In the United States the idea of work life balance is almost a mythical topic. It is something everyone is consistently pursuing without ever quite achieving. Medical device sales work life balance is no different. In general, medical sales reps have a lot of autonomy. This is true of most high level outside sales roles. This means you and only you are in control of creating a sustainable work-life balance. The fact that most reps work out of a home office makes this even harder. No doubt about it, you will have to jump in and work long hours to learn the ropes when you start a new role. Over time you will learn which activities are the high impact, high value activities and which activities are filler. This makes it easier to make the most of your time and try to live a balanced life.
Work Life Balance In Sales – How Many Hours Do Medical Sales Reps Work?
New sales reps should expect to put in fifty to sixty hour work weeks. It takes a couple years to learn a product, build relationships with key customers, and get an understanding of a geography. Surgical sales roles are based around case coverage. In these roles, the number of hours worked isn’t likely to go down over time. These roles can be a grind, and there is no way around it. On the other hand, there is the possibility of settling into a long term groove with roles in medical consumables, capital equipment, laboratory sales, genetic testing sales, etc.
Related: Life Of The Traveling Medical Sales Rep
Is Medical Device Sales Stressful?
Medical device sales can be extremely stressful. Reps should expect to have an ever increasing sales quota on their back. This is the reality of sales. You work hard and meet your quota for the year. Then January rolls around and it starts all over again. The slow periods are what makes the job the most challenging. A strong rep can be doing everything right and still have periods in which sales are slow. The difficult parts of the job really stand out during these stretches. The upset customers, urgent phone calls, early mornings, conflicts with coworkers, etc. It is one thing to weather these things during times when sales are good and numbers are up. It is entirely different managing these issues when your numbers are in the toilet.
Related: Is Medical Device Sales Hard?
Is Medical Device Sales A Good Career?
Medical device positions with strong companies can make for a great career. The jobs pay well and come with a level of prestige. That does not mean they are easy or always roses and sunshine. In general, outsides sales is a hard work. It requires putting up with a lot of rejection and being able to power through discomfort. Healthcare customers are demanding and expect a lot from their vendors. Also, most product niches are competitive with a lot of substitute companies and products looking to take market share.
Related: 5 Things I Like Most About Medical Sales
How Often Do Medical Sales Reps Work?
Most medical sales reps work five days a week. That means business hours Monday through Friday. Life at the hospital starts early. This means that most reps have to be early risers.
The trauma roles are a whole another animal. Reps covering trauma products have to be available whenever emergency cases come up. This calls for erratic schedules and call over the weekends. While these positions can pay well, it is a sacrifice for sure.
How Many Hours A Week Do Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Work?
In the modern era pharmaceutical sales rep work at least forty to forty five hours per week. The general public seems to look at pharmaceutical sales from a glamorous viewpoint. In the 1980’s and 1990’s the pharmaceutical industry exploded. There were reps for every medication and there was a lot of money to be made by companies and reps. Going back in time, the outpatient healthcare space was mostly comprised of private practice physician offices. These are the types of practices that were open from 9am to 4pm. That meant many reps worked pretty sweet hours! They could make some morning calls, bring a customer lunch, and then call it a day mid afternoon. Whether this was a reality or a Hollywood creation is to be debated. Regardless, modern pharmaceutical sales does not work like this. Reps are closely monitored and have to make a lot of calls. The companies view reps as a warm body and want to make sure they are getting the most call volume out of their salesforce.
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