Reps rate sales forces

July 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

Pfizer, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb top the list of companies with the most effective sales forces according to a new study profiling pharmaceutical sales representatives and the factors that motivate them.

Pfizer, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb top the list of companies with the most effective sales forces according to a new study profiling pharmaceutical sales representatives and the factors that motivate them.

According to the Scott-Levin study, "Sales Force Productivity and Effectiveness 2000," the top three companies also had the three largest sales forces as of the fourth quarter of 1999. Some companies' rankings outstripped their size, though: Glaxo Wellcome, rated fourth, had the eighth-largest sales force; Eli Lilly and Co. (rated no. 6) had the 10th largest; Schering (rated no. 7) had the 16th largest; and Parke-Davis (rated no. 10) had the 13th largest sales force.

Pfizer and Merck repeated their 1998 rankings; Pfizer received 25% of the 2,125 total mentions by respondents.

Other highlights of the study:


•Â Approximately 62% of respondents said their companies' total compensation package had "a lot" of impact on their motivation, while 30% said compensation had "quite a bit" of impact.


•Â Overall, respondents said base salary represented 75% of compensation. The rest came in the form of incentives such as bonuses and stock options.


•Â An overwhelming majority - 95% of the more than 700 reps surveyed - said the quality of their companies' products was either "very" or "extremely" important to both their motivation and their ability to succeed in the marketplace.


•Â Most (65%) said they were "very" or "extremely" well-informed about products in their companies' pipelines, but 28% felt only "somewhat" informed, and 7% felt "not very" or "not at all" informed.


•Â The overwhelming majority said their management communicated responsibilities "very clearly" (49%) or "extremely clearly" (41%).

Demographic info

The report also included new demographic information on sales reps and how they work. It showed significant variations among companies in call lists and promotion requirements, quotas achieved, compensation and job satisfaction.

Some demographic findings from the report included:


• The average respondent had spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry and seven with his or her current employer.


• Most (89%) said their companies established daily promotion requirements for reps. The average number of daily calls required was eight. Reps were expected to detail more than two products per call.


• Reps detailing office-based physicians said they spent an average of almost six minutes per detail. That was two minutes more than many said they were required to spend.


• More than 30% of respondents said they were required to call on nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

More information on the report is posted on the Internet at www.scottlevin.com. PR

Related Content:

News