Quora is a question and answer website where people go to find information. Quora is a great place to track down information on medical device sales jobs. The team at Medical Sales Authority compiled a list of the top questions from users over the last five years. Read below to find our answers and insights.
1. How Did You Get Started In Medical Sales?
Like anyone, I started interviewing like crazy. After finishing college, I knew it was a process to break into the industry. Throughout a three to four month period, I applied for any business to business sales job I could set my eye on. After hundreds of phone calls, and fifteen or so in person interviews I ended up with two offers. One was a role selling service contracts for scientific instrumentation and the other was selling office supply consumables in the healthcare setting. I went with the second job because I wanted to sell a tangible product. The compensation was around 40-45k and my days were spent cold calling. Call after call after call.
After about two years, I started interviewing again. This time I was looking for one of the medical device sales jobs with a major medical device manufacturer. I was still very open minded. I interviewed for pharmaceutical jobs, orthopedic jobs, capital equipment roles, and anything that would move my career forward. I ended up being the runner up candidate for a very solid position. Twice. Trust me, this was extremely frustrating in the moment. But I stayed at it and eventually ended getting an amazing associate role for one of the big players in the industry. The rest is history.
2. What’s The Life Of A Person In Medical Sales Like?
As we have covered before on this blog, there is a lot of variety among medical sales jobs. The day to day looks very different among different roles and at different companies. Most all jobs involve responding to customer calls and emails, prospecting, and driving around to different customer sites. For a surgical sales job, most of the time is spent covering cases in the OR. Check out our article What Does A Medical Sales Rep Do to get a better understanding of the day to day.
Related: Read the article here if you are interested in How To Become A Surgical Sales Representative.
3. Do I Need A Medical Background To Work In Medical Sales?
No, you do not need a medical background to work in medical sales. The vast majority of medical sales reps do not have a medical background. Many are business majors with experience in other business to business sales jobs.
On occasion, you will see a mid career nurse that made the transition. But this level of clinical expertise is not required. Though, if you do have some limited clinical experience this can be asset. It demonstrates that you understand the healthcare setting and know what you are getting into. But at the end of the day these medical device sales jobs are sales jobs.
Many companies do have specific clinical or applications roles. So in addition to sales reps, the companies have folks with clinical experience that support the products. This can be for case support or training purposes. For the most part, this supplements the sales team and is used for product implementation.
4. What Is It Like To Work In Medical Device Sales?
Working in medical device sales is a lot of things. It can be challenging, stressful, demanding, and exhausting. But at the same time it is rewarding, fulfilling, and lucrative. Any experienced rep will have experienced all of this. The key is staying grounded and be grateful for the positive elements of the profession. As in the scheme of sales jobs, med reps have it pretty good.
5. How Do You Become A Pharmaceutical Sales/Medical Device Sales Representative?
We get pretty much every variation of this question. The path into pharmaceutical and medical device may be a little different. But in general, it all boils down to getting b2b sales experience. To get started, read our article on How To Get Into Medical Device Sales.
6. How Much Do Medical Device Sales Reps Make?
The industry average is in the $150,000 to $200,000 range. Typically, about half is salary and the other is commission. It is a a job where performance pays off. High performers in the right role can regularly make more than $250,000.
For more information, read our article covering the average medical device sales salary.
7. What Should Medical Device Sales Reps Expect To Change In The Next 10 Years?
It is hard to predict the future. But there is no doubt about it that healthcare is changing, and with this the role of suppliers. In the scheme of things, healthcare moves slow. So any changes will take awhile to play out. But here are a few current trends to watch out for:
- Hospitals limiting manufacturer reps in the OR
- Purchasing becoming more contract based as healthcare organizations consolidate
- More focus on value based care
- Standardization of medical consumables and medical equipment
- More procedures taking place in the outpatient setting
Related: Check out the NPR article, Sales Reps May Be Wearing Out Their Welcome In The Operating Room.