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How to Get Into Medical Sales: A Comprehensive Guide

how to get into medical sales

Medical sales is the field of selling medical products and services to healthcare providers, such as hospitals, doctors, and clinics. Medical sales representatives typically work for pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, or healthcare service providers. Medical sales reps play a vital role in bringing new and innovative products and treatments to the market. They also help to educate healthcare providers about the latest in medical technology and advancements.

Thinking about getting into medical sales? Here’s everything you need to know about medical sales jobs. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the ins and outs of being a medical sales representative, the benefits of a medical sales job, and show you how to get into medical sales.

Why Is Medical Sales a Good Career?

A career in medical sales offers high earnings, job security, and a rewarding environment. With a median annual wage of $101,761 and consistent demand in the healthcare industry, medical sales professionals in this field enjoy financial stability.

Beyond monetary benefits, the job involves building relationships, understanding complex medical products, and making a tangible impact on patients’ lives. The diverse range of products and companies in the field allows individuals to align their work with personal interests, ensuring a dynamic and engaging career for job seekers.

At Rep-Lite, we have helped fill over 3500 positions, with over 30 years of experience in staffing medical sales and medical device sales jobs within the medical sales industry. We are an unmatched staffing agency and we’re shaking up the way that the medical staffing industry works.

How to Get Into Medical Sales

Medical sales can be a lucrative and impactful field that offers a fantastic blend of challenge, intellectual engagement, and the satisfaction of directly impacting patients’ lives. So, how do you get into medical sales and become a successful medical sales representative, especially through a medical sales agency? Let’s dive into the key steps:

Education and Training Requirements

Education and training prepare individuals for a successful career in medical sales. While not mandatory, a bachelor’s degree in science or business provides a solid foundation. Although a medical sales training program is not strictly required, a bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline such as biology or chemistry, or in business fields like marketing and sales, can establish a solid foundation in both scientific principles and sales techniques. Additionally, relevant associate’s degrees or diplomas serve as viable entry points

Specialized training programs from institutions or independent organizations offer in-depth knowledge of medical products, regulatory compliance, and sales skills tailored to the healthcare industry.

Certifications and Licenses

Certifications and licenses pave the way for a highly successful medical sales career. General sales certifications like Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) or Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL) demonstrate commitment to best practices. Some product-specific certifications may be required based on company or product line needs.

Compliance with these mandates is very important to effectively sell the designated products. In certain states like California, specific licensing is mandatory for medical device sales representatives. This highlights the need to research and fulfill regional and national association requirements to operate legally.

Skills and Qualities Needed for Success

Effective communication, in-depth product knowledge, and industry expertise are how to get into medical device sales and become successful. Sales and negotiation skills, along with time management and organizational abilities, are also vital skills anymore. Resilience and persistence, coupled with a positive attitude and continuous learning, contribute to sustained success in this dynamic field.

How to Become a Medical Sales Rep

So you’ve got the education, licensing as well as soft skills and qualities needed to get into medical sales. Now it’s time to figure out how to get into medical sales. It starts with finding a job and the ultimate guide to breaking into the medical sales industry.

Finding a Job

The journey of getting into medical sales starts with landing that dream job. This part of the journey involves strategic steps and effective networking. To start, target your search by identifying aligned companies, using online job boards and LinkedIn. Leverage your network by informing contacts about the job search, attending events, and crafting tailored resumes. You need to recognize the power of referrals, as they can distinguish you significantly in your pursuit of the ideal position.

Recruitment professionals and staffing agencies with expertise in medical sales, like Rep-Lite, can prove to be indispensable partners in your search for a medical sales job. Rep-Lite offers recruitment services for those seeking opportunities across the medical industry. These come in the form of territory sales associates, medical sales reps, and recruiters as well as executive-level career placement.

Preparing for the Interview

Excelling in a job interview requires a junior or executive resume, careful preparation, and a polished approach. Begin by thoroughly researching the company, its product line, and common interview questions to showcase your genuine interest and knowledge. Practice your responses to typical interview questions, emphasizing clear communication and highlighting your strengths and accomplishments.

Create a positive first impression by dressing professionally, and aligning your attire with the company culture. Project confidence in your abilities, maintain a positive attitude, and express your enthusiasm for the medical sales field. During the interview, demonstrate your interest and initiative by posing insightful questions about the role, company culture, and potential future opportunities, further solidifying your candidacy.

Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits

Successfully negotiating your salary and benefits is the next step to landing a desirable job as a medical sales representative. This begins by thoroughly researching comparable positions and clearly defining your priorities when it comes to salary and benefits. This provides a solid foundation for negotiation.

Approach the negotiation with confidence, assertively present expectations, and emphasize your unique strengths. However, ensure that you stay open to compromise and actively listen. Be sure to counter with a reasonable proposal where applicable while guiding the discussion toward a mutually agreeable solution.

What Do Medical Sales Reps Do?

is medical sales a good career

Medical sales representatives bring innovative, medical supplies and solutions to patients. But what exactly does their day-to-day life entail?

Let’s dive into the responsibilities, specializations, and industry landscape of these essential players in healthcare.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Medical sales representatives conduct thorough product research and become experts on offerings, industry developments, and competitor products. They build relationships with healthcare professionals as well as schedule meetings, deliver presentations, and demonstrate product benefits.

Sales and negotiation skills are critical for experienced medical sales reps as they present compelling arguments, emphasizing features and cost-effectiveness, all while adhering to regulatory and ethical guidelines. Post-sale, they provide customer support, address concerns, and ensure satisfaction. There is also a data analysis aspect to a medical sales rep’s day-to-day work that includes tracking sales performance, analyzing market trends, and reporting insights for future sales efforts.

Types of Medical Sales Reps

Medical sales have various specialized roles. Each serves distinct purposes within medical centers and the healthcare industry.

  • Pharmaceutical Sales Reps: They promote prescription drugs and treatments to healthcare providers in hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices.
  • Medical Device Sales Reps: Medical device sales reps focus on selling medical equipment like surgical instruments, diagnostic tools, or prosthetics to hospitals, clinics, and imaging centers.
  • Laboratory/Diagnostic Sales Reps: These reps sell testing kits, reagents, and equipment used in medical laboratories for diagnosis and research.
  • Healthcare IT Sales Reps: They specialize in selling software and technology solutions to healthcare institutions to improve patient care and administrative efficiency.

Common Industries and Employers

Here are some common industry leaders in medical sales jobs.

Tips for Success in Medical Sales

Now that we’ve explored how to get into device medical sales, here are some tips for navigating the exciting but demanding aspects of being a certified sales professional and a medical sales representative.

Develop Strong Relationships With Customers

To establish strong relationships with healthcare professionals, it’s essential to go beyond conventional product pitches. Begin by building rapport through understanding their challenges, actively listening, and demonstrating genuine interest in their needs.

Personalize your approach by treating each customer as an individual, tailoring your presentations to them, and communicating with each to address their specific needs and challenges. Transform yourself from a mere salesperson to a trusted advisor by offering valuable insights, and educational resources. This will present you as a reliable source of information and support.

Your aim should be to prioritize long-term relationships over quick sales, focusing on building trust and loyalty. This happens through regular communication, follow-up visits, and ongoing support to cultivate lasting connections.

Be an Expert in Your Products and Services

After figuring out how to get into medical device sales you now have to discover how to excel in the field. For this to happen, mastering the art of product expertise is required. Start by delving deeply into the science behind your products, comprehending their mechanisms of action, clinical data, and potential benefits.

By anticipating questions and being ready to articulate complex concepts clearly you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve. This will require continuous learning about new developments, scientific advancements, and competitor offerings. Ensure that your knowledge remains current and trustworthy.

Practice and refine your presentations, emphasizing key features and addressing potential concerns with confidence. And finally, embrace feedback from healthcare professionals. Actively seeking feedback serves to enhance both your product knowledge and communication skills.

Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Trends and Developments

To navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape successfully, it’s important to stay informed on industry trends. Keep track of regulatory changes, market dynamics, and emerging technologies to adapt your strategy effectively.

Don’t be afraid to embrace digital tools, including data analytics and customer relationship management platforms, to optimize workflow and gain valuable insights. Go out of your way to attend industry events and conferences to network with colleagues, build connections, and expose yourself to new ideas and advancements.

Additionally, it’s important to stay updated by reading industry publications and research. This allows you to keep abreast of the latest findings, clinical trials, and scientific developments relevant to your product lines.

Be Proactive and Results-Oriented

Unleash your proactive spirit by setting ambitious goals and developing proactive strategies to achieve them. Rather than waiting for opportunities, actively create them by going the extra mile. This can come in the form of offering additional resources, providing case studies, and sharing pertinent industry news to showcase dedication and initiative.

