So you want to get into medical sales? As a recruiter specializing in the medical field for almost 3 years, I am often approached by young individuals seeking some guidance on how they can get involved in the industry. If you are one of these individuals, I will break down your best chance of getting into medical sales.
Step 1: Get some outside sales experience
Medical sales is a very professional environment and companies are not going to give individuals a job without seeing some success in outside sales first. Most companies that I work with require 1-5 years of experience in business-to-business sales. While it’s a bummer you can’t get into your dream environment right off the bat, working for one of these companies that I am about to share will give you a tremendous foundation of sales experience.
Certain B2B companies are known to have world class sales training programs that can harness any raw abilities you may have. Being able to speak to people is a must, but you will learn how to identify needs in your clients and walk them into a close. This foundation of experience will stay with you forever and will give you a leg up on anyone that didn’t have the training you did. It’s important to note that you specifically want outside B2B sales experience. Don’t take an account management job or an inside sales job if you know you don’t want to be there. You would run the risk of being pigeon-holed into that job.
The companies that I know have great sales training: ADP, Paychex, Cintas, Unifirst Corporation, Canon Business Solutions, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Staples Business, Office Depot, FedEx, E&J Gallo Winery, Southern Glazers. I am sure there are others, but I regularly find polished and talented sales people from these companies. It’s important you have success with these companies, 100% to goal and president club awards need to be your target.
Step 2: Figure out what niche is right for you
After you’ve gained some experience, it’s now time to start opening yourself up to new opportunities and begin your search. What industry is going to be right for you? There are roughly 4-5. You have the most popular Capital Equipment (medical device), as well as Medical Supply, Laboratory Diagnostics, Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnology. All 5 have pro’s and con’s and all 5 can be very lucrative depending on the niche and division you are in.
Step 3: Find recruiters in your field
Once you’ve gained experience and you’re ready to start applying to medical opportunities, you should start connecting with recruiters that work in your desired niche. A lot of recruiters will work with a blend of these opportunities, but there are recruiters who specialize in certain fields. The company I work for, Vanguard Healthcare Staffing, specializes in Laboratory Diagnostic services. We do have some medical device, medical supply and biotechnology clients, but for the most part, our clients are in the diagnostic space. Connecting with recruiters and following their companies LinkedIn page will help give you additional chances to join the medical industry.
The medical field is a great industry to be in and while the path to getting into medical sales can be challenging, those who get in will rarely leave. I hope these tidbits of information will help you with finding a home in the medical sales industry!