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A Day in the Life of a Medical Sales Rep

June 3, 2021

Some sales positions require the sales rep to perform the same tasks every day, while others have a more varied schedule. Medical sales reps usually have a varied daily schedule that can change quickly depending on the needs of their customers. If you're planning to work as a medical sales rep, it can be useful to know what a day in the life of a medical sales rep is like. In this article, we explain what a medical sales rep is, what they do and the different components of their daily work.

What is a medical sales rep?

A medical sales rep is a sales professional who speaks with healthcare professionals about the supplies they might need for their facilities and offices. A medical sales rep might sell medical equipment, medications and medical devices. Medical sales reps might work for a company that sells one specific brand and type of medical supplies, they might work for a company that sells a variety of supplies to fill multiple needs for healthcare facilities or they might work for multiple companies and represent them as needed. Medical sales reps often have a background in sales but may have experience in healthcare.

Related: How To Get Into Medical Sales

What does a medical sales rep do?

A medical sales rep often travels to a variety of healthcare facilities and locations throughout their workday, which may include travel to other cities and states. They might make phone calls or write emails to schedule future meetings. In their meetings with healthcare professionals, they provide information about their company and what they're selling in order to convince the facility to purchase from them. They may also meet with existing clients to provide them with additional information on new products.

Related: How To Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

What is the day in the life of a medical sales rep like?

A day in the life of a medical sales rep is often quite varied and each day can be different. Some days may be more focused on meetings, others might involve more administrative tasks and some may be a mix of both. A medical sales rep often needs to be extroverted and able to meet and persuade a variety of different types of people to buy their products. Here are some of the things that influence a medical sales rep's day:

Work environment

Medical sales reps work primarily in two environments, which are offices and healthcare facilities. Some medical sales reps might work out of a home office unless they have meetings, while others may work out of their employer's office. Medical sales reps may also work while traveling, including on planes and in hotel rooms. However, most of the time medical sales reps are meeting with healthcare professionals in their work environment, which includes clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and elder care facilities. Medical sales reps may also need to meet with manufacturers in their facilities.

Assignments

Medical sales reps might work by following their employer's directions, such as being told to visit a specific doctor or facility, but many times the reps, rather than their employers, arrange their own meetings and find their own leads. Because of this, there can be a lot of flexibility in a medical sales rep's schedule, although they may need to accommodate the healthcare workers they're meeting with. Additionally, a medical sales rep may concentrate on visiting facilities they're directed to that already have an agreement with their employer unless their focus is on converting new clients.

Colleagues

Medical sales reps often work as part of a sales team that works in a coordinated way to meet with customers. They may not spend much time with their colleagues, including their supervisor, but they're usually in regular contact with them. Additionally, many medical sales teams have regular meetings to discuss sales goals, strategies and new technologies. Depending on the type of company that a medical sales rep works for, they might have more independence and autonomy and less interaction with their colleagues, or they might be more involved with their teammates.

Related: Sales Compensation Plans: Types, Templates and How To Design

Meetings

Meetings are one of the biggest parts of a medical sales rep's day. Primarily, these meetings are with current or potential customers. A meeting might be to give a presentation to healthcare professionals about some of the products they can supply them with or it might be to discuss the needs of a specific type of healthcare professional and how the rep can help.

Medical sales reps have to maintain good relationships with a high number of people at different healthcare facilities, and their meetings are a key component of that. Often, if a rep isn't at meetings, they're busy setting up meetings via phone and email or maintaining their customer relationships through regular contact.

Methods

A medical sales rep uses a variety of methods to make their sales and serve their customers. Their meetings are a large part of this process and may include persuasive presentations or empathetic conversation depending on what's appropriate for each customer. Medical sales reps often have to be aware of what each individual customer needs in order to make a purchase and tailor their sales pitch accordingly. Medical sales reps also use technology to remain organized, submit orders and reports and stay in touch with customers and their colleagues.

Related: Top 11 Types of Sales Jobs: Which Is Right for You?

Phone calls and emails

Phone calls and emails are an important part of every medical sales rep's day. Because of the large number of customers a medical sales rep works with and having a sales territory that might cover hundreds or thousands of square miles, medical sales reps can't always be physically with their customers when a need arises. For this reason, being able to talk to them on the phone or correspond via email is important. They're also useful tools for arranging meetings or communicating with the rest of the sales team and management.

Travel

Travel is a regular part of working as a medical sales rep. Medical sales reps have to be comfortable with frequently traveling to meet with customers. Depending on the company a rep works for, they might travel within a small geographic area by car or they might need to fly to and from meetings with customers. Many sales reps travel so that they can meet with as many clients as possible, either by car or to a location that they've flown to.

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