Hiring reps is a song of experience

What qualifications are most important for pharma sales reps? You can forget business know-how; you can even overlook personal charm. The most important thing a sales rep needs to have is experience, says a new survey conducted by the Hay Group.

Drugmakers value pharma sales experience so much, when they're hiring, 91 percent cherry-pick new reps from their rivals. And when they can't find new reps with pharma-sales experience, more than two-thirds would take new reps with sales experience, period, over internal applicants with no sales on their résumés.

There's more in this Hay Group survey published in Pharmaceutical Executive, which we picked up at Pharmalot. For instance, more drugmakers are looking at market data when they set pay levels, and 80 percent of companies are adjusting salary scales every year. The adjustment might not be much; however, the average merit increase for 2009 was 3.3 percent, down from 3.9 percent in 2008.

- read the Pharmalot post
- see the story at PharmExec