GSK changing sales force compensation model

Nov. 15, 2013 @ 06:02 PM

A GlaxoSmithKline executive highlighted in an interview Thursday a shift toward paying its U.S. sales staff based on product knowledge and other factors rather than for volume of prescriptions sold.

In the United States, the company is compensating sales staff based on the quality of their product knowledge, customer feedback and the overall performance of their business unit, a spokesman said.
“In large part, how GlaxoSmithKline has transferred the way we preserve and interact with our customers – physicians, health systems or pharmacists – I think made us unique in the U.S.,” said Jorge Bartolome, the senior vice president for the British company’s U.S. respiratory and MedCenter pharmaceutical business. Bartolome said he planned to talk about the change, which the company launched in the U.S. in 2011, at the Duke MBA Health Care Conference on Saturday.
Damien Conover, director of equity analysis for the investment research firm Morningstar Inc., said the “whole strategy” for pharmaceutical firms has changed in the past five years. He said pharmaceutical sales representatives are playing more of an educational than promotional role with doctors.
All of the pharmaceutical firms have made the shift, but to different degrees, he said.
The change occurred, he said, with the increased importance of U.S. insurance companies and others who pay for the medical bills.
“It’s less important to be pushing doctors as it is to be pushing the payers and educating the doctors,” he said.
Bartolome said the shift is about putting patients first.
“In large part the changes at (GlaxoSmithKline) are what’s happening in the care delivery system, (are part of) this move from volume to value,” he said.