Revolutionizing Sales Force Compensation GlaxoSmithKline's New Approach

Revolutionizing Sales Force Compensation GlaxoSmithKline's New Approach

In the ever-evolving world of pharmaceutical sales, companies face numerous challenges when it comes to evaluating and compensating their sales force. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a renowned pharmaceutical giant, recently implemented a new sales force compensation system in the United States. This blog post aims to delve into the intricacies of this system, analyze its pros and cons, explore the pharma selling environment in the US, and discuss potential avenues for improvement. 

About GSK:

GlaxoSmithKline, commonly known as GSK, is a global pharmaceutical company committed to improving the quality of human life. With a diverse portfolio of innovative medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products, GSK has established itself as a leader in the industry. The company operates in multiple countries, including the United States, where it faces unique challenges in the pharma selling environment.

Changing Dynamics in the Pharma Selling Environment:

Over the years, the pharma selling environment in the US has undergone significant changes. From a transactional product-focused model, the industry has transitioned towards a more dialogue-focused approach. Healthcare providers now demand deeper engagement, value-driven discussions, and personalized solutions. This shift has prompted pharmaceutical companies like GSK to reevaluate their sales force compensation strategies.

GSK's Sales Force in the US:

GSK boasts a robust sales force in the US that plays a crucial role in promoting the company’s products and driving growth. However, their previous compensation system had certain limitations. It primarily linked compensation directly to sales targets, which sometimes led to unintended consequences. In an effort to address these challenges, GSK implemented a new approach that delinks sales force compensation from sales targets.

Delinking Sales Force Compensation and Sales Targets:

GSK’s new sales force compensation system marks a departure from the traditional model. Instead of solely relying on sales targets, the company now considers various factors in determining compensation. This includes factors such as customer satisfaction, adherence to compliance standards, and engagement levels with healthcare providers. By delinking compensation from sales targets, GSK aims to foster a more holistic approach to sales force evaluation.


The introduction of this new system has sparked diverse reactions within the organization and the industry as a whole. Some sales representatives have embraced the change, appreciating the shift towards a more comprehensive evaluation framework. Others, however, have expressed concerns about the subjectivity that may arise in assessing non-sales metrics. As with any significant change, it will take time to gauge the true impact and effectiveness of GSK’s new compensation system. 

Looking Ahead:

While GSK’s new sales force compensation system is a step in the right direction, there is always room for improvement. Continuous evaluation, feedback mechanisms, and data-driven insights can further enhance the system’s effectiveness. Additionally, exploring innovative technologies and leveraging analytics could provide valuable insights into sales performance and customer preferences, leading to more refined compensation strategies. 


GlaxoSmithKline’s new sales force compensation system in the US reflects the changing dynamics of the pharma selling environment. By delinking compensation from sales targets and considering a broader range of factors, GSK aims to foster a more comprehensive evaluation framework. While the system has garnered mixed reactions, it sets the stage for future improvements and innovation. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve, companies must adapt their compensation strategies to align with the evolving needs of healthcare providers and patients alike. Also get to know about Mercedes-Benz India: Approach to Capturing a Younger Segment case study