eyeforpharma recently published an article exploring whether incentivization based on drug sales targets is the right approach for today’s healthcare landscape. There is concern that the traditional model could lead to unethical selling practices and the article questions whether companies should look for new ways to motivate their sales force.

Here’s an excerpt exploring how incentives could be tied to a shared vision or personalized to what will motivate and drive different individuals. This excerpt features Paul Frater, Operations Director at Ashfield.

‘The behavior of sales reps reflects how well they understand the values and goals of the organization, as well as what they are accountable for. To motivate sales reps individually, each needs to understand what behavior is expected of them and to clearly see the link between their behavior and the success of the company, financial or otherwise.

Incentives can give sales reps the opportunity to see how their work contributes to the company’s mission and vision, says Paul Frater, Operations Director at Ashfield (part of UDG Healthcare plc). “Incentivization needs to drive the behaviors that the company would like its employees to demonstrate in line with the company’s vision, values and objectives.”

However, what form should incentivization take to be meaningful to sales reps? For Frater, bonuses can offer extra impetus to behave in line with the overarching goals of the organization, but fully motivating an individual requires a holistic approach to employee engagement.


Sales rep motivation has three key components, says Gonzalo Rodriguez Arnaiz, Region Europe Sales Excellence Head at Novartis – an exciting and inclusive environment, an achievable and understandable incentive plan, and recognition. Recognition, in particular, can be powerful at driving and maintaining certain behaviors among sales force members, he says.

“Sales reps are sensitive to top management messages during seminars and to the attention we bring to facilitate their day-to-day work, knowing that they are the ones bringing in the business,” adds Anthony Francomme, Head of Business Excellence France at Sanofi Genzyme.

Recognizing and rewarding employees for discretionary effort or for going the extra mile, can generate advantageous behaviors and drive commitment. “The unexpected nature of small gestures such as this can contribute to intrinsic, long-term motivation,” explains Frater.

The personalization of incentives needs investment and frameworks to ensure fairness and transparency and ascertain that people do not feel that the system is unjust, adds James Winterman, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Astellas Pharma Europe.

For Celine Genty, VP Customer Excellence EMEA at Janssen: “Customer-facing people will engage their energy if they feel that the system is fair,” re-emphasizing the need for equity in the evaluation process.’

The full article was originally published on eyeforpharma.com. Please click here to read.