If You Cannot Land a Pharmaceutical/Medical Sales Job What is the Next Best Thing?

Find your dream job

Top 5 sales jobs to go after that will help you get into pharmaceutical/medical sales.

If you have always dreamed about becoming a pharmaceutical or medical sales representative, have sent out your resume and cannot seem to land the job, you need a backup plan. Here are some jobs to go after that will give you the experience, and training, to help you land your ideal position as a pharmaceutical/medical sales representative.

1    Business to Business

2    Sales Associate Role

3    Home Healthcare Company

4    Flex time/contract sales position

5    Enterprise sales

Getting a position as a Business to Business (B2B) sales representative is a great start on your road to landing a position as a pharmaceutical sales representative. B2B is a when a sales representative is selling a product or service to other businesses, rather than sales to individuals. A good example of B2B sales is one company selling copiers or office supplies to another business. Getting into B2B sales is good for a few reasons including:  B2B sales representatives have great sales training, learn a consultative sales approach, and are financially motivated by commission programs. All skills that are transferable to the pharmaceutical/medical field. A few great companies to target are Cintas, Paychecks, ADP and Yellowbook.

Sales Associate Roles are great ways to get the experience to move into a sales role. Many top pharmaceutical and medical device companies hire sales associates to fill in gaps in territories and assist the sales team.  These roles give people the training and experience to get promoted into a sales position. Many companies will hire a Sales Associate with the expectation they will relocate into an open sales territory after they have proven themselves. So if you are flexible and relocatable this is a great way to get into pharmaceutical/medical sales. Some companies to take a look at who hire sales associates include: Stryker, Biomet, Bausch + Lomb and Abbot Laboratories.

Selling for a Home Healthcare Company is another way to gain the referral sources, training and sales experience to break into pharmaceutical sales. There is a DME or Home Healthcare company in almost every town in USA. These companies sell visiting nurse services and often medical supplies. The target call points are frequently the same referral sources as pharmaceutical companies. Working for a Home Healthcare Company introduces you to the healthcare field, reimbursement, hospitals and physicians in a geographic area. These are key qualities a hiring manager will look for when hiring a pharmaceutical/medical sales representative.

A contract sales company is an organization that hires and then leases employees to a drug company.  The drug companies “lease” the sales representatives for a contracted period of time. Usually the contracted sales team works along with the sales reps of the company that has them under contract.  Getting a position with a contract sales company gives you the chance to prove yourself within the organization, gain valuable sales experience and often learn the referral sources. Some well-known contract sales organizations to look at include: PDI, InVentive and Publicis Touchpoint Solutions.

Enterprise sales typically focuses specifically on high-volume or high-dollar products to business customers, by presenting information and signing contracts.  Usually it is a long sales cycle selling to purchasing departments.  Most enterprise sales transactions practice consultative and collaborative sales approaches. Pharmaceutical and Medical companies are now focusing more on collaborative sales and making their referral sources feel like partners. Learning collaborative sales is a great segway into a pharmaceutical/medical sales role.

Take our Career Advice

Very few people get their dream job right out of college. Most of us work a few positions until we get into the company and position of our dreams. If your hope is to be a pharmaceutical/medical sales person and it is not happening, take our advice and look at our top 5 sales jobs. This should get you moving in the right direction.

Lisa Manley is a partner at a leading medical recruiting agency and has over 15 years recruiting for biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Lisa Manley is a partner at a leading medical recruiting agency and has over 15 years recruiting for biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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