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How To Execute Sales Territory Management Plan In Pharma Industry?

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Market like the year you are in!”

Gary Vaynerchuck

The pharmaceutical company is no different when it comes to convincing the HCPs for the drugs to prescribe to the patients. The sales reps are made to market the drugs in a way that’s preferred by the HCPs such as using e-detailing solutions rather than flyers, pamphlets, ad others. It’s fair enough.

But when the sales reps move into the field to communicate with HCPs and display new drugs to them, the problem starts- when HCPs are not segmented for sales reps to meet under various territories. The missing territory management creates many challenges before pharma companies. They are-

  • The overservicing of an area means makes the salespeople bored, lazy, and anxious that lets the prospect move away.
  • Under-servicing an area means sales reps spread thin, which, in turn, badly hits the reputation.
  • The unequal opportunity to meet the goals and earn rewards drive the sales reps to the competitors.
  • The territory assignment gives a sense of ownership to the sales reps, which is if missing, the sales reps can’t perform to the efficiency.
  • Territory overlapping creates conflict among sales reps because they are unknowingly competing for the same physicians.

Now, you are pretty convinced when sales reps are loose to visit any HCP, it’s not good for the company’s health and sales reps too. What’s the solution? It’s a SALES TERRITORY MANAGEMENT.

Let’s Understand Sales Territory Management In A Nutshell

The pharma companies when hiring the sales reps are not allowed to meet any HCPs. Instead, the area is divided into different territories, which are assigned to sales reps. It’s made clear that sales reps have to cover which territory, including the list of HCPs to meet and close the deal. It ensures equitable workload divided among sales reps based on the capabilities and experience that match the HCPs type.  

How To Create a Territory Management Plan For Pharma Companies?

Define your core objective

Making the sales reps understand the pharma company’s vision, strategy, and ultimate goals is all-important. The short-term objectives must be assigned to the sales reps such as an increase in sales by 10%, boost revenue by 20%, or close two more deals this month. Also, the field reps are included in the objective creation process when it comes to defining the objective for every HCP or territory because they are the ultimate person who’s going to follow the plan.

When the objectives are defined, keep certain things in mind like- create achievable objectives, be precise with the objective, keep it realistic, and it’s good to buy in from the reps. Follow these tips for making the sales objective feasible and encourage sales reps.

Craft sales strategy

The sales reps spend a large amount of time on traveling, and a little share of time is invested in phone calls, emails, and appointment booking. That’s why it’s imperative to allocate the time to each HCP.

Once, time breakdown is defined for every HCP, the next step is to schedule the visits for efficient route planning based on the proximity. Depending on the time taken in every HCP visit, the number of visits is defined so that sales reps don’t feel rushed and make their job done nicely. The sales strategy is tailored to every sales rep to increase productivity.

Delegate territory smartly

Identify the specific capabilities of each sales rep, and then match the qualifications to the territory whose target HCPs they can handle. Afterward, assign the territory to each sales rep to avoid territory overlap issues. For instance, you can assign HCP (Difficult to convince and sell) to the sales rep who is well-versed in building strong relationships and can take more visits in a day.

You can assign the territories in 4 ways-

Territory management by geography

The most popular way to divide territories is based on the zip codes, states, and countries so that there will be no overlap. Depending on the geography size, the number of sales reps of pharma companies is allocated to each territory. The HCPs are also segregated geographically which helps in reducing the travel time and expenses.

Territory management by accounts

The territories are assigned based on the HCP’s specialties like some of them are- pediatricians, cardiologists, orthopedics, and others. The sales reps with a good knowledge of specific drugs are assigned a territory irrespective of the geography. Perhaps, they are meeting the HCP a few miles away and taking a plane flight to reach another HCP.

Territory management by the combo of geography and accounts

To make the best out of the two types of territories- geography and accounts, this type of territory proven to be very effective, but complex to create. For instance, one sales rep is assigned the HCPs of seven zones followed by the exclusion of HCPs with specialties.

Territory management by the company size

Under this option, the new reps can seal small deals, and senior reps with good experience can place a bet on big bets, they are assigned HCPs accordingly. The territories divided in this manner keep changing because the sales reps with different strengths and capabilities keep changing.

Performance tracking

There is no one-size-fits-all plan that works every time. The pharma company should be flexible with the territory management plan because different sales reps’ performance for various territories keeps changing. It means the metrics need to check and reassessed in the sense of what’s working in one territory and what not. It helps in fixing all the flaws in the plan so that maximum value is driven out of the territory management plan.

The things to consider for territory management  

  • There is no thumb rule to follow. Every company sells different drugs along with distinct company’s structure, needs, and goals.
  • Territory management is done based on the sales reps’ potential, travel time, and other things.
  • Incentive compensation is also tied to the territory management plan.
  • Create a clear picture of the HCPs to visit and the meet with which HCPs will be counted under the incentive compensation program.
  • Craft the plan smartly so that over-servicing or under-servicing is avoided, else the potential of sales reps can’t exploit to its full capacity.
  • Keep an eye on how much time sales reps are spending on travel to ensure they are not wasting time.
  • Take care of all the aforementioned things to reduce the sales cost and increase the revenue.


The pharma industry is highly regulated where it’s difficult for the pharma companies to cover all the regulations in the territory management planning. Well, there is no rocket science in creating a territory management plan; instead, it’s all about introducing strategic thinking and industry knowledge in the plan. Create the best plan that makes your sales reps happy and improves productivity, which in turn, brings success (Improve revenue and extra edge in the competition) to the table. Still, muddled? Feel free to connect with our business consultants, they will readily help you.

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