Sunovion, the Result of a Merger and Multiple Acquisitions, Smoothly Adapts to Constant Change


In 2003, US-based pharmaceutical company Sepracor hired Optymyze to process sales compensation data for its commissioned sales force. Over the next several years, a succession of mergers and acquisitions resulted in a new company called Sunovion, focused on the treatment of respiratory diseases and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), such as anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.


Like in most industries, mergers and acquisitions create challenges for sales operations because incentive compensation programs need to be redesigned to align the strategies of the acquired businesses, the information needs of all stakeholders change, and processes need to be automated—within weeks, not months.

The company’s original sales compensation system was not designed to adapt to a continually evolving sales strategy:

  • Each merger and acquisition expanded data sets from new third-party sources
  • Data integrity issues began causing errors and inconsistencies with sales compensation
  • These disruptions had sales executives looking for direction to improve their effectiveness
  • Information to help convert an evolving strategy into action
  • More effective approaches to incentivizing sales reps
  • Transparency and accuracy so sales reps would stop feeling the need for shadow accounting

The company also needed to make its sales compensation system easily accessible to the field on mobile devices, which was not something they could do at the time.


Ultimately, Sunovion chose to outsource various sales operations functions to Optymyze, eliminating the need to hire staff, license software, and develop sales compensation and sales performance management domain knowledge internally.


Optymyze’s expertise and speed enabled Sunovion to increase its sales force and the complexity of its compensation plans with no increase in administrative headcount.

Sunovion has succeeded in the face of chaos borne of a merger and multiple acquisitions, with help from Optymyze, to effectively unite disparate sales operation processes:

  • Better integration of merged and acquired businesses
  • Stronger data controls and formal change control processes
  • New quota setting methodologies and processes
  • Insightful analysis of performance by salesperson, product, region, compensation plan, and more
  • Visibility for salespeople and managers to see what they are making and how to maximize their compensation

For more than a decade, Sunovion has found a reliable sales operations partner with extensive expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, and Optymyze has stood with its client through the changes, proving itself a valued advisor and results-oriented partner.

By leveraging its ongoing relationship with Optymyze, Sunovion gains guidance with incentive compensation plan design to improve the effectiveness of salespeople in a dynamic pharmaceutical marketplace.



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