ST adopts new sales model

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Specialised Therapeutics has joined GSK in no longer rewarding sales representatives on the number of prescriptions written by healthcare professionals.

In a statement, the Melbourne-based company that commercialises PBS-listed pancreatic cancer therapy ABRAXANE (nab-paclitaxel) said representatives will now be rewarded for demonstrated customer service excellence, as well as high level product and disease knowledge.

GSK led the way on changing the reward system for representatives last year. In addition to no longer providing financial incentives to representatives or their managers based on individual sales targets, the company stopped making direct payments to healthcare professionals to speak on its behalf about the company's products.

ST CEO Carlo Montagner said similar sales models had been introduced by some of the world’s most successful non-pharmaceutical companies – including Apple and Tesla -  with the focus on relationships and quality information exchange rather than a singular sales outcome focus.

“By removing the pressure of individual territory sales targets, we believe our team members can engage in more genuine and meaningful discussions with the healthcare professionals we are regularly interacting with, who at this stage are predominantly oncologists and haematologists,” he said.

“We believe that by doing business in this way, we will actually improve commercial outcomes, because it removes the ‘elephant in the room’ which is the sales message that can make both parties feel uncomfortable. This is simply a transparent and ethical way of doing business.”

Mr Montagner continued, “This model is about putting patients and the health care professionals we interact with first. It means our staff are a valuable resource across their therapeutic areas.

 “Our in field liaison teams are wholeheartedly in favour of this new business model and we look forward to engaging with the medical community in a way that is transparent, genuine and meaningful as we move into 2017.”