What if a call center worked just as well as hundreds of sales reps on the street? That’s the question raised by BNet Pharma after AstraZeneca disbanded almost all of its in-person sales force for the stomach drug Nexium and replaced it with telephone support.
A few years back, in a piece in the Harvard Business Review, it was stated that an 8% improvement in the productivity of your existing sales team will result in the same sales growth as if you were to add 27% more reps. I am sure the numbers may have changed in the three years since it was published, the underlying reality has not. In fact what has changed is the ability of organizations and managers to add headcount, in the post-Lehman Brothers-era, cost restraint is the overriding mantra. So with the added stress and demands on the average sales rep and team, the question becomes how to achieve this productivity without distracting the team or breaking the camel’s back.
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