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Working As a Medical Sales Representative

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Make Decisions

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Medical Sales Representative Do

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have, and negotiate prices.

Duties

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives typically do the following:

  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, and attending trade shows and conferences
  • Contact new and existing customers to discuss their needs and explain how specific products and services can meet these needs
  • Help customers select products to meet customers' needs, product specifications, and regulations
  • Emphasize product features that will meet customers' needs and exhibit product capabilities and limitations
  • Answer customers' questions about prices, availability, and product uses
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sale and service agreements
  • Prepare sales contracts and submit orders for processing
  • Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as selling strategies and marketing information
  • Follow up with customers to make sure they are satisfied with their purchases and to answer any questions or concerns

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives—sometimes called manufacturers’ representatives or manufacturers’ agents—generally work for manufacturers or wholesalers. Some work for a single organization, while others represent several companies and sell a range of products.

Rather than selling goods directly to consumers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives deal with businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. For more information about people who sell directly to consumers, see the profile on retail sales workers.

Some wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives deal with nonscientific products such as food, office supplies, and clothing. Other representatives specialize in technical and scientific products, ranging from agricultural and mechanical equipment to computer and pharmaceutical goods. For more information about people who specialize in sales of technical products and services, see the profile on sales engineers.

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives who lack expertise about a given product frequently team with a technical expert. In this arrangement, the technical expert—sometimes a sales engineer—attends the sales presentation to explain the product and answer questions or concerns. The sales representative makes the initial contact with customers, introduces the company's product, and obtains final agreement from the potential buyer.

By working with a technical expert, the representative is able to spend more time maintaining and soliciting accounts and less time needing to gain technical knowledge.

After the sale, representatives may make follow-up visits to ensure that equipment is functioning properly and may even help train customers' employees to operate and maintain new equipment.

Those selling consumer goods often suggest how and where merchandise should be displayed. When working with retailers, they may help arrange promotional programs, store displays, and advertising.

In addition to selling products, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives analyze sales statistics, prepare reports, and handle administrative duties such as filing expense accounts, scheduling appointments, and making travel plans.

Staying up-to-date on new products and the changing needs of customers is important. Sales representatives accomplish this in a variety of ways, including attending trade shows at which new products and technologies are showcased. They attend conferences and conventions to meet other sales representatives and clients and to discuss new product developments. They also read about new and existing products and monitor the sales, prices, and products of their competitors.

The following are examples of types of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives:

Inside sales representatives work mostly in offices while making sales. Frequently, they are responsible for getting new clients by “cold calling” various organizations, which means they call potential customers who are not expecting to be contacted in order to establish an initial contact. They also take incoming calls from customers who are interested in their product, and process paperwork to complete the sale.

Outside sales representatives spend much of their time traveling to and visiting with current clients and prospective buyers. During a sales call, they discuss the client's needs and suggest how they can meet those needs with merchandise or services. They may show samples or catalogs that describe items their company provides, and they may inform customers about prices, availability, and ways in which their products can save money and boost productivity. Because many sales representatives sell several complementary products made by different manufacturers, they may take a broad approach to their customers' businesses. For example, sales representatives may help install new equipment and train employees in its use.

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How To Become A Medical Sales Representative

Educational requirements vary, depending on the type of product sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally enough for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor's degree.

Education

A high school diploma is sufficient for many positions, primarily for selling nontechnical or scientific products. However, those selling scientific and technical products typically must have a bachelor's degree. Scientific and technical products include pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, and industrial equipment. A degree in a field related to the product sold, such as chemistry, biology, or engineering, is often required.

Many sales representatives attend seminars in sales techniques or take courses in marketing, economics, communication, or even a foreign language to improve their ability to make sales.

Training

Many companies have formal training programs for beginning wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives that last up to 1 year. In some programs, trainees rotate among jobs in plants and offices to learn all phases of producing, installing, and distributing the product. In others, trainees receive formal technical instruction at the plant, followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a field sales manager.

New employees may be trained by going along with experienced workers on their sales calls. As they gain familiarity with the firm's products and clients, the new workers gain more responsibility until they eventually get their own territory.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many in this occupation have either the Certified Professional Manufacturers' Representative (CPMR) certification or the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification, both offered by the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF). Certification typically involves completing formal technical training and passing an exam. In addition, the CPMR requires 10 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification.

Other Experience

Although not required, sales experience can be helpful, particularly for nontechnical positions.

Advancement

Frequently, promotion takes the form of an assignment to a larger account or territory, where commissions are likely to be greater. Those who have good sales records and leadership ability may advance to higher level positions, such as sales supervisor, district manager, or vice president of sales. For more information on these positions, see the profile on sales managers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Sales representatives must be able to listen to the customer’s needs and concerns before and after the sale.

Interpersonal skills. Sales representatives must be able to work well with many types of people. They must be able to build good relationships with clients and with other members of the sales team.

Self-confidence. Sales representatives must be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. In addition, making a call to a potential customer who is not expecting to be contacted, or “cold calling,” requires confidence and composure.

Stamina. Sales representatives are often on their feet for long periods of time and may carry heavy sample products.

