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4 tips to help you become a successful medical sales rep

Posted on: 16 Feb

It goes without saying that to become a successful medical sales representative you need a strong work ethic and first-class sales skills. But there’s much more to it than that. Making your mark in the industry will require you to earn the respect of your clients and colleagues and demonstrate a willingness to learn and develop.

Medical sales reps act as the critical link between medical and pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. And since the OECD shows that global spending on healthcare has crept up to 8.8% of GDP and will outstrip GDP growth by 2030, medical sales reps will have an increasingly important role to play in the healthcare market. The chance to help deliver treatments and medical devices that improve or save a patients’ lives is just one of the many reasons why you should work in medical sales.

If you want to make a difference, here are four tips that will help you become a successful medical sales rep:

Focus on relationship building

Building better relationships is the key to a successful medical sales representative career, important both with new and existing clients. In the early stages of a relationship, clients will be hyperaware of whether you deliver on your promises, show them respect and make them feel valued. The Harvard Business Review found positive relationships to be one of the key elements needed to build trust, the others being consistency and good judgment.

Consistency means being reliable and continuing to nurture the partnership with existing clients. Keep the lines of communication strong, be dependable and reply to your client immediately, even if you don’t have an answer at the time.

Be an expert on your client’s product

Simply having the sales skills and the ability to form strong relationships won’t cut it in the medical sales industry. Knowing the product at the same level as your client is what will give you an edge.

Products are designed to treat specific medical conditions and can therefore be complex. So you need to know the advantages and disadvantages and be ready to answer any medical questions that professionals may fire at you. You also need to be well versed in reimbursement, disease states and remain aware of the key trends in the medical sales industry.

Welcome feedback

The 2020 Performance Management Benchmark Report shows that in the last two years, the number of employees seeking performance feedback has increased by 89%. Why? Because no matter whether it’s positive or negative, feedback is essential for growth.

Positive client feedback gives you an indicator as to what the client values. If they encouragingly remark that they can rely on your efficient response rate and ability to get to the root of the problem, then they’ve revealed one of your top strengths. If like most other medical sales reps, you’re goal-oriented, you’ll relish in receiving constructive feedback. This will give you something to work on and improve.

Create a data-driven approach

Technology is transforming the sales process in more ways than one. In fact, it’s reshaping the world around us. The Economist wrote an interesting article titled, “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. So how can data make you a more successful medical sales rep?

Start by thinking about any data that you can collect and how you can gain insight from it. This could mean counting how many customers you interact with each month, your rate of success when you pursue a new lead compared to a referral, or the length of time you spend on the phone to a customer. Combine your data to create a bigger picture of your sales process so you can see where you’re going right and what might need tweaking.

Bring your medical sales rep career to IQVIA

Everything that we do at IQVIA is centred around improving patient outcomes, and being a global organisation means that working with us is an opportunity to influence key healthcare professionals. Our medical sales reps work alongside our clients to ensure that the right products are prescribed for the right patients. Browse our medical sales representative jobs and join us in moving healthcare forward.