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October 23, 2006
Pharmaceutical Sales Training: Bulk of Time & Cost for New Rep Training Occurs in First 90 Days
Research provides insight into best training tactics for new hires

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – October 23, 2006 – The effectiveness of pharmaceutical sales training during a representative's critical first year on the job dictates the future success of the employee, affects the rate of sales force turnover and directly impacts corporate revenue.

Pharmaceutical benchmarking leader Best Practices, LLC conducted research to learn how and when leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies allocate resources for training their first-year sales representatives.

Companies are spending considerably more time and money in the first stages of sales rep training to reduce the time it takes sales people to get up to speed on product, competition and disease state and to get comfortable selling from the physician’s point of view.

According to study findings, U.S.-based pharmaceutical firms are spending on average 44 days or more on training each new rep during the first year on the job – about 14% above the average for the non-U.S. segment. The bulk of training is delivered in the first 90 days of employment.

In addition, the budget for training new reps is more than double the average for the sales force as a whole. The sales training budget for each new rep in the U.S. companies surveyed averages almost $10,500 each during the first year on the job, with a median number of $8,522. Companies indicated budgets are still increasing over the next two years.

The full report, “Pharmaceutical Sales Training: Turning New Hires into Top Performers,” available with a complimentary study summary online at, provides extensive insight into how pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies are preparing their newest employees for the competitive marketplace in which they are being asked to excel.

The report is designed to help sales training managers and executives understand whether they are providing new reps with the right training at the right times during the first year of employment. The study investigates the volume, cost and content of training during each of the following employment intervals: first 30 days on the job, 30 to 90 days, three to six months, and six to 12 months.

For more information about this study and other research projects, contact Best Practices at (919) 403-0251 or at

BEST PRACTICES, LLC is a research and advisory services 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. For more information, call (919) 403-0251 or visit

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