Lilly revamps sales model for smaller territories

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Eli Lilly & Co. will eliminate around 300 positions in its US diabetes, neuroscience and osteoporosis sales forces as it implements a new sales model featuring smaller territories, each manned by a rep with deep therapeutic expertise.

The new sales structure, replacing large territories with multiple sales partners, will be in place by the end of the year, the company said. It aims to help reps better connect with physicians and increase accountability while incorporating features developed through Lilly's Customer Engagement Model pilots in Ohio and Wisconsin. “That model, which is about creating value for customers as they define it, is showing results,” said a company statement, including “Voices of the customer scores, employee engagement and sales results.”

The realignment, headed by Enrique Conterno, president, US operations, came out of company research showing that physicians continue to want a point of contact with the company and to interact with a rep who has deep therapeutic expertise and can add more value in interactions.

The company said 4,000 employees are considered eligible for a buyout offer, most in areas where Lilly has a primary care presence, and out of that pool, “several hundred” will be let go. The cap was set “to get it down to an appropriate level but at the same time, make sure we don't disrupt the system,” said a Lilly spokesperson.

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