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Best Practices, LLC Report Delivers Analysis on the Benefits and Disadvantages of Utilizing a Contract Sales Organization in the Pharmaceutical Industry

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Jan. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- During the different market phases of a product, many pharmaceutical companies face an internal struggle whether to hire a Contract Sales Organization (CSO) or internal hires to support them. The question becomes not only which is more cost effective, but which is more advantageous in various services, skills, and market conditions.

While a CSO may save money, it also comes with challenges and disadvantages. Commercial and sales leaders need to consider a host of issues when determining the appropriate fit of a CSO for their current business issue, as well as what are the best CSO vendors to use, and what are the resource expectations.

Best Practices, LLC undertook benchmarking research to address these questions and to evaluate the effectiveness of using Contract Sales Organizations vs. internal hires in various market conditions.

In the study, participants reported the biggest advantages of partnering with a CSO organization are speed, cost savings, and increased activity levels. Meanwhile, market growth, KOL development and product knowledge are better addressed through internal hires. In short, CSOs are best used as a supplement to an existing team of internal hires, not as a replacement unless a product is mature and nearing its loss of exclusivity.

Assessing the Use of CSOs vs. Internal Hires" uses the personal experiences of sales veterans to evaluate the effectiveness of using Contract Sales Organizations (CSOs) vs. internal hires. This research examines participants' experiences with CSOs and their favorable/unfavorable experiences with CSOs. In addition, the study weighs the advantages and disadvantages of using CSOs.

Download a complimentary report summary at:

For this study, Best Practices, LLC engaged 9 leaders from 8 biopharmaceutical companies with experience working with Contract Sales Organizations. Almost 70% of participants are at the level of director or above.

Topics addressed in this study include:
  • Experiences with CSOs
    • Favorable/Unfavorable experiences with CSOs
    • Best CSO to use for a product launch vs. growing a product vs. product near L.O.E.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Using CSOs
    • CSO Competencies vs. Internal Hire Competencies
  • CSO vs. Internal Hire Investment and Team Structure
    • Base Salaries and Bonus Structure
    • Team Structure, managers and field employees
The study results will help sales leaders, brand leaders, and other leaders determine the appropriate fit of a CSO for their current business issue.


Best Practices, LLC is a leading benchmarking, consulting and advisory services firm serving biopharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide. Best Practices, LLC's clients include all the top 10 and 48 of the top 50 global healthcare companies. The firm conducts primary research and consulting using its comprehensive proprietary benchmarking tools and analysis. The operational insights, findings and analysis form the basis for our Benchmarking Reports, databases and advisory services to support executives in commercial and R&D operations.

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