The medical device industry is booming and offers a great career option for sales representatives. The field offers nice compensation, per Medreps, in 2016, the average medical sales rep salary is $145,147, with an average base of $88,038. Employment packages also typically offer car allowance, tuition reimbursement and other great benefits.
It is not just the salary that makes these positions a good option, working in the medical device industry can be fascinating. Advancements in medical device technology are pushing healthcare to a new level and allowing physicians to better treat their patients, saving lives and supporting improvements in the quality of life for people worldwide.
If you are in business to business sales and want to transition fields there are ways of breaking into Medical Device sales. Here we outline a few tips that get you on your way.
Minimum requirement Bachelor’s degree
First of all, if you want to transition into Medical Device and you do not have a bachelor’s degree this is the first thing to address. The majority of top Medical Device companies and emerging companies require a bachelor’s degree for an entry level sales position. If you do not have a degree look for sales opportunities with companies that offer tuition reimbursement. You can gain your sales experience, get your degree and be ready for a role with a Medical Device company.
Put in 3-5 years
If you are currently a business to business sales person or starting out, make sure you gain 3-5 years business to business sales experience. Many entry level Medical Device sales managers like a business to business sales background, but want a track record of success. Ideally the experience will all be with one company. Remember, no hiring managers from any industry like job hoppers.
Attain sales accomplishments and highlight them on your resume
It is not enough to just get a business to business sales job and hold onto it for 3-5 years, but you need to do well at the position. Hiring managers and recruiters want to see sales numbers and accomplishments. Your resume must have quota attainment, awards and other top sales wins.
Not all companies track sales numbers and this can be a problem. If you work for a company where there is no quota or sales numbers, you need to come up with other sales accomplishments for each year of employment. This is also true if you have not made your quota.
For example, if you sell wine:
- 2016 – Increased accounts from 10 to 25 worth $500,000
- 2015 – Signed major super market chain with business in 3 states
- 2014 – Converted gourmet market from competitor product
Look for Sales Associate roles with Medical Device Companies
Even though you have sales experience, it may be worth your time to look for Sales Associate roles with Medical Device companies. Many of the top Medical Device companies have Sales Associate positions. A Sales Associate works hand in hand with a Medical Device sales representative in a defined region. The Sales Associate has a territory and is overseen by the Sales Representative and the Sales Manager. Sales Associates are typically hired with the thought they will inherit a sales territory of their own once they are ready. Many people search for Medical Device jobs for years with no success. It can make sense to take a step back, do well and move up to a Medical Device sales role within a year.
Reach out /network with Sales Managers with Medical Device backgrounds
Networking is one of the best ways to reach your sales goals. It is also a great way to find a job. Do your traditional job search such as finding a good recruiter, look on job boards, LinkedIn, and sign up for job feeds.
Once you find who is hiring and where, identify the hiring manager. Reach out to show the hiring manager before you even interview that you have what it takes to exceed in a Medical Device Sales position. By initiating contact you will display to the hiring manager you know how to do your homework, you are tenacious and you have great follow-up. Just make sure you do not go overboard and reach out to the manager too much. Connect with the manager on LinkedIn and express your interest in the position they have posted. Give a few reasons why you would be good at the position. Once you are connected you can send your resume and cover letter. Make sure you also send your resume through the job posting.
Medical Device sales is a motivating and lucrative career choice. If you are a business to business sales representative and want to transition into Medical Device sales, but are not sure how to begin follow our tips for a smooth transition into this exciting field of sales.