The NAMSR announced today that the future of medical sales is promising as technology in medicine continues to advance and the amount of sales jobs to increase by 24% in 2007. Regardless of the economy, jobs in the medical industry continue to remain strong due to the constant need for health care.
According to Melvin Simmons, the Executive Director at the NAMSR (National Association of Medical Sales Representatives), "A medical sales position is a quick-paced and extremely fast growing career that rewards assertiveness, persistence, and knowledge. Medical sales representatives spend most of their business time talking with hospital personnel, physicians, healthcare executives, and clinics, increasing the visibility of their company’s products and the volume of their sales. With all of the new technology and the advances in organ transplants to eye surgery to modern imaging there is such a vast amount of opportunity in this career choice."
A medical sales career provides the autonomy and freedom many people seek. It is also very rewarding as medical sales reps know they are helping people and improving patient’s health and their quality of life.
So, does a career in medical sales pay well? Current salary surveys issued by Monster.com and the NAMSR state that because of the excessive profit margins of many medical products and services this typically means enormous salaries and commissions. In addition, products are generally utilized fairly quickly with the increasing amount of demand in healthcare, so old markets rarely disappear; they need regular servicing. The second most attractive job feature that medical sales reps mention is the intellectual challenge the job imposes. Education is the norm in this field; learning about a company’s product line is crucial and requires medical education and training. Medical sales representatives have to be familiar with data, statistics, and issues in the health community to be able to communicate successfully with businesspeople and doctors.
Medical sales reps candidates who have acquired the RMSR™ training through the NAMSR (medicalsalescareer.com) have an advantage in this profession, in terms of both their credibility and their ability to educate themselves about product lines. A college degree is helpful for this job, while many employers look favorably on a degree even if it is not required. Medical education is the norm for all sales representatives, both on their own products and on other companies’ product lines. The ability to read a scientific study and examine its assumptions is critical to a medical sales reps success. This is why the RMSR program has helped so many enter a career in medical sales.
By the year 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor expects employment in medical sales to increase 24% higher that employment in other sales professions. “We’ve had tremendous call for medical sales openings,” say Terri Smith-Croxton, with JD & Associates, an executive search firm. “When the economy is down, that is when a lot of companies beef up their sales force.” Other recruiters who place salespeople tell a similar story, “I am high on the healthcare industry,” say Kenneth P. Kelley, president of Strategic Sales, medical consulting firm.
Others have had a similar experience, Vicki Edwards, staffing professional with Healthcare Recruiters, agrees. “In the last two years we have experienced a 30% increase for professionals to sell medical equipment. The number one sales area for us would certainly be medical sales.” According to Edwards medical sales is a stable environment and a great industry to go into. Douglas Braddock, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cites that projected growth for medical sales to 111% by the end of this decade.
Virtually all medical sales professionals have gone through specialized training in sales techniques, product and industry knowledge. Steve Kline took medical sales training with the NAMSR because his background was in industrial engineering. He contributes his success to breaking into the industry to his RMSR training which he received through the NAMSR. “I left the industrial sales and went into medical sales because it was more stable. Medical sales is not affected by a bad economy. I chose to take the NAMSR- RMSR training because I had very limited training in the healthcare industry.” With the sales of state-of-the art medical equipment booming in recent years, and so have the careers of medical sales reps.
Medical sales is procedure-driven, meaning some reps work with surgeons, talking physicians through medical procedures and demonstrating medical instrumentation. If the medical tool is determined to be beneficial, the physician gets the hospital to purchase the equipment and the reps get a commission of up to 15%--a significant amount on a sales of say, a $120,000 for a major medical product. A standard compensation package—base salary of $70,000 plus commission—comes in at about $120.000 a year for reps. According to David Hartman, a 12-year veteran of the medical sales trade, “There are people in medical sales who make a lot more than that.”
In summary, with the health care job explosion there is little doubt that a career in medical sales is certainly stable with fantastic financial opportunities. Medical sales reps candidates who have acquired the RMSR™ training have an advantage in this profession, in terms of both their credibility and their ability to educate themselves about product lines. Medical education is the norm for all sales representatives, both on their own products and on other companies’ product lines.