We all know that in sales, the outcomes you get are the outcomes you incent. This is especially important for large field forces such as pharma, where a very large number of influencers are being targeted and sales compensation is computed based on terabytes of external data! Good incentive compensation (IC) plans combined with well administered execution can motivate the sales force and drive the right behaviors to align with corporate goals. But how do we know if the measures we’ve selected contribute to an intelligent incentive plan design?
Pharmaceutical companies spend a substantial amount of money on sales & marketing (S&M). One recent article noted the top 10 pharma companies spent $98.3 billion on S&M in 20131. Internal pharma company commercial operations units (skill center functions that support and connect S&M) spend substantial time and resources along with their consulting company partners to measure the return on investment (ROI) and effectiveness of S&M spending. Likewise, academic marketing scholars have also focused a great deal of attention researching the life sciences (encompassing companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices).
In US, approximately 100,000 pharmaceutical sales reps are pursuing some 830,000 pharma prescribers. Physicians are the most important component in pharma sales and a sales rep usually has a target list of more than 120 physicians to be visited in a typical 3 weeks cycle. Organizations and the management have always acknowledged the absolute importance of Call Planning, which has now well integrated into the planning and execution of the pharmaceutical sales forces.