SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

February 28, 2011 09:16 ET

Pharma's Specialty and Hospital Sales Forces Target 10%-20% Growth

Contractions Abate as Specialty and Niche Medicines Drive Growth, Says Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - February 28, 2011) - Biopharmaceutical sales forces focused on specialists and hospitals are looking to grow by roughly 10%-20% in the next two years, according to a new study by Cutting Edge Information.

Years of contraction cut thousands of reps from industry rosters, but highly targeted sales groups have ridden out the storm -- and are poised to build momentum.

According to the report, "Specialty and Hospital Sales Force Management," 53% of hospital sales forces and 30% of specialty forces intend to expand, while only 5% plan any cutbacks. A handful of sales teams even plan to double in size.

"This news is a positive sign of recovery for the pharmaceutical sales arena," said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information. "One effect of contraction is sales force 'right-sizing' to reach an appropriate number of personnel. Fortunately, many specialty and hospital forces were already close to the right size."

That means that instead of bunkering and cost-cutting, those groups have remained focused on building physician relationships and determining how to navigate a new healthcare landscape.

Understanding how such developments affect the nuts and bolts of sales management remains a key challenge, especially as changes in healthcare regulation drive alterations to sales force headcounts, compensation and training.

To address these issues, the study examines sales management metrics, including total budgets and investment per rep, staffing ratios and sales force effectiveness data. It also explores best practices and tools for overcoming obstacles to physician access, including e-Detailing.

Altogether, the findings offer a profile for the next generation of specialty and hospital sales reps.

"The sales world is changing quickly," Richardson said. "Companies actively seek reps who have the business acumen to handle complex hospital systems, or who can partner with office staff to address questions of coverage and reimbursement."

Richardson added that Cutting Edge Information developed this study to determine how specialty and hospital forces are preparing for these changes. Its benchmarks and best practices guide teams focused toward specific objectives:

  • Boosting performance with sales call metrics and training benchmarks
  • Building or adjusting headcounts, territories and rep-to-management staffing ratios
  • Attracting talent with competitive compensation for all experience and performance levels

Visit the report website for more details:

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