Should you place all your sales team in the North?

Deciding how to structure your sales team can be a headache. Just when you’ve finally mapped out your territories and set their targets, someone leaves or changes the boundaries. Do you centre the territory around key accounts even if it increases the travelling time to reach other customers? For emerging companies with limited resources it is important to invest first in the areas with the greatest likelihood for return.

The problem isn’t a new one and most companies take a pragmatic approach to maximize coverage carving up the country according to CCG or practice market spend or even around geographical size. But is this commercial formula which divides the territories or regions according to market size, the best approach?

Clients often ask us to provide them with their market share figures and then tweak territory boundaries. It appears that for most markets the northern regions are always the highest value.  The north-south divide of inequality in health care and life expectancy is well documented but does this translate into a regional difference in sales potential for pharmaceutical and medical device companies?

If we examine the overall spend per registered on primary care drugs and appliances between the different UK regions, then those in the north do seem to spend more than the average spend per patient as shown in Figure 1.

Spend per patient regionally

Can this be explained by the allegedly younger and therefore healthier population in the south or is there more of a propensity to prescribe a brand rather than a cheaper generic in the North?

So what does this mean for positioning your sales team? Clearly it depends on the specific market potential which will vary according to the different therapy choices and patient demographic.

It makes sense to drill down into the primary care organisations within each of the regions.  For markets with a defined patient population, such as contraception it makes sense to look at the rates for the target consumer.

We’ve examined these rates for a number of therapeutic areas which provide interesting insight. To discuss these figures for a specific market at local health board or CCG level get in touch at


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