PharmaSales Case Study

Topgrading Boosts Sales at Leading Pharmaceutical Company

No. of Employees: 50 (Sales Division of Global Company)
Industry: Pharmaceutical Equipment


  • Cost of one mis-hired sales rep before Topgrading estimated at over $1 million
  • Improved from 33% to 75% A Player sales representatives hired
  • Hires top sales representatives, even at low salary base

Note: Names have been changed as the parent company does not permit endorsing products or services.

The Company

PharmaSales, Inc. specializes in products related to wound closure. Regional Sales Director Pat Jones was frustrated by too many mis-hires in a highly competitive job market, and introduced Topgrading methods for hiring Sales Representatives. The region has 45 sales representatives.


PharmaSales maintained their parent company's hiring methods and added three Topgrading hiring methods to address major problems in hiring: completeness and accuracy of information.

Like all Topgrading companies, at PharmaSales, candidates are told that a final step in hiring is for them to arrange reference calls with their past managers, and with their current manager once an offer of employment is extended and accepted.

After a successful phone screen interview, candidates complete the Career History Form, followed by a Tandem Topgrading Interview which probes for valuable insights throughout the candidate's career.

Finalist candidates arrange personal reference calls with their former sales managers, which provide excellent verification of all the information learned. A job offer is contingent upon "no significant surprises" in a reference call with the candidate's current manager. So far, no job offers have been withdrawn due to a reference call with a current manager.

"Although in the 2008 Recession all sales forces in the industry were selling less, I’m confident that our Topgraded sales force sold much more than if we hadn’t Topgraded."

- Pat Jones, Regional Sales Director


After implementing Topgrading, the percent A Player sales representatives hired at PharmaSales increased from 33% to 75% and forced resignations declined from fourteen to two. Pat Jones was promoted in 2012 to Vice President Sales for all regions of sales.

The parent company declined to allow their inclusion in this study to provide business results, but allowed Jones to state her belief that the Topgraded sales team “sold much more than the pre-Topgrading team.” Furthermore, the costs of mis-hired sales representatives, estimated to be $1 million per rep, have plummeted.

Talk to an advisor to see how Topgrading can help your organization.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. The Topgrading methodology will transform your hiring process by increasing the number of A player hires and decreasing the number of mis-hires. Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow high performing teams. Contact us to learn more about the Topgrading approach to hiring and start achieving better hiring results now!

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