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Medical Sales Representative Career Paths

Medical Sales Representative
Account Executive Territory Manager
Senior Territory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Store Manager District Manager
Senior District Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Consultant Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Sales Specialist Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Consultant Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Account Manager District Sales Manager
Division Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Specialty Sales Representative Territory Sales Representative Regional Sales Manager
Central Region Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Specialty Sales Representative Territory Sales Representative District Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Specialty Sales Representative Territory Sales Representative Territory Manager
Territory Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Senior Sales Representative District Sales Manager
Eastern Regional Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Specialist Senior Sales Representative Territory Manager
Regional Territory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Senior Sales Representative Sales And Marketing Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Hospital Sales Representative District Manager Territory Sales Manager
Senior Territory Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Trainer Senior Account Manager Manager, Account Executive
Senior Executive Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Professional Sales Trainer
District Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Specialty Representative Territory Representative Territory Business Manager
Senior Territory Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Professional Specialty Representative Hospital Sales Representative
Hospital Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist Specialty Representative Hospital Sales Representative
Area Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Medical Sales Representative
Internship 2.6%
Manager 1.8%
Top Careers After Medical Sales Representative
Specialist 2.1%
Manager 2.0%

Do you work as a Medical Sales Representative?

Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
Show Salaries
$55,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$129,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Medline Industries
Highest Paying City
Albuquerque, NM
Highest Paying State
New Mexico
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does a Medical Sales Representative make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Medical Sales Representative in the United States is $85,065 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $129,000.

Real Medical Sales Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sales Representatives, Medical United Medical Instruments San Jose, CA Aug 12, 2008 $95,659
Sales Representatives, Medical Philips Electronics North America Corporation Andover, MA Nov 24, 2008 $89,544
Sales Representatives, Medical RH Health Services, Inc. Pennsauken, NJ Jun 11, 2008 $83,522
Sales Representatives, Medical General Electric Co. (GE Healthcare) Miami, FL Feb 18, 2011 $80,000
Sales Representative, Medical (Immunotechnologist) Intervene Biomedical Corona, CA Jun 16, 2009 $59,717 -
$60,000
Medical Device Sales Representative On The Right Track Systems Inc. New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $57,055
Sales Representatives, Medical Medical Solutions Management, Inc. Westbury, NY Aug 23, 2008 $56,370
Medical Sales Representative C-Edge Inc. DBA Raffine Newport Beach, CA Jul 23, 2015 $53,165
Sales Representative, Medical Products K & F Drug Corp. NY Sep 13, 2011 $50,651
Sales Representative, Medical Atlaz Surgical Supplies Inc. Albany, NY Jul 03, 2008 $48,940
Sales Representative, Medical Atlaz Surgical Supplies Inc. Albany, NY May 28, 2008 $48,940
Sales Representative, Medical Atlaz Surgical Supplies Inc. Albany, NY Apr 16, 2008 $48,940
Sales Representative, Medical Atlaz Surgical Supplies Inc. Albany, NY Apr 09, 2009 $48,940

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Top Skills for A Medical Sales Representative

  1. Sales Territory
  2. Product Knowledge
  3. Hospital Staff
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilize consultative sales techniques to drive quarterly promotions Manage local relationships between manufacturer partners and clients within sales territory.
  • Discussed and distributed clinical studies and product knowledge pertaining to pharmaceutical products and medical devices to physicians and medical staff.
  • Implemented weekly educational luncheon in-services with physicians and hospital staff concentrating on the usage and benefit of equipment and medication.
  • Trained and managed multiple individuals across territory in furtherance of company sales goals.
  • Performed comprehensive analysis and identified new business strategy to drive revenue growth.

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Top 10 Best States for Medical Sales Representatives

  1. Idaho
  2. Arkansas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Washington
  5. Michigan
  6. Wisconsin
  7. New Mexico
  8. Utah
  9. Tennessee
  10. Wyoming
  • (378 jobs)
  • (485 jobs)
  • (555 jobs)
  • (2,135 jobs)
  • (1,263 jobs)
  • (1,005 jobs)
  • (266 jobs)
  • (989 jobs)
  • (904 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)

Medical Sales Representative Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,500 Medical Sales Representative resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Medical Sales Representative Resume

View Resume Examples

Medical Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Male

47.0%

Female

45.5%

Unknown

7.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.9%

French

6.9%

Arabic

5.1%

Italian

3.4%

Hindi

2.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

Swedish

1.7%

Gujarati

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

German

1.7%

Mandarin

1.1%

Armenian

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Turkish

0.6%

Samoan

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Blackfoot

0.6%
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Medical Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.8%

Michigan State University

6.8%

Florida State University

6.3%

Arizona State University

6.0%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.3%

University of Alabama

5.1%

University of Florida

5.1%

University of Central Florida

4.2%

Texas State University

4.0%

Ohio State University

3.9%

University of Mississippi

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.7%

Texas Tech University

3.7%

Purdue University

3.7%

Mississippi State University

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.5%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.5%

Texas A&M University

3.3%

University of Kentucky

3.3%
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Majors

Business

30.2%

Marketing

11.9%

Communication

6.9%

Biology

6.8%

Nursing

5.9%

Psychology

5.2%

Management

5.1%

Education

3.4%

Kinesiology

3.1%

Finance

2.8%

Pharmacy

2.7%

Public Relations

2.3%

Political Science

2.1%

General Sales

2.1%

Medical Technician

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Economics

1.7%

English

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Sociology

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

65.3%

Masters

15.8%

Other

10.4%

Associate

3.7%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

1.7%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.3%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Medical Sales Representative

5.0

Medical Sales Representative

February 27, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Medical Sales Representative.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Medical Sales Representative?

Working with individuals in general. I'm a huge people person and love the relationships I have now as all of my referral sources are my close friends!.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Wear and tear on vehicle.. Show More

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Updated May 19, 2020