How to Break into Medical Device Sales[+ Tips for First Time Reps]

Medical device sales reps are top earners in the healthcare industry, with their average salary coming in at around $124,000.

Competitive compensation is a major draw, but it’s not the only thing medical device sales jobs have to offer. Wouldn’t you prefer a position where the job is meaningful, flexible, and challenging

If this sounds good to you, the next question is how do you start?

Breaking into the industry is a challenge in itself. The job of a medical device sales rep isn’t entry level, but it isn’t ultra exclusive either. People from different backgrounds, from nurses to new grads, have all made it into this sector and succeeded.

You’ll need 3 things to break into medical device sales — education, experience, and connections. 

medical device sales

Education

Most medical device sales job listings require a bachelor's degree. Any degree from a 4-year college or university is enough. But a degree in business, biology, or kinesiology might help your chances. 

Employers prioritize sales experience and industry knowledge over education. Still, a degree might be necessary to get your foot in the door at most companies. 

However, a formal education isn’t all you need. Before you seek out these types of positions, you’ll need to do some research! You should learn about: 

  • The job itself 
  • Who are the potential employers, and how can you make yourself stand out 
  • Where can you find more about leading medical device industry news to help you stay in touch with the most relevant topics.

Medical devices are technically complex and require clinical knowledge. Surgical implants and diagnostics are big in the healthcare industry. The key to getting ahead? Learning how the leading medical devices work will enhance your skill set and help you stand out from your competition.

Websites like MedCity News and MedReps are great resources to stay on top of medical device sales jobs, legislation, and innovation. 

Sales reps are also increasingly using AI tools such as ChatGPT for a multitude of different sales processes and can help them as they seek out information on different medical device sales topics. ChatGPT is based on a wide range of data sets, meaning this a great tool for medical device sales reps who wish to be more data-driven in their sales processes.  

The use of AI tools in the workplace are on the rise and although they can be an aid, they are still no substitute for thorough research, which in the medical device industry is critical. Remember to double check and fact check every piece of information you glean from ChatGPT as this AI is still in its infancy and can be unreliable. Inaccurate findings mean that it can be hard to trust.

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Check out this helpful guide for sales teams featuring 6 proven data-driven sales strategies!

Experience

Crushing your quota in a B2B sales role will put you on the path to medical device sales success, especially if your industry is copier, payroll, or uniform sales. And here’s the kicker: these fields will prime you for medical device sales because they’re highly competitive. 

Recruiters want to know that you’re knowledgeable and know how to use the best sales tools to get the job done. Deals are hard-won in the hospital and healthcare industry—complex decision-making hierarchies, expensive products, and miles of red tape make for a long sales cycle. 

It's important to stay on top of the latest changes regarding your decision makers and focus your schedule on prioritizing productive meetings. You can showcase your competitive nature through stellar previous job performance or any other achievements that will show the recruiter that you have grit. 

If this is your first time going into a sales job, copier sales might be the way to go. Even though copiers and medical devices don’t have a lot in common, their sales industries are similar. Both copier and medical device sales reps go through extensive training, sell technical products to big organizations, and act as advisors to their clients. 

At least 1 year of solid experience is recommended. Big name B2B companies in copier, payroll, or uniform sales will stand out on your resume, so take it into consideration. Check out companies like ADP, Cintas, or Xerox.

Another way to get a leg up without a wealth of experience is using the right tools. Apps like Badger Maps, a route planner specifically for field salespeople, can reduce the time you spend driving by 20% so you can sell up to 25% more. The average team of 10 reps sells $936k more the year they start using Badger Maps.

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"After getting Badger Maps, weekly meetings per rep jumped from 12 to 20. This led to a 22% increase in annual revenue."

Brad Moxley

Business Development Manager, Cutter & Buck

By optimizing your sales routes, Badger Maps helps salespeople save precious time, getting them out of their cars and into more customer meetings where they can make more sales!

With capabilities such as route optimization, customer data visualization, check-ins, and lead generation on the go, Badger Maps helps medical device salespeople save time on their daily planning, keep better relationships with customers, discover new business opportunities, and more.

Badger Maps also enables a two-way, real-time native integration with the most popular CRMs such as SalesforceMicrosoft DynamicsZohoHubSpotInsightlyNetSuite, and many more.

