There are many good reasons for women to take a closer look at the benefits of a sales career in medical device industry.
The medical device industry spans an incredible expanse of products and specialties, so it may be a foolish endeavor to generalize about medical device sales positions as a whole, but I am going to do it anyway. Here are a few of the myths and realities of medical device sales compared to pharmaceutical sales for those who may be considering these two career paths.
1. Myth: When you sell medical devices, especially surgical products used in the operating room, you are on call 24/7.
Reality: Except for trauma products, there are few positions that demand you be on call 24/7 – 365 days a year.
If you are selling surgical equipment and implants, you need to be available in the early morning hours (6-7am) on a routine basis to cover cases. There is a good chance that time in the O.R. will wrap up by mid-afternoon (3-4pm) most days, but then you may make a few afternoon calls, handle paperwork or plan for the next days cases. There is no doubt, successful medical device sales representatives work hard, but dedication is required for success in any field.
2. Myth: Pharmaceutical sales offers more stability than medical device sales.
Reality: Although pharmaceutical sales may initially offer higher base salaries and other perks compared to entry-level medical device sales positions, the pharmaceutical industry has been incredibly rocky the last few years with massive layoffs announced regularly.
In medical device sales you can create your own security through accumulating valuable expertise and building deep customer relationships. Long term income potential can be 2 or 3 times a pharmaceutical sales rep’s earnings for successful sales reps.
3. Myth: Work-life balance is difficult as a medical device sales representative.
Reality: Medical device sales representatives often have larger territories and their days may be less predictable than 8-12 office calls. A career in medical device sales requires you to think on your feet and turn on a dime, but for many sales women, the fast-paced excitement, high level of customer engagement and satisfaction of closing significant deals are exactly the reasons they got into sales in the first place.
There are women who try pharmaceutical sales and quickly find themselves bored. If you happen to be one of them, don’t tolerate the boredom for too long. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to break into medical device sales.
Whether transitioning from pharma or entering the industry directly from B2B sales, you’ll discover many rewards in medical device sales.
Can you think of other myths, or maybe even a few realities, that discourage women from pursuing medical device sales? The truth is, many segments of the industry would welcome more women in their ranks. I hope more women will realize how many tremendous career opportunities there are in medical device sales.
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” ~ Goethe