SAMPS was previously Association of Commercial Professionals for Life Sciences (ACP-LS)

Research News: Your Customers Don’t Need Your Sales Reps

September 5, 2013

Well, actually, they do, but not for the reasons they did in the past.

Data from two research studies that asked your customers how they can best be served by your sales reps and how your reps were perceived will be presented at the SAMPS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on September 19th and 20th.

Among the findings

  • Only 20% of US researchers consulted a rep before purchasing a genomic analysis reagent kit1
  • Only 12% of European researchers consulted a rep before purchasing cell culture media and reagents1
  • Almost 50% of researchers believe that a rep had no impact on their selecting a life science service provider2
  • Reps were rated highest on professionalism, but lowest on scientific knowledge and the ability to offer creative solutions2

>But don't start dismantling your sales forces yet. The research also identified information and services that customers wanted your reps to provide, along with the professional skills and personal attributes that made reps highly desirable.

Two studies, one goal—21st-century reps

At the SAMPS Annual Meeting, Bill Kelly, President of BioInformatics LLC, will present the results of a study that focused on customers who purchased life science instruments and consumables. The study identified what reps could do to build strong customer relationships and to deliver the tactics to support a lab in the way that the lab wants to be supported.

Information uncovered in the Bioinformatics study includes:

  • How scientists learn about consumables and instrumentation, eg, preferred frequency and mode of communication
  • Preference for a rep's use of technology and marketing collateral, eg, leave behinds vs rep Twitter feeds and vendor blogs
  • Satisfaction with technical and purchasing assistance provided by reps
  • The impact of demographics on customer preferences

In the second study, Jon Meyer of the Life Science Strategy Group and Cinda Orr of Scorr Marketing utilized survey mechanisms developed in conjunction with the SAMPS to assess the perceived value, strengths, and development needs of sales teams that sell to buyers of services related to life science R&D and manufacturing.

Results from the second study documented several aspects of a rep's interaction with a customer, among them

  • Rep performance, personal attributes, professionalism, product and scientific knowledge, and their impact on sales outcome
  • Correlation between rep perception and vendor perception
  • The impact of rep perception on vendor selection
  • Variance of these perceptions with business type, service nature, or geography

Why the SAMPS exists

The findings from these research studies confirm the SAMPS raison d'être, that is, to provide the means for its members to work collaboratively to set best practices, create educational programs, and develop a code of conduct and industry standards. The Annual Meeting represents an opportunity to not only improve the business practices that improve an organization's bottom line, but to help the life science industry create more efficient approaches to develop therapies and diagnostics.

To help ourselves and our customers, life science commercial professionals have to improve their craft and interact more effectively with clients. Joining your peers at the Annual meeting to discuss these research studies and other topics, attending SAMPS webinars, and participating in discussions at the Association blog are mechanisms to reach these objectives.

But the key ingredient was and always will be your involvement.


If you can't attend the Annual Meeting but want to learn more about the research studies, contact Mary Follin (consumable and instrumentation study), or Jon Meyer and Cinda Orr (services study) directly.

  1. BioInformatics, LLC. Life Science Sales Reps: A Guide to Best Practices in 2012. 2013.
  2. Life Science Strategy Group and Scorr Marketing. Perceptions of Life Science Servce Provider Sales and Marketing. 2013.
SAMPS, Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research, is the first and only organization dedicated to sales and marketing professionals within the life sciences.

The association’s goal is to serve its members who work in commercial roles for life science products and services companies and associated businesses, globally.
SAMPS was previously named ACP-LS. We feel that SAMPS more clearly describes the membership, and will form a better foundation from which to expand this membership globally. 
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