SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

February 27, 2008 07:28 ET

Most IVD Companies Utilize CSOs to Maintain Lean and Versatile Sales Organizations

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - February 27, 2008) - Only one IVD company surveyed in a recent study by Cutting Edge Information receives more sales support from internal staff than external staff. The report, "In Vitro Diagnostics: Development Through Postmarket" (, explores trends in diagnostic's development and marketing.

The majority of participating IVD companies field sales teams of 20 or less, including both internal and external staff. Limited resources provide the main reason for slim sales teams. Yet, the nature of diagnostic sales also contributes to the small teams. Because many diagnostic companies sell to a few large purchasing organizations or hospitals, the number of contacts and people contacting potential clients, are limited.

The small sales teams precipitate a minimally layered sales management structure. Most often, a vice president of sales oversees all operations, while there are only a few divisional managers who are aligned by geographic or therapeutic area and are responsible for as little as five sales reps at any one time. For most surveyed companies, the external staff either equals or exceeds in number the internal staff.

According to Eric Bolesh, lead author on the report, the heavy reliance on contract reps stems from diagnostic companies generally being small and marketing only a few products to a limited number of buyers. "Rather than tie up significant resources in the maintenance of a large sales team, companies take advantage of CSOs through temporary agreements at key times in their products' lives. So, at the launch of a product, they have the sales support necessary without a long-term commitment."

"In Vitro Diagnostics: Development Through Postmarket" ( also contains benchmarks for each stage of the commercialization process, including product development, launch marketing and postmarket management. Highlights include the following:

--  Investments in marketing, research & development, and manufacturing
--  Reimbursement staffing levels and budgets
--  Staff investments in marketing, sales and postmarket monitoring
--  Sales hiring and training best practices
--  Profiles of IVD brands

The report offers insights into the unique challenges that IVD product teams confront and provides recommendations on how to maximize product development resources and opportunities.

Download a free summary of "In Vitro Diagnostics: Development Through Postmarket" or purchase the report at

Contact Information