An Overview of the Career in Healthcare Sales

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healthcare sales personAre you a science graduate having an interest to opt for a career in sales? The role of medical sales representatives can offer your dream career. It will allow you to stay in touch with cutting-edge science and interact with diverse types of people to sell medical products. What exactly these sales representatives have to do and what it requires to achieve this position?

Duties of medical sales representatives

At its core, the duties of a medical sales representative are to promote, market and distribute specific pharmaceutical equipment to medical establishments. The responsibilities of a medical sales representative are more arduous than that of drug dealers. These representatives visit hospitals and meet with doctors, in order to persuade potential customers to use their products.

They prepare presentations to convey the advantages of their medical devices. It is a challenging role as the sales representatives have to deliver the presentation in front of doctors or other medical professionals. These customers may come up with different types of questions and only an in-depth knowledge about medical devices will enable sales representatives to answer any queries of potential customers and negotiate prices.

The medical sector has a broad range of products which include orthopaedic devices, surgical equipment, dental products and bone transplantation products. Many companies manufacture a wide range of products while there are many companies which specialises in one or two devices. As a sales professional, you may specialise in single medical equipment or deal with different products.

While acquiring new clients is the major part of healthcare sales representative’s job, other duties comprise of maintaining good relationship with existing customers, studying competitive products and preparing presentations.

Entry requirements

Niche companies sometimes prefer candidates from a science background.  A degree in science is not indispensable, but it helps a lot in this profession if you have a degree in biology, pharmacy, medicine or nursing. It will be easier for you to understand the underlying science behind the healthcare products and talk to medical professionals on product related matters.

Those with degrees in marketing, business or finance can adjust in this role, but they need to illustrate a passion for healthcare industry and the ability to efficiently convey science. If you are not from science background, you have to undergo a training to enhance your medical knowledge and sharpen your sales skills.

In the UK, medical sales representatives have to qualify in an exam set by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), within two years of beginning a medical sales representative career. The exam is based on industry codes of practice, disease areas, human anatomy and physiology.

Sales representatives working in medical sector will need certain interpersonal qualities. As a sales representative you have to be confident and convincing. If you want to enjoy the sales job, you need to possess resilience and tenacity. However, practical you are, there are times when people will reject your offer straight away. You have to learn not to take it personally and proceed with your tasks. The representatives have to meet clients and most of their works are face to face. It is vital that sales professionals are able to approach unknown people and build up a relationship with them.

The healthcare sales representatives have to spend their maximum time on-road. They have to sale various medical equipment at the same time. In order to be successful in this marketing profession you need to do multi-tasking, have analytical skills and be creative. Experience will help you to achieve a managerial role in these healthcare sales jobs.

Salary and benefits

The average salary that medical sales representatives can earn is usually around £15,000 to £25,000 per annum. Senior representatives earn an average salary of £35,000 per year. In addition to this basic pay package, they earn a commission for every sales target achieved.


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