With the ever-increasing pressure to ensure maximum return on investment, Sales Force Effectiveness is becoming a high priority area. A Sales Force represents the largest spend in sales and marketing and is second only to Research and Development within the whole of a company. Yet, similar to R & D, study after study shows that the returns gained from this spend are not particularly strong.
Research by Novartis shows, despite the fact that the top 40 Pharmaceutical companies in the US doubled their investment in Sales Force over the past 5 years, prescriptions only rose by 15% in the corresponding time period. Research by IBM concurred with this result and found that every dollar spent on Sales Force generates just $10.30 in sales. This represents a 22% drop in return since 1996.
Generally, there has been an industry-wide decrease in productivity per Sales Representative, down 24% since 1996. In addition, the Sales Representatives that are hired are low in age, output and skill. Reps face a highly competitive field, with recent figures showing a field of 90,000 Reps competing for 650,000 Physicians - only 125,000 of whom are top tier prospects. A rapidly expanding Sales Force with rapidly decreasing productivity results in an approximate 18% turnover each year.
Fortunately, the concept that ‘size sells’ is largely beginning to be abandoned across the Pharmaceutical Industry. Many Sales Managers are turning their attention to increasing the effectiveness of the Sales Force, rather than the size.
In this report, we examine Sales Force Effectiveness in the Pharmaceutical Industry. We analyze current metrics and their limitations, in focus and in measuring Sales Force Effectiveness, for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Then we discuss appropriate metrics to solve these problems, and demonstrate implementation methods and issues.