Efficiency of the sales force

A series of factors have led organisations in the life sciences to take a closer look at their cost structures and focus on increasing the efficiency of their reach to their stakeholders: the aging of the population, greater focus on healthcare expenditures, increasing costs of innovation, pressure on end-of-product life cycle products, rising power of the buying organisations, and competition from low-cost countries.

One of the first costs to come under scrutiny is the money spent on Selling, General and Administrative expenses (SG&A). Never before in the life sciences industry has so much focus been put on increasing the efficiency of the sales force while ensuring that this cost focus does not impede revenue generation. Focusing on the drivers of sales force effectiveness and efficiency has become a key topic of interest amongst healthcare organisations.

Our work focuses on understanding the factors that drive sales force productivity in a medical technology environment that consequently will have an impact on the bottom line of companies.

What’s next?

  • How are changes in the healthcare procurement organisation affecting the go to market process of suppliers?

  • What can organisations do to tackle the challenge of multi-stakeholder management and how should the sales effort be structured?

  • How are key account management principles going to be applied to sales organisations?

  • How can big data drive predictive analytics of sales force management?

  • How will advances in technology help salespeople better target their stakeholders with personalised communication?

  • Organisations have to work out how they are going to deal with the rise of buying groups and their subsequent transformation into selling groups.

Deva Rangarajan
Professor Rangarajan is Associate Professor and Partner at Vlerick Business School. He holds a PhD in Marketing (C. T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston) and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering (University of Madras). In 2003 he was awarded "the AMA Sales SIG Doctoral Dissertation Award" by the Direct Selling Educational Foundation and "the Direct Selling Educational Foundation Award for Doctoral Research" at the National Conference in Sales Management. His research interests focus on sales team composition, sales team effectiveness and sales team learning. In 2012 Deva was granted the IBM Faculty Award in the expertise domain of Sales and Marketing for his work on sales especially focusing on solution selling. This sales technique focuses on offering solutions rather than highlighting the product features.

Efficiency of the sales force

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