Pharmaceuticals Sales Organization – Case Study


A Pharmaceutical Sales organization noticed a disparity in the abilities of its sales representatives and wished to find a way to screen candidates to identify those who were most likely to succeed. Faced with this situation, this study was conducted to examine the relationship between Total Person Assessment scores and the performance of the pharmaceuticals Sales Representatives.


Eight pharmaceutical Sales Representatives participated in the current study. Each participant was administered the Total Person Assessment and had their performance evaluated by the organization. Sales Representative performance was evaluated using two performance measures. First, the sales organization evaluated employee competencies in a variety of areas determined to be important to organizational success. Second, each employee’s performance was evaluated in the form of a sales goal ratio over the first three quarters of the year. When combined, these two performance measures revealed three Top Performing Sales Representatives and five Bottom Performing Sales Representatives.

Job Match Pattern

In a Concurrent Study format, a Job Match Pattern was developed for the Sales Representative position using the Sales Representatives’ scores on the Total Person Assessment. This pattern now serves as the benchmark to which other employees may be matched.

Performance Groupings

Using the performance information gathered from the employer, Canada Human Resources Centre built a pattern that described the qualities of the existing Top Performers in the sample. All eight Sale Representatives were matched to the pattern. After a review of the results, an overall Job Match Percent of 90%, or greater, was found to best identify Top Performing employees. This Job Match Percent serves as the benchmark to represent a good match to the Job Match Pattern.

This study demonstrated the pattern efficiently identifies Top Performers:

– Top Performers correctly identified as Top Performers by the pattern: 3 of 3

– Bottom Performers incorrectly identified as Top Performers by the pattern: 0 of 5

Of the eight Sales Representatives in the sample, three achieved a Job Match Percent of 90% or greater. All three of the Top Performing Sales Representatives in the sample exceeded the 90% Job Match Pattern breakpoint while none of the five Bottom Performers achieved the same 90% breakpoint.

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1. The sales dollars generated by the Top Performing Sales Representatives over the first three quarters of the year averaged $802,348. During the same sales period, the Bottom Performing employees averaged $617,786 in sales. The Top Performing Sales Representatives in the study averaged nearly $185,000 more sales dollars than the Bottom Performing Sales Representatives during the sales period.

2. In addition to the gains seen in sales performance by those who were selected by the Job Match Pattern, those who scored at or above the 90% benchmark averaged an organizational competency score of nearly 20. Those Sales Representatives who did not achieve the Job Match Pattern breakpoint averaged a substantially lower organizational competency score of 15.4. Thus, the competencies of the Sales Representatives selected by this pattern are more aligned with organizational goals than those of the Sales Representatives not selected.


Using the Total Person Assessment to benchmark employees, the Pharmaceutical sales organization is better able to screen Sales Representative candidates. Using performance information provided by the client, the Profiles International team built a Job Match Pattern that distinguished the key success related attributes of the Top Performing Sales Representatives and those of the less productive members of the organization. Of the eight Sales Representatives in the sample, only three achieved the Job Match Percent breakpoint of 90%, all three of these Sales Representatives were Top Performers in the position. Clearly, this study has shown that by using the Total Person Assessment the organization has improved its selection practices.