What does a day in the life of a medical sales rep look like? In general, the day to day varies a lot depending on type of medical device rep. Reps covering surgical cases will be up early and spend most of their day in the OR. Those in the capital equipment space may spend more time in meetings, putting together presentations, and generating proposals. Surgical sales reps definitely spend the most time in the OR. As the premise of the job is to cover cases with surgeons. Other medical sales jobs require less face to face time in front of customers and more time with internal discussions, strategy, and administrative activities. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Read on below to see what one of my days looks like.
Related: What Does A Medical Sales Rep Do?
How Many Hours Does A Medical Sales Rep Work?
The day to day of medical device sales varies a lot depending the company, product, and the reps tenure in the territory. New reps have to grind and work hard. There is no way around it. You have to put in the hours to build up a territory and foster strong relationships. Over time in a territory, it is less about the number of hours worked and more about being efficient and effective. A new rep should expect to work no less than 50-60 hours a week. This entails a 6am or 7am start time, and not wrapping up emails and phone calls until around 5pm. And guess what? If a doctor gives you a call in the evening, you better be available to take it.
Related: What Do Medical Device Reps Do In The OR?
What Does A Medial Sales Rep Do? – Day In The Life Of A Medical Device Rep
6:15am: The alarm clock goes off and it is time to get up. I shower, eat some breakfast, and quickly glance over emails from the evening before. I address any urgent concerns before getting out the door.
7:00am: I am out the door by 7am as I need to be in front of customers by 7:30am or 8am. I need time to get to the hospital and get my equipment setup for product demonstrations. I am pretty efficient, but I do need about 15 minutes to get everything setup.
7:30am: I meet up with my coworkers in the lobby and we head up the department.
7:45am: I talk with the charge nurse or attending physician to see what the schedule looks like for the day. In my niche, the schedule is changing all the time so it could be different than what was scheduled the day before.
8:00am: I touch base with the physicians I will be working with throughout the day. I try to get an idea on which providers will be available, and when. I focus on getting a lay of the land. Who cares the most about the technology and who will ultimately be making the decision?
8:00am – Noon: I am in cases throughout the morning reviewing my product with the doctors as they become available. If I get a few free minutes, I will touch base with the administrative leadership. This includes the department manager or director. I keep them posted on activities and how things are going. Also, I check emails and texts throughout this time. I typically have to step out to take calls from other customers, or my manager.
12-3pm: At this point, I make a decision on if it is valuable for me to stay on-site or if my clinical counterpart can cover the remaining cases. If an important doctor is available, I stick around. If things are starting to slow down, I try to work another customer visit into my afternoon. This could entail following up on a quote, dropping off equipment, picking up equipment, or prospecting. This part of the job takes self motivation and discipline.
3-5pm: This is my time to get caught up on tasks I did not have time for throughout the day. I send follow up emails on product shipments and training inquires. I respond to incoming leads and generate quotes. Lastly, I deal with internal administrative tasks that come up. I try to get anything important completed because I know I will be out the door first thing the next morning. If something is not urgent, sometimes I will wait until an office day to address it.
5pm and Beyond: Sometimes I get evening texts and emails that require an urgent response. If I can, I hold off on responding until the morning. Sometimes things need to be addressed right away. A sales rep must demonstrate a sense of urgency to be successful.
Do Medical Sales Reps Work Weekends?
Some do. In my case, I rarely have to work weekends. Mostly it is for annual conferences and tradeshows. Occasionally, I will need to respond to an email but that is about it. Many trauma reps have call and have to be ready to go for emergency surgeries. When getting a new medical sales role it important to ask about this and understand what the schedule of the job demands. Weekend call is a grind, and it is definitely not for everyone.
Related: Do Medical Sales Reps Wear Scrubs?
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