GlaxoSmithKline is putting in place a new system for paying its sales reps in the USA and will take into account feedback from doctors rather than just being based on individual targets.

From 2011, the company says that bonuses for sales professionals who work directly with healthcare professionals “will no longer be based on individual achievement of sales targets” but “on the service they deliver to customers”. The sums will be determined, in part, by customer feedback, and by a rep’s “adherence to the company values of transparency, integrity, respect and patient-focus”.

Deirdre Connelly, president of North America Pharmaceuticals at GSK, noted that the US healthcare marketplace is “changing significantly in response to demand by patients, healthcare providers and payers for higher quality care, lower costs and better health outcomes”. She went on to note that “physicians have been telling us they want to see fewer sales professionals, and those they do see need to provide greater value in helping improve patient health”.

GSK noted that as more healthcare providers move into large health systems or integrated delivery networks “where decisions on purchasing and utilisation are made from a central office, sales professionals can offer more value...by working in a different way”. Ms Connelly went on to say that “we've spent a good deal of time listening to our customers and they are asking us for more information about reimbursement, disease education, and support for improving patient health”.

She concluded that “the changes we are making to our sales compensation system will enable us to align our financial incentives to activities that offer appropriate value that is consistent with our company values”.