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How to become a Medical Sales Executive

medical sales executive careers

What does a Medical Sales Executive do?

Medical sales executives, sometimes known as medical representatives or medical reps, promote sales of medical and pharmaceutical companies' products to health care professionals. They present products to clients, negotiate and close the sale, and provide an after-sales service. Products include drugs, medical products and equipment produced as prescription-only, available to doctors, hospitals and pharmacists.

Some companies employ executives by therapy area, such as oncology, gynaecology or respiratory.

Medical sales executives arrange appointments with doctors, pharmacists and hospital medical teams, either by pre-arrangement or by 'cold' calling. They also make presentations to groups of health care professionals, both in medical settings and at conference venues. They will usually have their own geographical sales area, and need to plan their work in order to target all the health professionals in their area most efficiently.

The work requires keeping up to date with the company's products and with clinical data supplied by the company, so information can be relayed to, and discussed with, health professionals during presentations.

What's the working environment like working as a Medical Sales Executive?

The work involves frequent travel to meet clients and to attend conferences and exhibitions, so hours can vary and regularly extend beyond standard office hours.Occasional nights away from home may be necessary.

A driving licence is essential, and a company car will often be provided.

Smart appearance and dress are essential.

What does it take to become a Medical Sales Executive?

To be a medical sales executive you will need:

  • a high degree of self-motivation and ability to organise your work
  • excellent communication skills
  • networking skills
  • the ability to be flexible and adapt to changes
  • to be outgoing and persuasive
  • commercial and business awareness
  • the ability to understand and present clinical data.

Medical Sales Executive Career Opportunities

The main employers are pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. There are a reasonable number of openings, but as more companies merge there is increasing competition for entry.

Those with ability and experience could move into sales training, area management or product management (marketing). Further progression may be into areas such as regional/national management, senior product management and marketing management.

Many employers are international organisations so there are opportunities to work abroad.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Medical Sales Executive that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
12 Whitehall
Tel: 020 7930 3477

Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM)
Harrier Court
Lower Woodside
Tel: 01582 840001

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Moor Hall
Tel: 01628 427500

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