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How to Become a Medical Device Sales Representative

In every medical office, from small clinics to major hospitals, exists several pieces of advanced equipment. Doctors need this medical equipment to perform their day-to-day operations, and someone needs to showcase and sell it.

Medical device sales representatives are the experts in the products they sell. They meet with healthcare professionals to assess their needs and provide suitable products. They’ll need to be able to field questions about the products being sold and provide proper demonstrations as to how they’re used.

As one of these sales experts, you’ll need to be an excellent negotiator and have very strong communication skills. Possessing a high level of organization and time management are important factors as well. This position requires a high degree of travel and strong relationship management in order to be successful.

Sample job description

As a medical device sales representative at [Your Company Name], you will sell our devices and products to doctors, clinics, hospitals, and practices. If you are the ideal candidate for this position, you will have a good understanding of sales and how to build relationships with businesses and practices. You must be able to determine the needs of the client you are working with and provide them with the proper suggestions to supplement their medical products. If you are capable of selling products and services and providing legitimate reasons why these products and services are beneficial to the buyer, you will be a fantastic medical device sales representative! You may also be required to give demonstrations of products to medical professionals, so having a good understanding of the medical field or previous medical experience is a major benefit.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assess client needs and promote suitable products
  • Meet with targeted doctors and health care providers and utilize sales skills to persuade them to purchase the company’s products
  • Give providers product information and perform product demonstrations
  • Develop relationships and network with doctors, surgeons, and hospital administrators

Education and experience

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for this position. College coursework in life sciences such as biology and chemistry, as well as engineering, sales, marketing, advertising, and business administration, are most common in this occupation.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Written and verbal communication skills, including relationship-building and influencing
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite or similar software, including spreadsheets and databases
  • Expertise in negotiation
  • Strong sense of organization and time management

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 5-8 years outside sales experience with a proven successful track record
  • Experience developing and delivering presentations to various audience levels
  • Willing to travel at least 50% of the time for business purposes

Typical work environment

A medical device sales representative is in charge of making contact with and selling medical products to healthcare providers. These can include doctors, clinics, hospitals, and other medical practices. Because of this, a medical device sales representative must have a comprehensive understanding of both sales and the medical field. Medical device sales representatives will oftentimes meet with clients in various locations and thus will require transportation of some kind in order to meet the requirements of this job. These jobs will usually either have hourly pay or commission-based rates. A medical device sales representative must be able to successfully develop relationships with doctors and other medical professionals, and ensure that these professionals are convinced of the benefit of the products the medical device sales representative is selling.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a medical device sales representative are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Available certifications

As a medical device sales representative, you will benefit from having certifications in sales and potentially the medical field depending on the expertise you are required to present. Because of the wide variety of medical products which you may sell, however, having sales certifications is much more beneficial. Some of the best certifications include:

  • Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP). As a certified professional sales representative, you will be required to have a comprehensive understanding of sales and the interpersonal aspect of these positions. This certification can be beneficial to a medical device sales rep due to this.
  • Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP). The Certified Inside Sales Professional certification is one of the leading certifications in the sales industry. This certification is difficult to acquire and maintain, so is a good demonstration of expertise.
  • Certified Master Sales Professional (CMSP). As a certified master sales professional, you will have acquired one of the leading certifications offered by the NASP. This certification is immensely beneficial and should be considered an option by any medical device sales representative. The only downside to this certification is the potential cost.

Career path

While larger medical supply companies do hire new college graduates and train them in the medical device sales field, many small- to medium-sized companies look for candidates with proven track records in business-to-business (B2B) sales of products such as copiers or uniforms, or professional services. Successful medical device sales representatives can advance to management positions in sales.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 41-4011

2020 Employment298,200
Projected Employment in 2030316,500
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift18,200 increase

According to trade publication Medical Product Outsourcing, medical professionals will begin using devices in the next few years to treat conditions for which they did not use them in the past. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved medical device treatment plans such as virtual reality (VR) therapy or the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation devices to treat drug addiction. Also, medical devices are being used by doctors all over the world to treat depression or even classify and identify bacteria, to allow doctors to prescribe only the necessary amount of antibiotics for a patient. Experts believe this practice could cut down on antibiotic resistance.