Time to get personal

29th January 2017 |   Dr Nicola Davies

Are sales force incentives linked to drug sales volumes the best way to motivate individual reps?

Time to get personal

With the performance of the sales force directly linked to the bottom line, ensuring representatives are well motivated and incentivized is a critical ingredient in any company’s financial health. Yet, with the huge amount of change reshaping the pharma landscape – from digital to patient-centricity and the pressing focus on value – pressure on sales reps has never been greater.

In response, there is a growing concern that the way sales reps are incentivized has the potential to lead to unethical selling practices. Many companies are looking at new ways to motivate their sales force to deliver high performance and avoid the risk of endangering their reputation.

The most notable example is GlaxoSmithKline, which has gone so far as to decouple rep performance from commercial targets as part of a wider change in its commercial model, a development discussed in-depth in a recent eyeforpharma whitepaper, GSK’s new “ethical” customer approach: Is it delivering? (See the Journal’s summary “Decoupling incentives from prescription volumes: is the approach robust enough”, in edition 2.4, November 2016, pages 34-35.)

Dr Nicola Davies is a health psychology consultant, medical writer, author and counsellor. A medical writer and Doctor of Health Psychology with articles in over 130 publications worldwide, her expertise is within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.