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Five biotech skills that easily transfer to medical sales

Let’s recap what transferrable skills are; they are competencies that you develop in one job and carry over to another. That still leaves the question, ‘Why are employers fixated on transferrable skills?’

A recent survey revealed that 87% of companies are either experiencing a skills gap or expect to in the near future. In the face of a skills crisis, employers begin to look outside of their industry, for candidates that might not have direct experience but have a skill set that they can carry over to this industry.

Simply having these skills is not always enough to land a job. Employers need you to illustrate how they will help you in the role you’re applying for. With that in mind, here are five skills that you’ll learn in a biotech setting and how you can apply them within a medical sales role.

Customer service

No sales skills? No problem. Having top-notch sales skills might seem like the most valuable asset to a medical sales rep, but actually, client-facing skills are far more important.

At some point in your biotech career, you'll have interacted with customers. No matter whether this was a small part of your role, you can still explain how you handled the situation and relate that to the medical sales job you're applying for. Just remember, the employer isn't looking for someone who comes perfectly trained, they're searching for that candidate who has potential and the drive to become successful.

Time management

There's an unending stream of technical skills that you'll have honed in your biotech job, including PCR, western blot and molecular cloning. While these specialist abilities might not help you secure a medical sales rep job in their own right, you can highlight how your exemplary time management skills enabled you to complete your technical tasks on schedule and how this will serve you in a sales role.

Data analytics

You've heard that data analytics helps sales reps win more deals, right? And with each passing year, the list of ways that data can be applied within medical sales grows. Just as in biotech, where data analytics would help you to quickly identify the source of error, big data can offer invaluable insight for medical sales reps.

Consumer data, in particular, will give you a broader picture of patient needs, and therefore the medicine and devices they need to live a better life. If you can demonstrate to the employer that data is like a second language to you, they'll be confident knowing that you'll use your data analytics skills to help improve patients' lives. And since a Deloitte survey found that 75% of people believe that customised treatments are the most impactful, this personalised approach matter more than ever.

Adaptability

Ask any professional in the industry, and they'll tell you that meeting sales targets is one of the top challenges that medical sales reps face. But this can be countered with one soft skill - adaptability. Throughout your biotech career, you might have been asked to make lateral moves and try on new hats every so often. The changing trends that have impacted the industry have created new functional roles, and it's the adaptable professionals who have been ready to seize any opportunity that came their way.

It's no different in medical sales. Take the ongoing pandemic as an example. Almost overnight medical sales reps were no longer able to visit hospitals and physicians' offices in person. They had to rethink how they would move prospects through the pipeline without relying on their carefully honed in-person communication style. That's adaptability!

Take your next career leap with IQVIA

There are no two ways about it, medical sales is a rewarding career, and it's one of the reasons why many people choose to make the jump from biotech. And now that you know that you've got the right skills to build a successful medical sales career, all that's left to do is find your next role.

Browse the latest medical sales rep vacancies or explore our other roles to see what opportunities you can find with IQVIA.

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