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Case Studies

A Major Pharmaceutical Company

About the Client

A major pharmaceutical company was faced with competitive pressure in several different areas. In some, market reps needed to be more skilled at gaining appointments. In others, they were underperforming in critical steps like detailing therapies or negotiating drugs onto hospital formularies.


Where and how the company needed to improve its performance depended largely on the individuals in specific territories. The company could not effectively isolate and improve shortcomings with a broadly defined offering. It needed an advanced incentive solution.


Madison created a manager-directed discretionary reward system that allowed filed supervisors to set goals and reward sales personnel based on localized objectives. Utilized by all sales force groups, it had over 9,000 eligible users including 8,000 field sales personnel and 1,000 regional and district sales managers.


Designed to be highly adaptive and pertinent to the client’s rapidly changing business climate, the solution was as flexible as it was comprehensive. It blended enhanced managerial options offered with an array of predefined corporate controls. With this platform managers had the ability to direct the investment of their non-cash award budgets quickly and accurately within set business parameters.


In addition to optimizing sales results, our reward system helped field managers play an integral role in the ongoing development of the sales force. Managers used the tool to coach, encourage and promote desired behaviors. It leveraged a combination of company sales aspirations that included a wide range of 12 menu-driven choices ranging from Call Effectiveness to Customer Relationships to Local Teamwork.


Along with an equally diverse group of sub-criteria including Respect for People, Innovation, Leadership and Quality. This gave managers the option of blending both the subjective (behavior based) and the objective (measurable results) within individual growth objectives.


The company’s previous approach was underperforming; Madison quickly ascertained that the mechanics of operation were to blame. Previous mechanics were limiting and counter intuitive. They required unnecessary administrative steps from managers who, over time, had grown frustrated with its restrictive functionality. Managers quickly moved away from the system and this caused recognition activity to decline, engagement scores to weaken and business opportunities to go unaddressed. Madison’s technology simplified the process for all of the users, automated core functionality, removed repetitive workarounds for staff and expanded the platform’s goal setting and coaching utility for field managers.


Our system’s advanced design included an award interface that eased the award selection, issuance, notification and tracking processes. A tool that allowed authorized users to build a program through a series of quick steps and supporting templates along with a site-specific search tool that helped managers find related program information quickly and accurately.


The expanded functionality helped managers nurture the attitudes and abilities of their team by using non-cash contests and recognition funding allocations more strategically. With our solution in place, front line managers are better prepared to set goals and earning criteria. They can easily redirect a rep’s focus to close individual performance gaps or adjust the efforts of their entire team to reflect district or corporate goals.


  1. The program attrition the pharmaceutical company faced from the legacy system has corrected itself. Managers utilize Madison’s technology at a rate of 100%.

  2. Eligible sales reps access the site an average of 1.6 times a week, illustrating its central role in the total rewards mix.

  3. Revenue across all product lines has exceeded forecasts by an average of 5.25% year-over-year.

  4. Engagement levels rose by 42% with most improvements attributable to the employees’ improved relationships with immediate managers.

  5. Surveys suggest stellar levels of satisfaction with Madison’s concept, along with Madison’s day-to- day support and execution of the program. Front line managers indicate they are 98% satisfied with the system while employees rate stratification levels at 96%.

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