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Pharmaceutical Sales Training Excellence: Tools, Processes & Resources That Drive Effectiveness

ID: PSM-292


44 Info Graphics

40 Data Graphics

475+ Metrics

30 Narratives

18 Best Practices

Pages: 97

Published: Pre-2019

Delivery Format: Shipped


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The training of an organization's sales force -- particularly in the pharmaceutical sector -- is one of the critical steps companies must take to succeed in a competitive marketplace. Due to the effect they have on the overall operations of a sales training group, the budget and structure of a company's sales training organization have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the group.

This Best Practices, LLC, report delivers performance benchmarks for the size, cost, scope, content, delivery channels, lessons learned, and success drivers of leading Sales Training organizations across the pharmaceutical industry. The study identifies successful training venues, technologies, organizational structures, delivery approaches, performance measurement processes, and resource levels that drive effectiveness in high-performing Sales Training organizations.

Sales Training leaders can use the metrics and insights in this study to evaluate and compare the performance of their Sales Training organizations.

Industries Profiled:
Pharmaceutical; Medical Device; Manufacturing; Biotech; Consumer Products; Diagnostic; Chemical; Health Care; Biopharmaceutical; Clinical Research; Laboratories

Companies Profiled:
Actavis; Arbor Pharmaceuticals; Astellas; AstraZeneca; Baxter Healthcare; Bayer; Biogen Idec; Celgene; Eli Lilly; EMD Serono; Genentech; Grifols; Janssen; Janssen Biotech; Johnson & Johnson Medical; Lundbeck; Novartis; Otsuka; Pfizer; Sanofi; Sanofi Oncology; Shire; Teva Pharmaceuticals; UCB; Valeant Canada

Study Snapshot

Best Practices, LLC engaged 28 Sales Training leaders from 25 pharmaceutical companies through a benchmarking survey instrument. In addition, research analysts conducted deep-dive executive interviews with 6 selected respondents to collect qualitative data and insights.
Topics addressed in this report include:

  • Sales Training budget trends &  management
  • Most utilized types of Sales Training  included in formal curriculum
  • Collaboration level of sales training with various stakeholder groups
  • Percentage of Training content developed and delivered by internal staff vs. vendors
  • Technologies used to deliver training
  • Percentage of training outsourced to vendors
  • Key Industry Metrics
  • Average number of days of sales training per rep
  • Sales Training budget as a percentage of revenue.
  • Number of employees receiving sales training per trainer 

Key Findings

Virtual Classrooms Present Tech & Cost Challenges: Interviewed training leaders see potential in transitioning more learning from in-person to virtual classrooms. Some are providing as much as 60% of training virtually. Others are holding off until they are sure they can measure and justify the return on investment.

36% of Budget Goes to New Hires: Benchmark participants spent an average of 36% of their budgets for new hire training in the most recently completed fiscal year. On average, new hires receive about 32 days of training during their first year on the job, compared with about 10 days of training per year for existing, or experienced, reps.

Sales Training’s Relationship with IT Varies Widely: Across the benchmark class, companies have a wide spectrum of different relationships with their Information Technology partners. While some compete with other departments for attention, others have IT support inside the Sales Training function. Still others work primarily with vendors to deploy initiatives while partnering with IT for oversight.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
  • Sales Training Program Operations & Models
  • Sales Training Content Delivery & Development
  • Technology Issues & Applications
  • Sales Training Budget & Resources
  • Organizational Structure & Scope
  • Trends in Pharmaceutical Sales Training
  • Best Practices of the Benchmark Class
  • Appendix: Participant Demographics

List of Charts & Exhibits

Anticipated Change in Sales Training Budget over next 2 Years
  • Practices Used to Stretch Training Budget in Times of Flat or Reduced Funding
  • Size of Sales Training Budget and Percentage for New Hires
  • Percentage of Total Sales Training Budget for Outsourcing
  • Average Number of Days of Sales Training Provided Per Employee
  • Average Number of Products Carried Per Rep
  • Total Number of FTEs Working in Sales Training
  • Approach that Best Describes Organizational Structure of Sales Training Group
  • Sales Training Focus on Training Different Employee Groups
  • Program Attributes Representing Sales Training Program
  • Level Sales Training function has with Different Stakeholder Groups
  • Performance Measurement Describing Sales Training function
  • Effectiveness of Different Metrics for Evaluating Sales Training Program Quality
  • Percentage of Sales Rep Trainees Achieving Their First-Year Sales Goals
  • Sales Training Components Included in Organization's Formal Curriculum
  • Percentage of Formal Sales Training Content Developed by Internal & External Stakeholders
  • Percentage of Formal Sales Training Content Delivered by Internal & External Stakeholders
  • Percentage of Sales Training Delivered Using Different Approaches
  • Effectiveness of Additional Training Delivery Approaches
  • Percentage of Total Sales Training Provided Through Different Venues
  • Percentage of Total Time Allotted for Sales Training at Annual Meetings (such as POA)
  • New/ Innovative Technologies Companies are Currently Using or Planning to Deploy Within the Next Year to Deliver Sales Training
  • Effectiveness of Different Technologies In Delivering or Pushing Out Training
  • Effectiveness of Different Technologies as a Pull-Through Training Tool
  • Percentage of Core Training Delivered via the iPad and/or Other Similar Mobile Devices
  • Applications Developed Internally for Sales Training
  • Level of Attention from the Sales Training Organization Expected for Different Issues over the Next 12 Months
  • Best Practices for Building an Effective Sales Training Program in Today’s Market