Pharmaceutical manufacturers: Selecting the Right Sales Outsourcing Partner

For many pharmaceutical manufacturers, selecting the right sales outsourcing partner is now a strategic need. Planning for this aspect often takes one to two years. In the European pharmaceutical market, different segments need to be researched when it comes to the future of pharmaceutical outsourcing and these are; chemistry, manufacturing, and controls. With these segments, it is important to understand if manufacturers will need to employ a sales outsourcing team or rather employ their team within Europe with the support of other partners. This report comes at a moment when pharmaceutical companies are reviewing their partnerships as a result of the current shortages to fulfill demand due to shortages of existing partners. Further, the need to identify changes in the regulations within the European market.

The article will explain the considerations that pharmaceutical manufacturers should investigate before choosing a new sales outsourcing partner, the types of questions they might have to ask, and how to establish a future-proof resource especially as their product nears a commercial launch.

International Team: One of the important things when looking for a partner is assessing the diversity of the team. The partner should be able to support your company in entering new territories. This will usually require professional, and local experts to navigate the complexities of the market. Given that Europe is a diverse market with different nationalities and languages, it is important that hiring a sales outsourcing partner for your pharmaceutical needs will require a diverse and multi-lingual team. This will not only apply to having local sales personnel but also having a team that understands the right market for your products.

Geographic locations: On top of having an international team, it is important to also consider the geographic locations of the sales outsourcing partner. This is a key factor to determine the success of entering the European territories. North American pharmaceutical manufacturers looking to generate new revenues in the European market should look for a sales outsourcing partner in the European region. Hiring someone from the home market to take your pharmaceutical business across the world is always a big NO. It is important to consider the geographic area of the partners as these know the local markets, and sales ecosystems and are aware of the cultural differences and languages of the potential customers.

Number of years in business and References: Besides the location and team, experience is also a key factor in selecting the right partner for your sales activities. Hence to understand if the sales outsourcing partner is great, it is important to look through their case studies that are relevant to your business and also ask for references from other companies that have worked with them. Based on this information, you can clarify what to expect from the sales outsourcing partners and determine if it is still fit or not.

Furthermore, outsourcing your sales activities requires experience. This shows the quality and trust of the company toward its clients. While a fairly new business in the market might be cheap, it might affect the quality of deals closed for your business due to the lack of experience. Hence choose an experienced sales outsourcing partner to handle your activities in Europe.

The European Pharmaceutical industry

Guidance from strategy to execution: Always consider a partner who will assist your business with the entire sales process from planning, preparations, closing, and post-sales support. A partner like this strives to understand your business and has a good understanding of how to run your operations in a new territory. They should help you understand why your company is working well in one area and why it still needs improvement in other areas. They should have a detailed understanding of your products and services and should be able to demonstrate this knowledge while they are working with their customers.

Network and pipelines: The sales outsourcing partner you select must have the network and sales professionals that are relevant to your industry. Even though there will be a need to carry out 4-5 months of market research to understand the market, partners are still required to have a network and parts of the pipeline available to reach out and call for clarifications of things. This will allow your pharmaceutical business to enter new territories faster. Hence sales in Italy should be left for the Italians and sales in the Netherlands should be left for the Dutch. Hiring a call center from the country to do the sales is not a good idea because these call centers do not often have existing databases, knowledge, and understanding of the business.


Hiring a sales outsourcing partner in Europe should not be a 2 monthly analysis, but a research project for 1 or two years. It is important to comply with the key factors when choosing the right partner which can delay your market entry, increase costs and kill the projects. When planning to work with your sales outsourcing partner, you need to have your team aligned with the sales outsourcing partner. Sales outsourcing is an important way for pharmaceutical manufacturers to expand their business to new markets. If it is done right, it often gives the best results compared to the traditional ways of doing business.

Read more: Laboratory equipment, in-vitro diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals

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About EuroDev

EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing, and Digital Marketing.

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