You can track your progress rigorously, measuring your performance against set goals and making necessary adjustments. A data-driven approach ensures focus and optimization of all your efforts. Embrace continuous learning and never stop developing your skills. This can be achieved through seeking feedback, participating in training programs, and consistently striving to enhance your salesmanship and industry knowledge.

With more than three decades of proficiency in staffing roles related to selling medical devices, clinical sales, and service positions, Rep-Lite can assist you in relieving the challenges associated with becoming a medical sales professional.

Challenges of Medical Sales

how to get into medical device sales

While medical sales offer exciting opportunities and lucrative rewards, it’s not a path paved solely with sunshine and smooth deals. Let’s dive into the hurdles and roadblocks that medical sales representatives encounter on their journey to success.

Long Work Hours

Long work hours in medical sales create demanding schedules, extended hours, early mornings, and late nights to accommodate various professional commitments such as doctor’s appointments, travel schedules, and industry events. Achieving a work-life balance becomes challenging.

You will be required to have effective time management and a supportive network to navigate the demands of the profession. However, the risk of burnout is inherent, as the perpetual pressure to perform and meet targets can lead to stress. That is why it is important to have effective stress management strategies to maintain overall well-being.

Frequent Travel

Frequent travel is an integral aspect of a career in medical sales. This is a constant on-the-go lifestyle with substantial time spent visiting hospitals, clinics, and conferences across various regions. This lifestyle will require you to adapt to changing schedules, navigate different time zones, and manage a healthy routine while on the road.

However, it comes with potential challenges, including disrupted routines and the risk of loneliness and isolation as professionals spend extended periods away from family and friends. Addressing these challenges proactively is crucial to maintaining a healthy work-life balance in medical sales.

Competitive Job Market

Navigating the competitive job market in medical sales demands dedication and strategic job-hunting due to the field’s high demand. Medical sales jobs attract strong candidates with diverse skill sets and experience. The constant pressure to maintain and exceed sales quotas is paramount for job security and career advancement. The competitive atmosphere can get pretty intense.

Inevitably, rejections and setbacks are part of the process. This makes resilience, adaptability, and a positive attitude essential attributes for successfully overcoming challenges in medical sales jobs.

Complex Products and Services

Success in most medical sales careers hinges on a profound scientific understanding as each medical sales representative must comprehend intricate concepts, clinical data, and regulatory guidelines related to their products and services. Staying relevant in medical sales jobs demands continuous learning to stay abreast of the latest research, clinical trials, and competitor offerings. This will ensure effective communication of product benefits.

In addition, navigating the complexities of healthcare regulations and ethical considerations necessitates a strong moral compass and ongoing vigilance. This will enable medical sales team representatives to avoid conflicts of interest and adhere to ethical guidelines.


Enticed by the world of a medical sales rep? Medical sales jobs offer lucrative rewards, intellectual challenges, and the chance to directly impact patient care. But before you embark on this exciting journey, it’s important to consider the points of this article and use them to understand the path ahead for a registered medical sales representative.

Remember, the medical sales journey is a marathon, not a sprint. With dedication, the right skills, and a passion for healthcare, you can overcome these challenges and carve your path to success. Rep-Lite was created to provide top sales, clinical, and service talent to medical companies. We are here to guide you in the right direction and point you to doors you were not sure could be opened.

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Rick Barnett


Mr. Barnett has held many senior level executive positions within the medical device arena. Mr. Barnett is a performance-driven sales leadership executive with expertise in building client relationships, developing and executing winning sales strategies, and the selection and development of top talented teams. Mr. Barnett is recognized as a leader with a reputation for advancing successful business development campaigns, leveraging core strengths, and capitalizing on solid client relationships.

Mr. Barnett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Hawaii. His background includes building businesses with companies like Stryker and Intuitive Surgical over the past 25 years. Mr. Barnett is a visionary who commonly recognizes “outside the box” opportunities while driving the current business to surpass established goals which has allowed him to function in a consulting capacity for several top industry leaders. Mr. Barnett currently serves as Founder of Rep-Lite. He is responsible for spearheading a strategic development process that allows both manufacturers and facilities to experience maximized potential with limited resources. Mr. Barnett has initiated & instituted this process to allow several manufacturers to experience exponential growth within the divisions that it was applied. Mr. Barnett has a proven track record of over 30 years of achieving or surpassing planned goals in every position.