By integrating Badger Maps with your CRM, sales reps working in the field can visualize all of their data on an engaging and interactive map. This shows reps exactly where their customers are and how best to prioritize them. 

Other features like follow-ups and advanced reporting are vital for salespeople and Badger Maps can help you keep track of key customer information, equipping you with the data you need when dealing with your customers.

Reducing average drive time by 20% and freeing up an average of 8 hours a week by using Badger Maps is one of the best ways for medical device sales reps to gain an edge over the competitors.

Sign up for a free trial or schedule a demo to see for yourself!

Drive 20% Less. Sell 20% More.

Connections

Sales can be very ego-driven. Closing a big deal makes you feel like a champion, but losing one can make you feel like a failure. If you plan on making sales a long-term career, you need to avoid slipping into this cycle.

Networking is vital in medical device sales jobs. Reps depend on strong client relationships to get their devices through hospital purchasing departments. Getting a job also relies on your ability to make meaningful connections

These connections can be improved by implementing an effective CRM solution into your process. The right CRM can help you communicate better with your customers while at the same time enhancing the level of service you are able to provide, all leading to improved relationships with your customers.

If you don’t know anyone in the industry, LinkedIn can be your wingman. The most important aspect that you need to remember is that any sales position is a never ending process of learning. 

Go on LinkedIn every day to engage with the medical sales community. Join groups like Medical Device Development, Marketing And Sales, Medical Device Sales Professionals, and Medical Device Guru. Then connect with and talk to current reps and recruiters.

Listen to this Outside Sales Talk podcast episode with experienced sales trainer John Chapin to discover his secrets to building relationships in outside sales!

It’s also helpful to interact with content. Share and comment on articles about medical devices and sales. You’ll learn more about the industry and show your interest in its topics all in one click. 

If you’re a medical professional seeking to transition into sales, you already have access to sales reps. Become friendly with the medical device reps who frequent your clinic or hospital. You can meet with one of them over coffee (sales people love coffee) and get an inside perspective on medical sales. 

If you have a great relationship with a current rep, you can even ask to shadow them. Observing a rep in the field helps you get a realistic view of the job. It’s also an opportunity to make more industry connections. A ride-along is the best way to know if medical device sales is right for you.

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Ace Your Medical Device Sales Interview

Medical device sales interviews require more preparation than interviews for other entry-level sales jobs. Recruiters want to know that you’ve already paid your dues. So, you’re not ready for your interview until you have a brag book. 

A brag book is a portfolio that showcases your accomplishments, credentials, and ideas. 

To start, your book needs a table of contents, your resume, company sales rankings, and positive performance reviews. You might want to have letters of recommendation, photos of awards, and a 30-60-90 day plan in there too. 

how to get into medical device sales
Badger Sales University

Your brag book should tell a story, but keep it concise. Don’t turn your interview into a book report. Instead, use it as a visual aid when you bring up your past performance. 

Hiring managers will take notice when you leverage your prior experience with a brag book. 

An entry-level job in medical device sales is a top performing sales position. You might need to spend a few years crushing your sales quota in a different industry, but with the proper preparation, you can’t lose. Learn more about medical devices, crush your quota, network with current reps, and work on your interview skills. Then, break in. 

FAQ

What is medical device sales?
Medical device sales involves selling various medical device equipment to different healthcare facilities such as hospitals, dentists, laboratories, and therapeutic clinics. These devices can range from simple medical apparatus such as thermomothers and syringes to more complex equipment such as respiratory ventilators and defibrillators.
What does a medical device sales rep do?
A medical device sales rep is responsible for selling and promoting equipment to different healthcare facilities such as hospitals, dentists, laboratories, and therapeutic clinics. They are involved in promoting, selling, and educating the buyer on the products they are offering to their customers.
Is medical device sales a good career?
Medical device sales can be a great career for those interested in entering a dynamic work environment that is constantly evolving with excellent opportunities for career growth and fulfillment. Medical device sales reps can avail from a long list of job benefits that include traveling the world, job security, and excellent compensation packages.
Can you make a lot of money in medical device sales?
The average medical device sales rep salary is $123,683, with the salary range typically falling between $106,839 and $145,535, according to the latest studies.




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