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Ashfield publishes white paper on sales outsourcing as a change partner

Ashfield, assisted by Dr Beth Rogers, has investigated the future of outsourcing with 16 senior sales and buying professionals from pharmaceutical companies across Europe. The insights are shared in our whitepaper, ‘Flex in a time of flux: Sales outsourcing as a change partner in the pharmaceutical sector.’



Pharmaceutical companies are facing unprecedented change. Product portfolios are migrating from mass market solutions to highly specialised therapies, relevant to relatively small patient populations. Reimbursement is becoming increasingly complex and successful commercialisation means targeting multiple stakeholders before a prescription is even written.

In response, the pharma industry is exploring new sales and marketing models, evolving its core strategies to meet these modern, multifaceted challenges.

Historically, contract sales organisations (CSOs) have provided a flexible, cost-effective means for the pharma industry to adjust the implementation of its sales strategy. However, given the current state of flux, just how relevant can CSOs be in helping pharma manage such major change?

In July 2017, Ashfield conducted an online Advisory Board discussion to investigate the issue. The participants included 14 senior sales and buying professionals from pharmaceutical companies across Europe. Together, they debated the advantages, challenges and possible future use of CSOs. Five follow-up interviews – including two with additional clients – and an Ashfield idea generation session were also undertaken.

Dr Beth Rogers, author of Rethinking Sales Management and several articles and papers on the outsourcing of sales functions, assisted Ashfield in moderating the advisory board, conducting the follow-up interviews and writing the white paper.

This white paper considers how the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and CSOs has developed and the characteristics that pharmaceutical companies today look for in a strategic CSO partner. It also explores how that relationship is expected to change in the next five years, and how services and outsourcing models will evolve.

Click here to download the white paper!

2nd November 2017

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