Once you’ve decided to use a sales force to drive your sales growth, the next step is choosing which type of solution is best for your business. Two popular options for our clients are syndicated and dedicated sales teams, but what’s the difference and which is right for you?
Step 1: The basic difference
Both syndicated and dedicated teams are contracted for an agreed period. The key difference is that dedicated sales teams only work for you, whereas syndicated teams divide their time between multiple clients.
Step 2: The sales call
The goal of a sales call for both teams is the same: to increase sales. However, the flow of a call can differ greatly between the two. Being dedicated to a sole client means dedicated teams will typically sell in one therapy area (often multiple treatments). This differs from syndicated teams, which sell for different clients (usually one treatment each) and across a range of therapy areas. Products within a syndicated team are non-competing brands and therapy areas.
A syndicated sales representative will position their treatments in calls based on contractual agreements.
This illustrates the range of opportunities a syndicated sales team can offer. The detail slot you choose is very much based on your priorities. For example, a D1 slot may be best if you’re looking for concentrated activity on a specific target audience with a focus on coverage. However, you might already have a strong field presence and prefer to utilize the D1 position to drive frequency of activity on customers to complement the effort of the in house team.
If you are looking to achieve increased activity levels in primary care across a broad range of prescribers, then a D2 might be most appropriate, whilst for situations where a brand is established and requires maintenance, a D3 or D4 may be more suitable in keeping the brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
There’s no hard and fast rule in terms of which slot you prefer, the key is having the flexibility of such a set up to meet your needs with the desired level of investment.
Step 3: Cost and contracts
Cost is always going to be a factor, whichever option you choose. The good news is, whether you go for syndicated or dedicated, both are designed to minimize your costs, maximize return on investment and mitigate any long-term risks.
With a dedicated team you pay for ‘the team’, whereas with a syndicated team you pay for the detail slot, with detail one costing more, but with the added benefits.
With both syndicated and dedicated, costs are negotiable depending on your needs. Both teams offer flexibility and are contractually agreed to you for a specific, mutually agreed period. After this time, the contract can be extended or left to expire depending on future strategy and an evaluation of the return on investment.
Dedicated teams often – but not always – have more regular interaction with targeted customers, which for many is a strategic priority. For example, a dermatology company would probably prefer to focus on GPs with a special interest, consultant dermatologists and community nurses.
Syndicated teams are likely to sell multiple therapy areas during the same call. Therefore, they may target a broader range of customers although the activity footprint is governed by the D1 client.
That said, syndicated teams still very much work to each client’s individual strategy, the only main difference is the amount of time available to do this.
5: Which is right for your company?
As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach – and that’s the beauty of having the choice. At Ashfield, we have clients who have successfully used both type of sales force teams at different times – as well as at the same time. It all depends on what you need and when.