Pharmaceutical Outsourced Sales Solutions

Quick Summary

Sales Partnerships offers direct outsourced pharma sales teams that can provide best of breed solutions to its pharmaceutical partners. If companies need sales representatives but are unable to increase permanent headcounts, we can provide effective outsourced options.

Sales headcount in the US has declined the past few years from over 100,000 down to between 60,000 and 65,000 as a result of the recession, blockbuster medicines going off patent and downsizing. Around 11 percent of that force is outsourced but that percentage figures to grow. To compare, a third of European pharma reps work in an outsourced capacity. Look for US operations to follow suit as cost control and flexibility becomes critical to the long-term survival of pharma players.

As a contract sales organization (CSO), Sales Partnerships differentiates itself as a player who can tackle market access in ways that only a sales-focused CSO can.

Changes in practice level decision making, regulatory changes in how sales organizations engage MD’s and the three-decade in the making growth of generics as a force in the revenue mix, all require pharma reps who are,

  • talented communicators
  • knowledgeable in products and therapeutic regimens
  • understand the way modern medical organizations make decisions

Sales force effectiveness and account management skills are what will separate a quota-bearing or superstar rep from under-performers.

Direct Outsourced Model vs. Value Added Resellers (VAR)

Our sweet spot is in providing branded, direct sales teams with an option for the client to buy-out the team at the end of the contract. It’s a way to develop internal resources in a more effective manner while preserving your brand equity.

The direct model has several advantages to using VAR’s.

Clients typically view using VAR’s as being “free”. But to actually get performance, VAR’s have to be managed, by an internal resource. A direct outsourced model provides that oversight as part of the ongoing maintenance fee.

Secondly, VAR’s can also offer a false sense of security. Coverage of a territory does not equal revenue. Effectiveness matters especially in the climate of reduced physician access and growing influence of payers. An outsourced team is easier to coach and keep focused since it is representing your lines exclusively. If considering a VAR, we encourage you to plan out the specific incentives and collateral you will need to offer to a distributor and account for those costs in analyzing the full cost of ownership.

Who will manage the the VAR? Ensure compliance? Who will manage quality control in the field? What incentives will they offer to avoid getting buried “in the bag”? And will the cost of all these outweigh the “free” incentive of using a VAR.

We’ve had corporate clients, who had channel managers assigned to entire VAR groups that made no revenue. Not a single one was active. Just like an outside sales rep needs to be managed through metrics in order to be effective, VAR’s have to be as well.

VAR’s also are more interested in their customer’s interest (hospitals and doctors offices) than yours.. In a direct model we represent you. VAR’s are mercenary and routinely switch to more profitable products that suit their main customer. In a direct model, you get brand exposure and sales team loyalty. Our loyalty is to you.

We preserve and enhance the brand and help build the customer’s client base, not our own. And there is still a huge incentive for us. Unlike many pharma contract sales organizations, we don’t charge a “set and forget” monthly fee. All of our engagements include performance incentives tied to the outcome and sales you need to grow.

The truth is, at a 30% cost of sale, we can outperform reselling channels, and usually by a substantial margin. Our direct outsourced model manages quality, reps are focused on your products and are armed with scientifically superior sales training. This is what moves the revenue needle.

Pharma Companies are Looking Beyond the “More Reps on the Street = More Revenue” Formula

Emphasizing sales per rep and ability to understand practice wide decision making, are new priorities in being successful. This makes managing the sales team by tier, critical to increasing sales per rep. Tactics we use to help our teams improve include:

  • Making sure qualified reps are calling on the right tier
  • Efficient pay structure and job task matching which keeps people in challenging but rewarding roles
  • Field sales technology designed for the needs of the rep, first and foremost

Our IT competencies drive a lot of what we can do in the pharma space. Targeted lead lists, scheduling by historical availability, tier level and seasonal order patterns all help the sales process evolve over time. We help you understand these analytics and turn them into tactics of value.

Your outsourced sales team doesn’t have to be an arms-length channel, either. We can work on a contract basis for maximum flexibility or we can work with you on building the sales channel and transitioning the sales asset back into your internal structure. This is an excellent option if you want a firm deliverable. Read more about this type of engagement.

The disrupting elements that have arisen in the pharma commercial model, means opportunities to gain by approaching your markets in new ways.

We’d be glad to schedule a time to discuss your sales plan and offer some new approaches to help you succeed.