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The future of being a Medical Sales Rep: what do you need to know?

The Pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve- and with it, the role of the Medical Sales Representative. Thanks to the rapid development of technology and science, more frontiers are opening up in the world of medicine and medical devices, creating new opportunities for Medical Sales reps to test themselves and branch out into new areas. With the UK pharmaceutical industry investing £610 million in capex projects, the future is bright.

However, with these new opportunities come new things that Medical Sales Representatives need to be aware of, if they want to stay ahead in an industry that’s rapidly changing. Here’s what you need to know.

The switch to consultant

The role of a Medical Sales Representative is diverse, and involves everything from paperwork to budgeting, yet the key to making a success out of your career is building strong relationships with your clients, whether they are pharmacists, GPs or nurse advisors. Indeed many salespeople agree that closing deals is the most important aspect of their job; however, there are also signs that this is starting to change in the Pharma industry.

The strenuous regulations that make navigating the world of selling and marketing within Pharmaceuticals so difficult also create some challenges when it comes to closing deals. Due to this complex web of regulations, Sales Representatives don’t have as much influence over decision making as they once did. Information is much more freely available than it used to be, and simply informing clients about the product that they want to sell isn’t a viable prospect any more when it comes to piquing their interest.

Instead, tomorrow’s medical sales reps will be expected to take control of a larger customer base, balancing selling their product with patient care and relationship building. A medical sales representative career is an extremely rewarding one since the job becoming much more patient-centric and relationship-focused than it used to be, and reps are expected to engage with a variety of people on every level of the supplier chain as part of their day job. Medical Sales Representatives will also become much more focussed on advising their clients, even getting stuck into demonstrating how their product works in person. In the future, a sales-oriented approach will be replaced by a relationship-focussed one- and strong communicators will be needed to make it work.

Making the leap to digital

Technology has been making inroads into the Pharma industry for quite some time. Giants like Apple and Google have long been investing in developing cutting-edge Biotech products that are due to shake up the Medical Sales market. With Pharma giant Pfizer tapping into AI technology to push forward the development of precision cancer drugs, smart wearables helping to collect data in the fight against Covid-19, and even leaps forward in areas like CRISPR-treated cells and genome-editing technology, the frontiers of science have never seemed so broad.  

Not only does this open up the role for Medical Sales Representatives who want to diversify into the digital space, but it also opens up the ways in which they can communicate with clients. Quite apart from multichannel marketing in Facebook, Twitter or even WhatsApp, sales reps can also use mobile apps to track their customer accounts, manage relationships and even streamlining their sales processes with digital tools. In fact, 71% of sales reps are using social tools to close a sale. At the same time, the increased capabilities of big data will let consultants analyse and target clients more effectively than ever before. If you want to get ahead, you’ll want to have an apt for using technology.

New frontiers

The Pharma industry is changing. As more and more patents expire, generics will come onto the market, whilst the popularity of orphan drugs is rapidly increasing. This, combined with the slew of new Biotech and medicines making their way onto the market, means that the role of the Medical Sales Rep will undoubtedly change. Are you ready for it?

Join our diverse community of culture at IQVIA

At IQVIA, we keep our finger on the pulse of the changing market so we can continue to provide a stellar service to others- and match our brightest candidates to the jobs of the future. And with over 61,000 colleagues spread across 100 counties the opportunities are endless. Apply for your next medical sales representative job or for more insight into the medical sales industry check out our blogs

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