A great way to break into Pharmaceutical Sales?
Pharmaceutical Contract Sales Organisation's and Contract Sales Positions are growing in popularity. With all the difficulties candidates experience in getting into a Sales position in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry, should this be your goal? First, let's cover the basics. Pharmaceutical Contract Sales Companies/Organisations (C.S.O's) do not only provide both pharmaceutical sales representatives and managers, but also now days' supply more and more clinical and marketing personnel to pharmaceutical and medical companies. Pharmaceutical sales representatives working for these organizations are often referred to as "contract representatives" and may work on a full or part-time basis. A large percentage of Pharmaceutical and Medical Companies in South Africa now prefer to access new rookie representatives through this source, as it creates a try-before-youbuy model. The South African model, (where the representative's success is measured by how quickly they get taken on to headcount) is very different to the rest of the world. In most other major markets, the C.S.O's actively retain the representatives and encourage a career pathway within the C.S.O. This distinguishes the C.S.O. from labour brokers, and a lot of emphasis is put on training and personal development during the representative's career. Having worked myself in C.S.O's in various European markets, I have seen the benefits first hand. My personal development opportunities came quickly and my career 6 Pharmasales progression was not limited in any way. I could go as high up in the organisation as I wanted, as long as I put in the hard work and produced the results. From a job satisfaction point of view our teams had a great time. In most cases there are differences in the compensation between Pharmaceutical Contract Sales Organisations (C.S.O's) and Pharmaceutical and Medical Companies. The salary and benefits from pharmaceutical companies tend to be higher than that of contract representatives. Contract representatives may be paid a salary with or without commission on top, or paid per doctor call depending on the terms of the contract. In addition, contract representatives are not typically provided a company car, but given a vehicle allowance for using their personal vehicle. This said, more and more Pharmaceutical companies have moved away from the traditional company car policy to a car allowance offering. However as with most Pharmaceutical and Medical companies, most C.S.O's will offer cell phone allowances and contributions towards medical aid. So the difference if any is just the idea of working for the Pharmaceutical Company or a C.S.O. Pharmaceutical C.S.O's are in more and more demand as pharmaceutical companies increasingly utilize them for a variety of reasons which include: * New Product Launches, * Sales Force Expansions * Temporary boost in their Sales Force to meet their product goals. As a result, quite a few contract representatives enjoy permanent pharmaceutical positions within the contract sales organization and wish to stay there. Remember, as someone looking to make a career of Medical Sales, it's a great opportunity to gain experience in the pharmaceutical sales field. Another advantage is that many contract representatives enjoy the variety that comes from working on different contracts with diverse pharmaceutical companies. This gives them an exposure to a range of companies and they then can decide which company they want to work with if they intend to move across. But the biggest advantage with starting your career with a C.S.O. is that the entry requirements are usually less strict than those of the pharmaceutical company, so it's easier to get in. So at the end of the day it is up to you to decide. We have quite a few C.S.O.'s in South Africa, and you will also find some of the recruitment companies running the odd contract. I Listed below are a few of the larger contract sales organisations in South Africa at present * Quintiles http://www.quintiles.com * Safrimed http://www.safrimed.co.za * Favo Health http://www.favohealth.co.za * Innovative Healthcare Solutions