Develop Your Career in Medical Sales

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How to Develop a Career in Medical Sales

The job outlook as a medical sales representative is bright with a growth rate of 4% from 2018-2028 representing 63,000 new positions. Presently, there are more than 100,000 medical sales reps in the US and the number keeps on growing. Increased spending in healthcare, medical technology advancements, and a focus on preventive healthcare and wellness are some factors affecting the rise of opportunities in medical sales. Working as a medical sales rep can be highly rewarding not only because of financial rewards and job stability, but also travel opportunities and professional development. If you are thinking of becoming one, here are ways to jump start a career in the field of medical sales.

Formal Educational Qualifications

Since the industry is very specific, most openings require a bachelor’s degree which may be in the filed of marketing, business, or healthcare administration. Science degrees are also highly regarded when aiming to work in this field because they provide the foundation in disciplines such as biology, anatomy, and physiology. An applicant who understands medical terminology, diseases, and the effect of pharmaceuticals and devices in treatment processes can effectively communicate with healthcare professionals. Furthermore, a science background also provides credibility and promotes confidence among clients because the sales rep can explain how a product or equipment works, what were the clinical trials undertaken, and their potential side effects.

For example, a sales rep who will work with the military healthcare sector to provide medical products or services understands their needs and offer appropriate solutions. Say red dog tags are required for military personnel with underlying conditions. These tags usually contain valuable medical info about the wearer including allergies and other pre-existing medical conditions. They also include medications that may be needed. As such, medical sales representatives can discuss medical products or services that may benefit those wearing red dog tags.

Internships and Entry Level Sales Position

To complement an educational degree, you can develop foundational skills to improve your chances of landing the job. Learn about the healthcare industry understanding thoroughly, how it is structured including regulations, the trends that are prevailing, and the challenges affecting the sector. Make sure that you are familiar with healthcare reforms, technological breakthroughs, and changes in healthcare delivery models. Central to your success is your knowledge about medical products and services offered by the company. Check their features, benefits, and applications. Compare how a company’s offerings differ to that of their competitors. Ensure that you develop deep product knowledge and can explain the technical specs, effect, and clinical evidence of a medication or device as well as the regulatory requirements.

If you understand well how your products answer the needs of customers and contribute to improved patient outcomes, you can convince clients of the viability of the products and make a sale. Hence, it is vital as well to hone sales techniques, strategies, and closing methods.In this regard, working as an intern or taking up an entry-level sales position can significantly improve your experience and skills in medical sales. You will get valuable hands-on experience in the field and opportunities to interact with clients.

Building Professional Networks

A strong professional network can grant you access to a wide range of career opportunities including job vacancies, internships, and mentorship programs. Networking can even unveil hidden jobs markets and explore prospects that are not advertised. Moreover, networking enables you to share and exchange knowledge with peers, industry experts, and veteran professionals. There are also career advancement opportunities that may emerge when you connect with influential decision makers, mentors, or sponsors who can support you professionally.

To network effectively, attend industry-specific events, trade shows, conferences and seminars related to healthcare, pharma, and medical devices. You will meet industry professionals and connect with potential employers and clients. Sign up as a member of relevant professional associations and organizations in the healthcare and sales fields. Use online platforms and social media networks to expand your professional clout or influence. Engage with pertinent content, actively participate in discussions and join industry groups to enhance your visibility and credibility.

A career as a medical sales representative can be rewarding, but also challenging. In addition to acquiring educational qualifications, training, and professional networking, you must be aware that you need to meet sales targets, deal with negative responses, and adhere to industry standards and regulations.

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