Business travel is part of any sales job. Time spent in front of the windshield, nights in hotels, and eating out are all part of the job. Some people love this and some people hate it. To be honest, it is more fun towards the start of a career. Travel is novel and each new destination brings some excitement and joy. The novelty wears off for most reps and travel becomes a grind after many years on the road. The good news is that some sales reps were able to get a reset during the midst of the Covid pandemic. In this article, we cover the positive and negative aspects of life as a traveling medical sales rep.
Do Medical Device Sales Reps Travel A Lot?
Travel is necessary because most sales activities take place face to face. While some things have moved virtual during the current era, medical sales is still very much a face to face type of industry. Medical device sales reps travel to see customers, for internal meetings or training, and to attend conferences.
Related: Day In The Life Of A Medical Sales Rep
How Much Do Medical Sales Reps Travel?
The amount of required business travel varies dramatically between different roles. A lot of the orthopedic sales roles with big companies require minimal travel. You may be on the road for training and internal meetings, but that is about it. Since you only cover a handful of facilities and surgeons you don’t have to get on the road to see customers. On the other hand, if you join a start up company or are in a capital equipment sales role, get ready to spend a lot of time on the road. Reps have larger assigned geographies since purchases are made more infrequently.
Travel also varies based on the city you live in. In major metropolitan markets, like San Francisco or LA, you are less likely to have overnight travel. Though, you will probably spend this time sitting in traffic instead.
In general, the average sales rep spends about 20% of their time with overnight travel. This breaks down to about one night a week or four nights a month. Still, many reps spend two to three nights a week on the road.
Related: Is Medical Device Sales Hard?
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Business Travel?
Benefits Of Business Travel
- You get to see new cities.
- Free meals. Get ready to try new restaurants and cuisine.
- Do you like free travel? Business travel is great way to earn hotel and airline points. It is a perk of job.
- Variety. Do you get bored of doing the same thing in the same place everyday? Business travel is a great way to mix things up.
- A company car. At some companies this includes a car, car insurance, and gas reimbursement.
Disadvantages Of Traveling For Work
- It can be hard to maintain work-life balance with frequent business travel.
- Health. It is difficult to eat healthy and maintain a consistent exercise schedule if you spend multiple nights a week on the road.
- Hobbies and personal endeavors. There is no way around it, travel is time consuming. It will cut into your personal time. Business travel is not something done only during business hours.
- Time away from family and friends. It can be difficult for those with young children at home.
- More travel means more overall work. Travel time cuts into your regular day to day work. This means you will be catching up on email and calls in the evenings and after hours.
The type of travel will vary based on the company, geography, role, and your personal travel style. Some people prefer to fly everywhere and most companies are fine with that. Others, carry around equipment or devices which are logistically easier to bring in the car. Some people hate spending time at airports and so they drive everywhere by choice. There is flexibility to how you optimize travel. High performing reps get to choose how they travel and what is the most efficient way to cover a geography. Whether this means early mornings at the airport, or late nights getting home, that is up to the individual rep.
Related: What Does A Medical Sales Rep Do?
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