What does a medical sales rep do? We get this question a lot here at the Medical Sales Authority. The answer to this questions varies quite a bit across surgical sales, capital equipment sales, and pharmaceutical sales. In this article we highlight the day to day of a medical sales rep and explain why it can be such a great career path.
What Is Medical Sales?
Medical sales is selling products used in the healthcare space. As you know, companies have sales reps for practically every product you can think of. Business to business (b2b) sales is when one organization is selling a product to another organization. This differs from an organization selling a product to an everyday consumer. Hospitals and doctor’s offices are no different. The medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers have large salesforce that promote their products in this setting.
Why Work In Medical Sales?
So why should you get into the medical device space? Medical sales can be a rewarding career path in which you get to support innovative technology that helps to improve patients lives. At the end of the day you get to know the products you are selling are improving the health of those in your community. It is satisfying to be involved with new technology including robotics, artificial intelligence, and medications that are making the world a better place.
Also, there is money to be made in medical sales. In terms of compensation for sales jobs, software sales and medical sales rank at the top of the list. These types of products are being sold to a sophisticated audience which requires a strategic approach and strong communication skills. Overall, it is a high level sell and the pay aligns with this.
What Is A Medical Sales Rep?
A medical sales representative works for a company that manufactures products that are used in healthcare. Most of time this is sophisticated device in which the healthcare provider requires support from the manufacturer. It is the job of the medical device rep to support the use of the product during surgical cases. The med rep makes sure the product is available, functioning properly, and that the clinician understands how to effecivtively use it.
What Does A Medical Device Sales Rep Do?
The amazing this about medical device sales is that every job is unique. So throughout your career in the industry, what you “do” on the day to day may look different over time. It depends on the size of the company you work for, the size of geography, how tenured you are in the role, and of course the product you sell. In terms of the product, the day to day of role is dictated by the market share of the product, the level of service issues, and how sophisticated the technology is.
At any medical sales job you will spend time doing the following:
- Responding to incoming leads from new customers
- Prospecting or cold calling
- Addressing customer complaints and service issues
- Updating management on your sales pipeline
- Attending tradeshows and conferences
- Meeting with clients to discuss the product
- Generating quotes
What Does A Medical Sales Rep Do In Surgery?
A surgical sales representative supports products that are used in surgical cases. So this may be a surgical instrument, surgical robotics, implants, etc. In most instances, the rep will need to be available while the surgeon is using the product in case there is anything needed from the manufacturer. The day to day of one of these roles involves being present for the surgeon’s cases. So the reps day to day schedule will in many ways match that of the surgeon using the product.
Cardiovascularbusiness.com provides an excellent article covering what medical sales rep do in terms of educating, coaching, and guiding physicians.
What Does A Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Do?
The day to day of a pharmaceutical rep is a little bit different. A pharmaceutical rep covers a list of accounts that could potentially prescribe a medication. For specialty drugs the list will be smaller as there is only so many physicians that would likely prescribe the medication. On the other hand, if the new medication is geared towards primary care the account list may be very large.
A pharmaceutical sales rep has a route in which they try to get to as many possible accounts on a regular basis. The objective is to get a little bit of face time with the physician, provide relevant literature, and refill the clinics supply of medication samples. This is a very much an activity based job. The more sales call you make, the better you will do.
The Princeton Review provides a A Day in the Life of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
Is It Hard To Be A Medical Sales Representative?
Medical sales is a demanding job. First off, it is a competitive field due to the high compensation. There is always pressure to meet your quota, and if you don’t over a period of time, you will most likely not be in the job. Also, working with surgeons and high level physicians in the OR environment can be stressful. The job requires responding to the whims of both your customers and the demands of management of your own company. In addition to tracking equipment, logging sales calls, keeping up with expense reports, etc.
What Does A Medical Sales Rep Earn?
A related question that comes up is the compensation. Everyone wants to know how much can be made in one of these roles. Click to here to read our article about what to expect of a medical device sales representative salary