Best Medical Sales Jobs, Companies, and Employers

How to Find the Best Job as a Medical Sales Rep

Where are the best medical sales jobs? MedReps.com, a job board for medical sales representatives, asked more than 1,400 of its members to learn what matters most for medical sales jobs. 

Which companies topped the list of best employers of medical sales reps? The top three winners overall were Johnson & JohnsonMedtronic, and Stryker, which also were named the best company to work for in the category of "large medical device and equipment."

Intuitive Surgical and AccuVein won Best Places to Work in the categories of Medium and Small Device/Equipment, respectively. 

Respondents also voted on the best companies for pharmaceutical sales careers, awarding Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, and Lilly the top spots. Additionally, the companies voted Best Places to Work in Biotech are Gilead, Amgen, and Biogen

What Makes Companies Best for Medical Sales Reps?

What makes these companies great places to work, according to medical sales reps who replied to the survey?

A strong product line (52 percent) and competitive compensation (66 percent) top the list as the most important for employer quality and value. 

Additionally, 72 percent of respondents said they are satisfied with their jobs, but 47 percent said they were likely to leave in the next year. According to the survey findings,

"Medical reps are happiest when they are selling products they believe in, for companies that offer competitive compensation and encourage work-life balance."

How to Evaluate Medical Sales Employers in Advance

In addition to a strong product line and competitive pay, work-life balance also ranked high on the list of priorities for medical sales reps.

If you are a medical sales representative, how do you know if the company with which you are applying possesses the traits and qualities you want in a medical sales career?​

As a job seeker, doing your due diligence ahead of time, and during the interview process, are paramount to continuing your successful career in medical sales, according to experts at MedReps.com.

"Over half of the respondents in our survey said a strong product line is the most important factor when evaluating top medical sales companies," states Robyn Melhuish, communications manager at MedReps.com. "So job seekers should really begin to research a company’s products before they even accept a job interview — and the research should certainly go beyond the company’s website."

Melhuish adds, "Pay attention to FDA announcements regarding the [prospective employer] and its products, and look up what investors are saying about the company. If you’re already working in the niche, the smartest thing to do, if possible, is to ask the doctors and other healthcare providers you work with what they know about the company and its products. This will give you the clearest picture of how well a specific product is positioned."

How to Research a Prospective Employer

Medical sales reps should seek answers and information about their employer, before and during the interview process.

"Before taking a medical sales job, you want to know potential challenges you’ll face and if there are any problems you could be walking into," Melhuish states.

"Ask about the biggest challenges the sales team faces, why the position is open, or why the last rep left. The answers will give you a better sense of what [employment] will be like [with that company]."

In addition, Melhuish also advises medical sales job seekers to ask questions to evaluate whether the job is a good fit from a culture, work ethic, and personality standpoint. She recommends researching and/or asking what the most successful reps have in common, and what skills are the most important for the job. "Asking how top performers are rewarded will give you insight into additional perks beyond compensation," she adds.

"Medical sales candidates should do extensive research and ask enough questions to have a thorough understanding of the position and company before accepting a job offer. Job seekers often get so focused on making a good impression on their interviewers, that they don’t interview the hiring manager to actually determine if the job is a good fit for them," Melhuish advises. "The desperation of wanting a job can blind job seekers into an ‘any job will do’ mentality, but this just further impacts why so many medical sales professionals are considering changing jobs," she states.

Try to let go of the desperation and evaluate jobs based on what is most important to you and your career goals. Will the position help you move your career forward? Will it help you achieve goals? How?    -Robyn Melhuish, MedReps.com

Before taking a job, think about the culture -- can you image yourself working there? Does your personality and work style fit?

It can be difficult to remember these questions while in the 'hot seat' at an interview. If you think of questions afterward, follow up with employers -- just like the hiring manager, you need as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

Medical Sales Territory - Another Factor Impacting Success

How important is the sales territory itself in medical sales jobs? Even if the product is outstanding, if the territory demographics don't have enough demand for the product, the sales rep could be essentially set up for failure and may end up falling short of sales goals.

How can medical sales reps determine whether or not their assigned territory will be conducive to success?

"Territory can certainly factor into a rep’s success or failure, though most managers would argue that a strong salesperson will succeed anywhere," Melhuish says. "Regardless of whether or not you believe this to be true, ask your interviewer why the last rep left. If it comes out that meeting quota was the problem, inquire if other reps have been successful in the same territory. If not, keep digging deeper with more questions!"  

Melhuish goes on to say that most hiring managers usually know when they have a problem territory, and they may be willing to expand or rearrange boundaries if the problem has been persistent. "On the other hand, as a new hire, you may simply have to pay your dues in a tough territory before being promoted to a more lucrative region," she states.

Medical Sales Reps: Satisfied With Their Jobs, But Open to Change

Another interesting finding of the survey reveals some insight into job satisfaction rates and potential attrition among medical sales representatives.

Despite a high job satisfaction rate, nearly half of all medical sales professionals are contemplating leaving their job in the next year. For this reason, job seekers don’t need to wait for an official opening to approach recruiters at the companies they are targeting. Turnover in the industry is high, so if a job isn’t available now, chances are one will be soon.

Based on the survey results indicating the growing importance of work-life balance, it seems that professionals are in search of more than a paycheck, and many employers are listening. "Job seekers should leverage their networks to research the culture at the companies they are targeting to be sure work-life balance is valued and encouraged," Melhuish concludes.

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