I worked at VaxServe (More than 10 years)
Opportunities to represent company to provide program expansion to customers
DIFFICULT WORK LIFE BALANCE AT TIMES
Advice to Management
Acknowledge successful outcomes
I worked at VaxServe full-time (More than a year)
This is a great job if you are coming right out of college. Average base salary is $56K with a cap of 30% of your salary if you exceed your sales quotas by 20% or more. Great Benefits, They give you a car, work/life balance is at your own schedule. Vaxserve is a subsidiary of Sanofi Pasteur so you know they are not going anywhere.
Field sales specialists do more work than any other Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine Specialist, are grossly under paid, and have territories 5 times the size of their Sanofi counterparts. A typical Vaxserve Territory can cover your entire state. When put into a territory you are given accounts that have already been targeted by local Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine Specialists in previous years. There is a reason why Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine Specialists choose to not call on these accounts and it's because they are small doctor's offices that would rather send patients to hospitals or pharmacies to be immunized. They give you a target of 150 accounts and only pay you on the business driven from those accounts, while at the same time your Sanofi Pasteur counterparts get paid not only on what they sell, but what you and the entire territory sell.
You are asked to sell vaccines at a premium price while at the same time they turn around and sell the same vaccine to your competitors at a cheaper price. You do not have the option to price match against your competitors so you are consistently walking into doctors offices and trying to sell a product that your company manufactures, but your competitor is selling it cheaper than you. It's kind of hard to explain that to a doctor, especially when a doctor has to actually pay for vaccines out of his/her own pocket.
Whenever Sanofi Pasteur has a production issue with a vaccine, Vaxserve is never given large product availability like Sanofi Pasteur, and therefore your accounts and relationships suffer, and at the same time they question why you haven't hit your numbers when you don't have product available to sell.
Vaxserve tries to differentiate themselves with their "Message." They expect you to deliver the message on every sales call. When doing a field ride with management they will make you walk into an office you have a great relationship with and force you to recite the message. Most of the time it just upsets a doctor when you have to take up 5 minutes of their time to remind them of who Vaxserve is. Not to mention Vaxserve has a large line of phone sales reps that nag your territory customers with multiple calls every week. You constantly have to deal with offices complaining about the amount of telesales calls they receive from Vaxserve.
Vaxserve seems to be a trial and error stepping stone for anyone who already has a position with Sanofi Pasteur and wants to advance. They go through sales directors every two years, and when that happens your compensation changes, along with your sales objectives and job description. Trying to advance in the company is not easy, you have to know people within Sanofi Pasteur. They pin a lot of favorites and never give recognition when deserved. The company exceeded $500 million in sales last year and gave everyone a $5 Starbucks gift card and a jacket that said Vaxserve on it.
Their Division Sales Managers are fed corporate answers when it comes to overcoming sales objections in your territory. If a doctor doesn't buy a vaccines from Vaxserve the DSM's blame it on the fact that you are not delivering the "Vaxserve Message" properly. Division Sales Managers cover multiple states and have to do a lot of traveling. They never make their visits convenient for sales reps they are going to ride with. Good luck getting your manager to fly into the city you live in, if he doesn't get a direct flight, Frequent Flyer miles for flying into a small airport, or can't find a hotel that they can get hotel points at, then you will have to drive out of your way to pick that manager up and it can interrupt your already scheduled day.
Lastly, their data management is poor. Sales trackers are consistently incorrect and they refuse to give you a quota number for the year. They run on trimesters and will not give you specific trimester quotas until the trimester is already over. So you never know what your goal is, and when they do give you your final trimester goal the trimester is already over and it's too late to make an impact on the number...it all seems rigged. It seems like the company never wants to compensate you fairly.
Advice to Management
Give recognition when deserved. Listen to what reps actually have concerns about. Believe in your sales force, and stop being so negative. You really need to stop training your reps to be walking robots, its not a professional way to establish and maintain a relationship. Let your reps seek business within their territories; confining a rep to 150 accounts when half of them have no potential to grow limits a reps ability to grow sales. Try letting Vaxserve grow from within. Vaxserve consistently hires people from outside of Vaxserve for promotion positions and it lowers morale within the company. Go to bat for your reps, if a territory generates $500,000.00 in sales obtaining 100% of quota in 2012 and is given a quota of $1.7 million the following year with the same accounts, well you do the math, how is it possible to attain that? Look at what a Sanofi Pasteur VS makes, now compare it to what a Vaxserve Field Rep makes. It's sad that someone with a 6-8 hour territory and more product responsibility is not compensated anywhere near what their counterparts are compensated.
I have been working at VaxServe full-time (More than 3 years)
Very smart and helpful co-workers
Extremely chummy, all male senior management. Highly political with a lot of favoritism.
Advice to Management
If you notice that one employee is always at the center of conflict, perhaps you should get rid of that employee instead of blaming everyone else.
I have been working at VaxServe full-time (Less than a year)
Decent pay. They are very flexible with your hours. Diverse employees. Friendly bosses. "flex-hours" allow you to leave a few hours early on Friday if you accumulate time during the week.
having to Park 5 blocks away at the top of the steamtown mall parking garage. No benefits for temporary employees.
Advice to Management
Consider hiring college students part-time during school. Otherwise, upper management is very friendly and non-intimidating. I enjoy coming to work here.
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