Accessibility Links

Why should you work in Medical Sales?

Posted on: 03 Sep

All over the world, the medical and pharmaceutical sectors are booming, and nowhere more so than in the UK. With a thriving ecosystem of researchers, engineers, designers and clinicians, the UK makes up the third largest market for medical technology in all of Europe, and is a global centre for pharmaceutical drugs, devices and more. Indeed, with more than 3,700 companies in the medical technology sector generating a turnover of £21bn every year, the sector is thriving. 

For people looking to take on a new challenge, medical sales could be the perfect job fit. Flexible, challenged and motivated, medical sales Representatives provide the link between Pharmaceutical, Medical and Biotech companies and the healthcare system which supplies their products to its patients. Given that drug companies spend $985 million developing a new drug –and that doesn’t even account for the money spent on drugs that don’t pass regulations - medical sales representatives are crucial to getting these drugs out into the market.  

Whether you’re a fresh graduate or considering making the switch to a new line of work, here’s why medical sales should be the career for you.

1) It’s flexible

For those people who value a flexible work schedule - which 70% of the UK workforce wish they were offered - working as a medical sales representative is the ideal career path. Sales Representatives have a lot of freedom to control their own diaries, arranging appointments with GPs and medical practitioners at times that best suit them - within reason. Some have compared this freedom to the flexibility you have when self-employed. What’s more, the nature of the job takes you away from your desk a lot as you’ll spend time travelling to see established clients and clinch new sales deals. In medical sales, being independent is part of your day-to-day routine and with more companies offering flexible working options it's up to you to make working from home work for you.

2) It’s well paid

Working as a medical sales representative allows you to take control of what you earn. Alongside the bonuses that come with closing deals, working in medical sales is well paid, with starters earning up to £24,000 and senior-level roles starting at £40,000. When you factor in bonuses, combined with benefits like a company car, laptop, cell phone and - in the UK - private health insurance, you can give your salary a good boost. For those who are incentivised financially a career in medical sales is a great option with the bonuses increasing are you climb the career ladder.

3) You can make a difference

Alongside all the benefits that come with doing a good job, working in medical sales allows you to make a real difference to patient’s lives. And since 90% of people value meaningful work over pay this is fast becoming one of the top motivators for today’s workforce. Your day-to-day tasks involve cultivating and maintaining long-standing relationships with customers, GPs and medical staff all with the goal of improving patient care. Whether you opt to work with medical devices or new medical drugs, the product you sell could prolong a patient’s life by years - or drastically improve the quality of life for a person with a chronic disease. For many sales representatives, that’s a key reason for working in the industry.

4) You have a lot of responsibility

Though international drug companies pour millions of English pounds into developing new drugs, strict regulations mean that the way in which they can market their products is very limited - especially in the UK and Europe. This means that sales representatives play a key role getting these products out into general circulation: whether that’s by pitching your products to senior commissioning groups or educating patients and healthcare professionals on the benefits of a drug, and why it should be used. It’s a lot of responsibility, and creates an atmosphere that ambitious people will thrive in. Therefore, the products don't sell themselves and this is one of the common misconceptions about medical sales representative careers.

  5) You can keep learning

One of the best things about working in medical sales is that you don’t need to have a degree in order to start - and progress - in your chosen career area. Many medical sales representatives come from a wide range of backgrounds, from working in nursing to career paths as diverse as working in the police - though medical experience or a science degree is preferred, it’s by no means necessary. In fact, experience selling along with an ability to absorb large amounts of information about medicines and therapies is just as important.

When you join, the company most often will give you a comprehensive initial training programme, and all the information you need to pass the ABPI Medical Representatives Exam which will test you on everything from pathology and pharmacology to the human body. This is a great career path for anyone with a growth mindset since you’ll also receive on-going training to keep up with the changing demands of the job, new products and the advances in technology. These technologies are what keeps the job of a medical sales representatives continuously transforming, make sure that you’ll never stop learning and is one of the top reasons to love working in medical sales.

6) It’s varied

You won’t just be clinching sales deals as a medical sales representative: despite what some people may think, a career in sales is remarkably varied. Quite apart from branching out into selling hundreds of different products - from new orphan drugs to medical imaging devices, as well as home health devices and health IT - you’ll also be giving presentations, conducting training sessions, and even helping out surgeons in the operating theatre. If that wasn’t varied enough you’ll also be researching new leads, managing budgets and filing paperwork that ensures you comply with the strict governmental regulations. One thing we claim as certain: whether in the office or on the road, you won’t be bored!

Take control of your future with IQVIA

At IQVIA, our consultants will work hard to match talented applicants to the best jobs in medical sales and support you at every stage of the recruitment process. It’s our goal to help customers make a difference in the healthcare and life sciences sector and to do this we know we need brilliant people. View our medical sales representative jobs here and take the first step towards an exciting career with IQVIA or find out how to become a medical sales representative.