At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Medical Sales?

Mary Beth Swayne
Mary Beth Swayne

Medical sales representatives are people-persons who sell medical products to the medical and healthcare industry while keeping an eye on competitors and the latest in healthcare technology. The field of medical sales is driven by medical sales representatives, who also are called pharmaceutical sales representatives, laboratory sales representatives, and biotechnology sales representatives. In general, the industry relies heavily on contacts and communications between the companies that make medical supplies and pharmaceutical products and the hospitals, doctors, and laboratories that use them. A medical sales representative typically is considered the go-between for these entities.

Typically, medical sales representatives hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Most representatives hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Biology, or a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. The medical sales field is a competitive field but typically offers an opportunity to those who have an interest in medicine, technology, business, and helping people. Most medical sales representatives specialize in a particular product or area of medicine or particular geographical region.

Medical sales involves the sale of pharmaceutical products to healthcare providers.
Medical sales involves the sale of pharmaceutical products to healthcare providers.

A pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical equipment company typically depends on its sales team to represent the company’s product to hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, nurse practitioners, and other medical practices. The representative is generally responsible not only for the presentation of the product, but also for arranging individual and group appointments to initially present the product. These appointments can be made through previous contacts or through cold-calling. Also, representatives typically have the responsibility of interpreting the clinical data supplied by the company before presenting the information to medical professionals. They generally need to be knowledgeable enough about the product they are selling and its uses, side effects, and benefits to answer the questions of the doctors, hospitals, and medical staff with whom they are working.

Another responsibility generally included in medical sales is conference organization for the company. This could entail databases of who is attending, managing budgets for the conferences, or developing creative marketing strategies. The representative, both at the conference and in private presentations, typically wants to bring awareness of the product to potential clients in hopes of securing their business.

Most representatives need to have a people-person personality. Also, it can be important for a representative to keep track of what competitors are doing with their products so that he or she can build a stronger sales presentation. He or she generally needs to maintain knowledge of new developments in treatments throughout the medical field as well.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Medical sales involves the sale of pharmaceutical products to healthcare providers.
      By: Gennadiy Poznyakov
      Medical sales involves the sale of pharmaceutical products to healthcare providers.