Target the Pharmaceutical Sales Industry


No matter what you do in life, if you want to achieve your goals to be the best at what
you do, you must have a burning desire… In an effort to target the right medical sales
companies, you have to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are as well as
your current experience. For example, if you are a financial services rep who sells
mutual funds and life insurance around the kitchen table, it probably isn’t reasonable for
you to expect to get a career (right away) selling pacemakers to heart surgeons. You
have to take the necessary steps and move your career progressively up the ladder before
embarking on such a sophisticated call point and product. Our goal is to
lay out a path so you can be selective on which companies you target for career
opportunities based on your current professional experience level. Remember though,
you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.


If you don’t have sales experience but really want to get into the medical or
pharmaceutical industry, the best way to do that is land a position in b2b sales with a
fortune 500 company. Some companies that have great formal sales training and really
prepare their reps well for a career in medical sales are: ADP, Cintas, Ikon, Xerox, Pitney
Bowes, Paychex, Lanier, Enterprise, Staples, Ceridian, SBC Global, AT&T, Gallo, US
Food Service, etc. There are many other companies that provide excellent formal sales
training but in our experience, the reps that come from well known Fortune 500
companies have a higher probability of getting into the industry and a higher probability
for success. In addition, college activities and athletics are a plus. Having an accredited
clinical background also doesn’t hurt.


If you are at that 2-3 year mark related to solid outside sales experience with top
performance you are in good shape related to getting into the medical sales industry.
There are many companies that actually prefer to hire strong b2b reps from non-medical
backgrounds because they can train you and mold them into great reps and mold you into
their particular corporate culture. The main intangibles they are looking for when they do
this are motivation, persistence, attitude, results orientation, and previous success.
Some strong companies that we are aware of that regularly hire strong b2b reps from
non- medical backgrounds are listed below.


Many of these companies have what is known as an ASR (associate sales rep)
type position that helps them train you effectively before they turn you loose in your own territory.
Compensation in these ASR positions can vary but usually it is about ½ have what the regular territory rep
earns in annual compensation. These positions can be great opportunities because the full line territory
rep you are working with will take some time to mentor you over a period of 12-18
months so you can be truly prepared when the timing is right for you to inherit your very
own territory.
If you are a rep with Years of Experience you will have a good understanding of a
realistic career progression for yourself. Here is a solid example of how someone’s
career might progress in the medical device or pharmaceutical industry.


  • Associate Sales Reps – (especially in medical device sales)
  • Sales Professional / Territory Manager
  • Sr. Sales Professional
  • Field Sales Trainer
  • Hospital Sales / Specialty Sales
  • District Manager / Area Sales Manager
  • Managed Care Executive / Product Manager / 1 Year “in house” Rotation
  • Regional Director
  • Area Director
  • Vice President of Sales
  • President of Sales


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