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March 28, 2007
Hospital Sales Force Effectiveness: Hiring, Training and Deploying a Sales Force to Effectively Target Future Formulary Decision-Makers
Study focuses on variables required to build an effective sales force in the hospital marketplace

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – March 28, 2007 – Healthcare professionals are still the most important class of influencers affecting formulary decisions. However, many organizations expect this to change over time as greater consolidation takes place in the hospital marketplace. Recently benchmarked pharmaceutical leaders are aware of the growing importance of these "new economic buyers," and are allocating sales support personnel and training resources to their hospital sales staff to address this change. The question becomes what type of sales person will be required to effectively engage IDN/GPO decision makers?

Pharmaceutical benchmarking leader Best Practices, LLC has just released a new study focused on the variables required to build an effective sales force best suited for serving the influencial hospital marketplace. “Benchmarking the Resources, Structure and Targeting Required To Effectively Service The U.S. Hospital Marketplace,” available online with a complimentary study excerpt at, is designed to help pharmaceutical and biotech organizations gain insights into the optimal sales force strategy, structure and resources required to ensure that their product portfolio is effectively represented on hospital formularies.

The key hospital market segments that were targeted include: Community Hospital, Regional IDN/IDS, Multi-State IDN/IDS, AMC and VA Hospitals.

Companies that participated in the study and shared their hospital sales force strategies include: Bayer, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Proctor&Gamble, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil and Schering-Plough.

Key study focus areas include:
Importance of Key Decision Makers/Influencers in Making Formulary Decisions
Hospital Sales Force Strategic Alignment & Structure
Hospital Sales Force Support
Hospital Sales Force Staffing & Training
GPO Targeting and Sales Force Size

Sample findings from the study include:
80% of companies focus their additional sales force training primarlity on “network” or “institutional” competencies that allow sales people to more effectively understand client process and workflow to meet the needs of IDN/IDS clients.
Top-performers limit the number of target accounts to 10 per account manager to achieve more focus and customer intimacy.
Most study participants have either a defined hospital sales support group or draw support from brand groups. Increased coordination is needed between specific brands that are being promoted in the hospital institutional setting.

To view additional findings, download the complimentary study excerpt at:

BEST PRACTICES, LLC is a research and consulting firm that conducts work based on the principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-class companies. Our clients include 43 of the 50 leading pharmaceutical companies. For more information, call (919) 403-0251 or visit
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