January 29, 2018

Top Traits of Medical Sales Representatives


The barrier to entry into the medical sales industry is often higher than that of other sales roles due to the specialist knowledge required along with the earning potential. As a result, ambition is an important trait for medical sales professionals not only for them to successfully enter the industry but especially if they are to be successful once they’ve entered it. Competition is high both amongst individuals, and between different suppliers, so having the ambition to succeed is paramount. Ambition is also important for career progression as the number of sales management roles, product manager roles, and other opportunities are much fewer than those for entry levels roles such as that of a territory manager.



The medical sales industry is a challenging environment with increasing competition, as well as increasing price pressures, yet it is still ultimately a numbers game. To be successful, medical sales professionals must continue to achieve their targets which can result in a stressful work environment. Having the drive and determination to succeed is of huge importance if individuals are to beat the competition and win new business on a consistent basis.



Knowledge is of huge significance for success within the industry as clinicians rely on that knowledge to direct important medical decisions. Clinicians must have the confidence in sales professionals if they are to successfully work with their products so continuing to develop knowledge that instils this confidence, is important. Increasingly, customers are also looking for added value to direct their purchasing decisions so being in a position to provide in depth insights can make the difference between success and failure. Knowledge will also drive confidence within the sales professional which allows them to competently overcome objections in an evidence based, and coherent, manner.


Excellent Communication Skills

Communication skills go hand in hand with knowledge. Having the knowledge is one thing but being able to communicate that information is entirely different. Communication skills are hugely important to a medical sales representative if they are to consistently explain complex information regarding products and therapy areas. In addition to verbal communication skills is the ability to listen. Listening skills are important in order to effectively interpret buying signals, and concerns from potential customers.



Flexibility is important in the medical sales industry if customers are to get the support they need to successful use the medical devices at their disposal. Some equipment is used infrequently and sales teams will need to be on hand in order to offer the clinical support required. This can sometimes require the need to work weekends, especially if trauma cases arise that need immediate input. Having the ability to organise the diary effectively, and manage numerous tasks/opportunities simultaneously is also important in order to effectively cover a specific geographical area and maximise the sales opportunities available. Without this skill, opportunities can be missed or existing customers may not got the support required which may influence them to change their suppliers!



Competition is greater than ever, not least of all within the medical sales industry with increasing numbers of suppliers wanting their piece of the pie. In conjunction with the current economic climate, and the increased difficulties in gaining access to customers, the opportunity for success has never been so challenging. Having the resilience to continue to probe for new business, accept the knock backs, and remain motivated is hugely important to long term success.

In addition, the medical sales environment can be a demanding place to work as clinical decisions can have significant impact on the lives of patients. As a result, your advice and guidance can directly impact patients which can lead clinicians to question your advice, and put you under significant pressure. The ability to remain calm, and not take things personally, is important over the long term.


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