Sales reps earn more with less

Yesterday, we reported on the profitability of friendship--between docs and reps, that is. Today, we're here to tell you that a pharma rep's average pay reached $94,200 last year, compared with $87,500 in 2006, according to the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps, or NAPSRx. The Pharma Marketing Blog identifies a link between these two pieces of information--one that would never stand up in a clinical trial, but here goes anyway.

You see, while the pay was going up, the number of sales calls reps were expected to make went down. Counter-intuitive, no? Especially considering the fact that drugmakers are trying to do more with fewer reps these days. Nevertheless, according to NAPSRx, the number of daily calls dropped to eight from nine, which "probably means that pharmaceutical companies are being more realistic in their expectations as they are emphasizing the need for quality interaction with physicians." Fewer sales calls plus more time for quality interaction equals stronger personal ties, which in turn lead to more scrips.

What we're wondering now is just how those figures will hold up for 2008. Will the more tightly stretched sales forces still have time to forge those relationships--and make more money?

- see the release on the salary outlook for sales reps
- read the post at Pharma Marketing