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One in Eight Pharmaceutical Sales Visits Are Impossible to Achieve, Says New Report from ZS

— Waste in Sales Resources Costs Industry $2 billion —

EVANSTON, IL — April 16, 2009 — Thirteen percent of all pharmaceutical sales calls in the United States cannot be completed because physicians limit the number of times they see even the best pharmaceutical representatives. According to the Spring 2009 edition of the AccessMonitor™ report from global consulting firm ZS Associates, sales activity plans at many companies, however, continue to call for visits to doctors who either rarely or never see sales representatives.

“Most pharmaceutical executives know there is a certain level of waste in physician call plans, and AccessMonitor™ provides them with a systematic process to zero in on it,” says Chris Wright, principal and leader of the pharmaceutical practice at ZS Associates. “Eliminating this excess could save the pharmaceutical industry more than $2 billion a year.”

AccessMonitor™ is a proprietary tool that incorporates the call reports of more than 35,000 sales representatives from more than 125 different U.S. pharmaceutical sales teams. It includes representative call activity with more than 325,000 primary care physicians and specialists across the United States, making it the most comprehensive view of physician access available on the market today.

Mapping the Dynamics of Physician Access

The Spring 2009 AccessMonitor™ report classified 23 percent of doctors as “medium access.” This group of physicians will see representatives, but are still difficult to reach: approximately 50 percent of the sales representatives that visit these doctors fail to get in the door. About six percent of physicians in the country fell into the “low access” category, which means they will not see representatives from any company.

Further, though challenges to physician access exist nationally, the report shows particularly high restrictions in Boston, Minneapolis and parts of Wisconsin and the Northwest (including Seattle and Portland). In these areas, more than 20 percent of doctors are difficult to see.

“AccessMonitor™ details the true state of physician access in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry today,” said Wright. “We anticipate that our findings will drive companies to make meaningful changes to their sales force structure and deployment, improve territory and compensation plan design and, in turn, make the best use of all available resources.”

In addition to the bi-annual national industry reports, participating companies also receive a company-specific AccessMonitor™ report. To learn more or to participate in the next round of reporting, contact ZS Associates at +1 (847) 492-3602 or visit

About ZS Associates

ZS Associates is a global management consulting firm specializing in sales and marketing consulting, capability building and outsourcing.  Founded in 1983 by Andris A. Zoltners and Prabhakant Sinha, professors at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the firm today has more than 1,100 professionals in 17 offices around the world. It has assisted more than 700 clients in 70 countries.

As the largest global consulting firm focused on sales and marketing, ZS Associates has experience across a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical products and services, financial services, transportation, and high-tech.  ZS consultants combine deep expertise in sales and marketing with rigorous, fact-based analysis to help business leaders develop and implement effective sales and marketing strategies.

For more information on ZS Associates, call +1 847.492.3602 or visit


Greg Austin
ZS Associates

Mack Reynolds / Anahita Wadia
The Reynolds Communications Group /

Posted: April 2009