Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - IMS Sales Environment Supplement - February 2008 - (Page 4)

Rules of Engagement Facilitating a necessary change in the pharma sales force involves more than merely superficial adjustments, explain Anthony Morton-Small and David Ziedman. t is now generally accepted that the sales force arms race has come to an end and that the pharmaceutical sales model needs to change. Yet, understanding how it should change in the future, knowing how to facilitate that change, and determining the impact of that process on the organisation still eludes most companies. Many have taken the approach of simply cutting back resources and re-labeling some representative roles as ‘account managers’, only making the most superficial of adjustments to their operating models. More far-reaching solutions are needed. Complexity arises from the fact that there is no single ‘new model’ solution; the right sales model has to be selected to fit each organisation’s situation. Pharmaceutical companies usually face at least one, if not more, of three common issues that trigger an urgent need for a sales model restructure. Some find themselves in the difficult situation of suffering from all three simultaneously: 1. Country environments that are undergoing radical changes in the economic mindset, funding pressures and regulatory complexities of healthcare, as currently seen in most European countries. In these markets, sales force effectiveness of traditional representativeoriented selling is rapidly diminishing, and characterised by a breakdown in the relationship between share of voice and sales results. I 2. A fundamental shift in portfolio structure. Because of changes in the types of products emerging from R&D pipelines, many companies are operating in new market segments involving therapeutic environments that are quite unlike those previously experienced and where the stakeholders are very different. For instance, some are moving from predominantly selling in primary care to entering specialist markets as they launch new products in areas such as oncology. Others are for the first time entering the primary care sector, having previously gained strong experience in selling in the hospital and specialist markets. These companies face the complex task of building and supporting new franchises in multiple therapy areas whilst also managing their existing product portfolios. 3. A requirement to significantly alter the company’s cost base to maintain profitability. Typically, leading products may have gone off-patent, sales force productivity could be declining, or there may be poor R&D productivity. As a result, many companies can no longer afford to keep adding sales reps, and because their cost base is unsustainable, they must cut back across the board. There are probably only a few pharma companies among the top ten that do not currently suffer from this problem. 4 FEBRUARY 2008 SALES ENVIRONMENT

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - IMS Sales Environment Supplement - February 2008

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - February 2008
Sales Force
Commercialisation Models

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - IMS Sales Environment Supplement - February 2008