Here's what you can expect from a career in medical device sales

Considering a career in medical device sales? Here’s what to expect

Natasha Szombara, Account Manager of Meditech at FMC Global Talent.
Natasha Szombara, Senior Account Manager of Meditech at FMC Global Talent.

So you’re interested in a medical device sales role? Let me guess… you’ve asked all the usual questions? You know what you can expect to get paid, you know who you want to work for and you know how you can progress. Yes? Well then, let’s get to the nitty gritty.

What is working in medical device sales really like? And how will your skills fit in?

There’s no short answer to this … but there are a few different scenarios you can expect to encounter that might help you decide which area of medical sales you want to work in.

If you’re wanting to get into medical sales…

… there are certain skills you’ll need to have.

Regardless of which care channel you’re selling into there’s a real emphasis on relationship building. Whether this is for endorsements, to build trust, or to secure contracts the management of relationships is an integral part of medical sales roles.

The same goes for value propositions. You might be selling MRI equipment to a hospital, or you might be selling therapy items to community nurses, but the emphasis is always on what value a product can bring. It’s particularly important when it comes to higher value items, it’s important that purchasers can see the long-term cost savings from buying and using the product – but it’s not just about the immediate benefit. A huge part of these sales is establishing what the product can do for years to come and how it will aid patients.

Do you come from a pure sales background?

In the consumables markets, the approach to sales tends to be more transactional as the products have a lower value. In basic terms, consumable sales are less complex and the relationship-building associated with these sales is less sophisticated.

Traditional, commercial sales training is well suited to this branch of medical sales.

To find out more about selling into primary care channels, click here

Or is your background more clinical?

Particularly in community care channels, a lot of sales involve face to face meetings with patients. To sell in these markets there needs to be an understanding of this, and sales people need to be as comfortable conversing with patients as they are healthcare professionals. It’s certainly varied work!

If you’ve got a more clinical background this approach may be more up your street. You’re likely to have experience of engaging with both patients and fellow clinical staff – the understanding of therapy areas from a clinical and patient-orientated perspective means sales come from a position of technical knowledge and credibility.

To find out more about selling into community care channels, click here

Whatever your background, you could find yourself in a hybrid team

There may be times (often in secondary and acute care channels) where a multitude of different people are involved in a sale – from marketing teams through to clinical specialists – who all have an individual role in the process. This is where hybrid teams come into play, often dealing with secondary care channels where the sale revolves around high-value capital equipment, like MRI machines and CT scanners. The key to succeeding in these sales is creating high trust levels with the buyer.

More and more we’re seeing hybrid medical device sales teams emerging, with clinical specialists offering pre- and post-sales support which feeds into the work of the sales teams.

To find out more about selling into acute and secondary care channels, click here

If you’d like to discuss starting or progressing your career in medical device sales, get in touch on