Sales Force Sizing in Oncology

The sales force is by far one of the most impactful promotional drivers available to biotech / pharma organizations and is often the first choice in allocating brand promotional spend. Therefore, it is critical to appropriately resource sales force teams to maximize share of voice in the market and adequately support customer needs and requests. Traditionally, there have been four approaches to sizing a sales force:

The above approaches offer a range of solutions to sizing the sales force. However, due to the dynamic and complex nature of the Oncology market, one must consider more than the approach and ensure to also examine the many drivers and factors that have significant impact on the sales force size and deployment.

With the above drivers in mind, sales force sizing in Oncology requires an increasingly targeted approach, informed by a robust and actionable market segmentation, in order to best support customers at the local level. In this set-up, one should also incorporate payer dynamics by geography and gain an understanding of payer mix across accounts to best address customer needs. After all, the sales force sizing framework must align with the evolving Oncology market and the drivers that define customer satisfaction and shape decisions behind product utilization.


Sepp Saljoughi

Sepp is a Principal at 159 Solutions, an analytically driven company focused on providing solutions to life sciences companies. Sepp has 16+ years of experience biotech and genomics across analytics, sales and marketing, finance, and R&D. Prior to joining 159, Sepp managed the 19 member BioOncology Marketing Science team at Genentech, where he was a strategic advisor and collaborator to many business partners and senior leaders. Before joining Genentech, Sepp worked at ZS Associates, where he spent 3.5 years working across both marketing and sales practice areas. Sepp received his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology as well as his MBA and MPH degrees from UC Berkeley.

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