Improving Sales Force Effectiveness: Bayer's Experiment with New Technology

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG200 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


International Marketing, Pricing, Market Skimming Strategies
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Bayer HealthCare
Industry : Pharmaceutical
Countries : USA, Europe, UK


This case is about Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Bayer HealthCare), the US-based pharmaceuticals unit of one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, the, Germany-based Bayer AG. It discusses the initiatives taken by the marketing and sales team to increase the sales of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) drug Betaseron in 2007.

Betaseron, which was marketed as Betaferon in markets such as Europe and Japan, was a mature brand for the company. However, since the mid-1990s it had been unable to capture market share in the US. With the drug getting approval for marketing in a new indication, the company geared up to take advantage of the situation.

New marketing communication was created and the sales force was trained through an online data-driven simulation video game sales tool, Rep Race - The Battle for Office Supremacy (Rep Race). In addition to its educational and motivating value, various metrics related to individual and collective performance of the sales reps on the game could be captured through this gaming platform.

The subsequent success of the brand was largely attributed to the Rep Race gaming platform which also won the coveted 2007 Rx Club Gold award for the 'best use of interactive media'. According to the company, Rep Race helped improve sales force effectiveness of the Betaseron sales team at a time when the industry was struggling to increase sales force productivity due to various constraints in the pharma selling environment.


Understand issues and challenges in improving sales force effectiveness.

Understand issues and challenges in training and motivating the sales force.

Analyze the pharma selling environment in the 21st century and the implications for the sales force and the organization.

Understand how the role of the pharma sales force had changed in the 21st century.

Understand how new technologies could be used to improve sales force effectiveness.


  Page No.
Game for Sales Force Effectiveness? 1
Background Note 2
Betaferon/ Betaseron - A Mature Brand 3
New Opportunity for Betaseron 4
Challenges 5
Sales Training Intervention 7
Rationale behind Rep Race 10
Results 9
Outlook 10
Exhibits 12


Sales force effectiveness, Training, Motivating, Pharma selling environment, Sales process, Pre-call planning, Objection handling, Closing, Post-call analysis, Productivity, Simulation, Game , Rep Race, Betaseron, Bayer

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