Explaining Medical Sales — Part III

There are several things to think about when you are considering job opportunities in medical sales, whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining Medical Sales – Part II) we covered consumable and service sales and what kinds of personalities best fit different sales jobs.  In today’s video, I discuss specific aspects of sales jobs like: 

  • How high do you want to call up in the organization?  A large capital sale, for instance, will require you call on people high in the organization, such as the CEO or top administrator.  If you’re not comfortable with that, you definitely need to stick with consumable sales or service sales. 


  • How often do you need to close?  If you need to close sales frequently to feel successful, then you don’t want a high-dollar close (like those typically involved in capital sales).  You also don’t want a high-dollar close if you don’t want a lot of travel.  Less travel, on the other hand, gives you more customers within a smaller area, but also gives you smaller closes (typically consumable sales or service sales).


  • Process–do you enjoy simple or complicated? 


  • Potential employer – how do they manage their sales force?  Do you mind being micromanaged through a very structured system?  Or, can you handle great independence?  You need to fit the organization you work for to your personality type.


  • Do you want to be the key person in the sale and handle it all on your own?  Or, do you want to be able to bring in a team with several specialists to assist your sale? 

One thing about pharmaceutical sales:  it’s very different from all other areas of medical sales (laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical supplies sales, medical equipment sales, surgical supplies sales, imaging sales, biotechnology sales, cellular/molecular products sales, medical device sales, hospital equipment sales, imaging sales, etc.).  Pharmaceutical sales reps can’t ask for the business, or close the deal.  They can increase their numbers, and there are some great salespeople involved in pharmaceutical sales.  But for them to move over into one of these other areas, they might as well be starting over.  It’s not to say they won’t be successful…I’m just saying it’s different.

What do you think about these areas? Can you see what kinds of personality traits might best fit?  What’s been your experience with different types of sales jobs?


Written by Peggy McKee - the medical sales recruiter
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One Response to “Explaining Medical Sales — Part III”

  1. […] at it, I have 3 posts that explain different types of pathology sales– Part I, Part II, and Part III, as well as posts on laboratory revenue vs. medical device sales, and how laboratory sales […]