Best Entry Level Sales Jobs
What is the best entry level sales job to get experience and transition into medical sales?
First off, I don’t believe there is a definitive “best” job for building sales experience. But there is without a doubt some positions that will be more beneficial when making the transition into medical sales. There are specific attributes of certain entry level positions that hiring managers know build strong skill sets that will be useful in the medical sales space. If you are attempting to get your first sales job out of college as a step towards breaking into medical sales, considering these elements will be important. You need to learn what experience and skills are needed to get an entry level medical sales job.
How To Get Into Sales?
Your first sales job is important. It is not so much about the money as developing the right skills and getting the experience needed for the next step. Listed below are the key criteria you should look for in your first sales role.
What Sales Skills And Experience Do You Need For An Entry Level Medical Sales Rep Job?
1. Sales Hunting
A job in which your responsibility is to be a hunter. There is nothing hiring managers like to see more than experience knocking on doors, taking rejection, and overcoming objections. Only time and experience out in the field cold calling can truly build this skill. This aspect of an entry level sales job may not be fun, but it builds a fundamental skill that will be useful throughout your career. A role based more on maintaining established relationship and making routine calls on existing customer does not build the same mentality as spending days out in the field hunting for potential customers. Cold calling on the phone is also important. Although a strictly inside sales job (calling customers on the phone) will not be the experience needed to transition into medical sales.
Here is an excellent article by Matt Robertson on Hunters Vs. Farmers: The Different Sales Personas.
2. Formalized Sales Training
A job in which there is some type of formalized sales training. If you are interviewing for a medical sales job one of the hiring managers first tasks is to identify if you have received formal sales training and learned the basic sales skills. If your first few years out of college were spent working for Enterprise Rent-a-Car or selling copiers for an office supply company it is easy for a hiring manager to confirm this. These companies are known for their reputable sales training programs and even provide quantitative information about your performance. On the other hand if you worked for a small, unknown company in which were thrown right into the field after being hired, it does not offer the same credibility. As you search for your first job, ask if a formal sales training program is provided.
Being able to articulate the sales training you have completed is crucial during the interview process. Click here to learn how to prepare for a medical sales interview.
3. Documentation Of Sales Success With Sales Performance Metrics
A job which provides quantitative and objective information on your performance. Sales numbers can be arbitrary. If you work at a small company how does someone outside the company know what success looks like? How would they compare it to success at another company? This is the challenging part about sales performance and sales metric. For this very reason, early on it is helpful to work at a bigger company that provides standardized rankings that others in the B2B (business to business) space understand.
Being a high performer in your first sales job will help you speed through the interview process. Click here to learn about the medical device interview process.
4. Understanding Of How To Build Your Network
A job in which you are able to build a network among a relevant group. Getting medical sales job is all about networking. As your career develops you meet more and more connections. These folks move around and soon enough you know people at practically every company in the industry. But this process takes time and effort. Make a professional LinkedIn page and regularly add contacts and nurture these relationships over time.
Best Entry Level Sales Companies
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car
- Konica Minolta
Medical Rep Jobs No Experience
All of these jobs for the most part are entry level b2b (business to business) sales. They provide the fundamental sales skills that will serve you moving forward throughout your career. The basics include things like:
- Communication with customers
- Objection handling
- Positioning products
- Effectively prospecting and cold calling
- Territory management
- Addressing customer service issues
- Sales forecasting
- Presentation skills
Entry Level Medical Device Sales
Most likely your first sales job will be in a b2b sales role that is not in the medical industry. This will build excellent sales skills and put you in a position to make the transition into medical sales. Though if you are lucky, you may be able to get an initial job that is somewhat connected to the healthcare space.
Medical Rep Jobs No Experience
Obviously for an entry level role you will most likely not be selling a high end product or complex technology. But even if it is selling knee braces, it builds initial experience selling to physicians. Here is the type of experience you should pursue in an entry level medical sales job:
1. Selling To Doctors
A job in which you call on physicians. There are numerous call points that build strong experience in a entry level job. I called on the managers of different departments of the hospital in my first job (lab manager, biomed manager, pharmacy manager, purchasing manager, etc.) This is a very broad target and generated exposure to many different care areas in the healthcare setting. Though, I believe the ideal call point for a first job would be selling some type of product to physicians.
2. Hospital Supply Chain
A job in which you work through the hospital procurement process. Regardless of the company or product, familiarity with how hospitals and clinics purchase medical products is a huge asset. There is typically a process for medical consumables and a different process for capital equipment. It is crucial to understand the stages of approval of how a request goes from the end user or department level, through material management or executive approval. In an entry level medical rep role, any exposure you can gain to the healthcare purchasing process will be of great value.
3. Healthcare GPOs
A job in which you gain experience with hospital contracts and healthcare GPOs. To get the best pricing hospitals are part of group purchasing organizations (GPOs). This allows them to leverage their size and volume to get the best pricing from vendors. Even if the product you are selling in your first role is not sophisticated, there is significant value in becoming more knowledge in the hospital purchasing process and how GPO contracts function in healthcare.