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What types of jobs are there within medical sales?

Posted on: 27 Aug
It’s no secret that the life sciences and pharmaceutical markets present huge growth opportunities all over the world. In fact, the global pharmaceutical market reached US$1.2 trillion in 2018, and is predicted to hit US$1.5 trillion by 2023. With more growth comes more opportunities for those who work in pharmaceuticals, and particularly those involved with medical sales. In the ever-evolving pharmaceutical world, the role of medical sales is more important than ever, with an abundance of opportunities for professionals to progress their careers. So what types of jobs are available within medical sales and how can you secure them? 

Medical device sales representative 

A medical sales representative specialising in medical device sales typically has a medical and/or technical background, with a firm understanding of the latest technologies and tools being introduced into the healthcare landscape.  

This role can require presentations, demonstrations and strong sales skills, along with the obvious technological expertise. Medical device representatives work with healthcare decision makers and have a deep understanding not only of their products, but also how medical device technology is applied during patient procedures. 

Pharmaceutical sales representative 

Many medical sales representatives specialise in selling pharmaceutical products. While the role doesn’t have many firm barriers to entry, it is a competitive industry and sales experience is key, as is an understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and the products reps are selling. Pharmaceutical sales representatives often travel for their work, visiting doctors’ offices, hospitals and medical centres in their designated territorial area. This is a role where strong communication and relationship-building skills are essential, as is a thick skin and perseverance. Some medical sales reps start in graduate roles while others transfer their clinical or sales backgrounds to the fast-paced world of pharmaceutical sales. 

Key account manager 

The role of a key account manager is an integral part of sales teams across industries, and this is also true of medical sales. Key account managers increase sales through customer collaboration, and as such have exceptional networking skills and the ability to influence key decision makers. They act as the team’s liaison and expert on account management and maintain a high level of understanding of the current healthcare environment, as well as developing business plans across accounts. It’s an increasingly important role and one that many medical sales representatives aspire to. 

Project sales manager 

Medical sales representatives looking to progress their career should consider a role as a project sales manager. Working in regional sales, these professionals are responsible for reaching sales targets within designated regions, managing market research, target setting and sales plans. Project sales managers act as coaches and motivators to their team members, monitoring their success and helping them to achieve their goals. There is also the opportunity to take operational responsibility for key clients, which means it’s crucial to retain the sales skills developed as a medical sales representative, adding in relationship building and management ability to develop further in this role. 

Find your next medical sales job with IQVIA 

Whichever role you pursue, you’ll always be busy and challenged when you work in medical sales. The rise of technology, increase in regulation and changes to consumer healthcare habits all mean this is an industry that will continue to evolve, and will also always have job opportunities all over the world.  

View IQVIA’s medical sales representative jobs here to take your next career step, or take a look at our latest blogs to learn more about the industry.