. After nearly seven years in senior leadership roles at PBM MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc. — where she worked with MMIT products — Zele joined MMIT as one of the first client success leads, pioneering the position in 2016. Zele described how she joined the company, how she tailors solutions for clients and the most challenging parts of her role.
Q: How did you start using MMIT tools while at MedImpact?
A: It’s funny, because I was looking at [a product offered by an MMIT competitor] first, and I thought, I don’t want to just buy the first thing I see. I was running the formulary team [at MedImpact] at the time, but I wanted some competitive analysis. So I actually went to the MMIT website, filled out the little contact form and sent it in, and [Chief Product Officer] Greg [Haskins] is the one who contacted me, and it took off from there. I worked with [MMIT tools] for four years on getting Formulary Navigator ready for the PBM space, floating in all of our [MedImpact] formularies, and using the tool to publish websites. I really loved the technology and the teams that I met.
When I decided that I didn’t want to be in a senior leadership position anymore, I reached out to Greg and asked if there could be a fit [for me at MMIT]. I started out implementing payers into Formulary Navigator, and I just felt I wanted to move over to the challenge of pharmaceutical companies — who knew what I was getting into?
Q: What’s a common issue for clients?
A: Let’s say a client hires a new sales team, and there’s 15 people who think they know what MMIT is, but they’ve never used it. All the training that I provide is use case driven — so how is the end user that I’m talking to going to use and interact with our tools? That is a really important distinction, because when you do navigational training, you can train everyone [in the company] the same exact way, but they may not understand how to use it at the end of the training. A lot of the time, we’re very focused on who’s using the tool, and we want to set up meetings, trainings and demos for each [type of employee]. Sometimes we only get 15 minutes in another meeting for training. You can’t teach anybody navigation in Analytics 3 in 15 minutes, but you can show them one use case in 15 minutes.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: I love solving problems. When I have clients who have a question or think there’s something they don’t like in the data, I love digging deep and helping them solve the problem. I couldn’t imagine myself in a different job at this point.
Q: What are the challenges of your role?
A: You have to be a Jack of all trades. You have to know a little bit of everything. We are a lean organization so we don’t have a lot of people you can tap, so I have to be somewhat of an expert. There’s a lot of improvisation and a lot of evaluating. You have to try to figure out what level of detail everyone you’re working with has the stomach to understand and accept. It’s about understanding who you’re talking to all the time, and being really careful about making sure that you’re still within the boundaries of the job. It’s easy to become too embedded in the client so that they depend on you too much.
Q: What’s been your biggest victory with the company so far?
A: I would say my biggest victory was Amgen. When I took Amgen, we only had one product with them at the time — one class. Over the next year, we added additional classes; now we’re getting ready to add 13 more. At one point, I found out that they were still using [a competitor’s] lives data, and they were trying to reconcile coverage and lives between the two of us. So we said to them, if we prove to you that our lives are more accurate and line up the way you need them to line up, will you switch to our lives everywhere? And they said yes, so we took on the project, and we were able to prove at the end of the day that our lives were more accurate. They started using MMIT lives across all of their brands for the pharmacy benefit, and that to me was a signature moment for MMIT.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I’m a first time-time grandma. I have two new grandbabies — they’re twins! They’re a month old. My husband and I also travel, hike and collect wine. We won’t do much traveling until the babies are a little older. We want to stay close to home and watch them grow up!