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For over fifteen years, I have utilized Buckman Enochs Coss to hire over one hundred individuals for Sales and Sales Management positions for a variety of healthcare technology firms. Whether it’s been for Fortune 500 companies or early stage, VC backed start-ups, BEC has always done a terrific job in sourcing top-talent.

Scott Schlesner
Vice-President of Sales

Outcomes Based Contracting: Is it Beneficial for the Medical Sales Industry?

As payers and healthcare providers shift their focus to outcomes, new contracts are increasingly founded on the long-term effects of a pharma product or device, not on immediate financial benefits, discounts, pricing structures, or revenue generation for the provider or insurer. Most industry analysts and patient advocates see this as a positive shift overall. With outcomes-based contracting in place, patients are more likely to receive effective, appropriate, and affordable treatments; and the healthcare system stays focused on the core goal of protecting and preserving patient health. 

At the same time, the responsibility for this shift — both financial and operational — typically falls on the manufacturer. If a drug doesn’t serve the primary goal of affordable and effective treatment, its chances in the marketplace are reduced under this model, regardless of any investment in research, development, and sales. Pitching the benefits won’t close the deal if these benefits involve pathways and interactions that aren’t made clear to medical administrators and decision makers. If administrators and payers can find a more affordable alternative in an existing formulary, sales teams face an uphill climb. 

Under this new model, specialty drug manufacturers need to demonstrate proven value. Medical sales teams need to arrive at each interaction fully armed with peer-reviewed data, longitudinal comparisons with competing products, and independent studies underwritten in ways that remove all hints of bias. This can be a serious challenge, especially for younger medical sales reps with business or non-medical backgrounds. 

And as it happens, much of the direct burden of the shifting zeitgeist in medical sales falls not on the manufacturer, and not on the junior pharma sales reps wrangling for interactions with administrators, but on the medical sales managers who train and prepare them. As a pharma sales manager in a landscape driven by outcomes-based contracting models, your work may be cut out for you, since your teams will rely on you to provide them with the research and presentation tools they need to make a case that’s focused on value, and only value. 

To face these headwinds, you’ll need a strong recruiting and training program, and you’ll need recruiting partners who can stand with you every step of the way. Contact the medical sales recruiters at Buckman Enochs Coss and Associates to get the guidance you need to find your way in a value-focused sales landscape as a sales manager.