My Medical Device Sales Career
I am often asked when I post a Medical Device Sales Job that requires a background in aggressive BtoB (Business to Business) Sales, "Why?" from pharmaceutical, realestate, financial or mortagage type sales people who don't have it. The pharmaceutical sales people notice that most medical device sales who will entertain them as a possible job candidate IF THEY HAVE a minimum of 3 to 4 years of BtoB Sales (not more than 8 to 10 years UNLESS promoted into BtoB Sales Management) with ONE company (no job hoppers here!). So to people who don't have that background and keep asking me over and over, "Why, why and why?" Here it is.
Business to Business sales people who sell widgets or in other words TANGIBLE PHYSICAL products you can roll in, hold in your hands and physically touch and demo to a customer are what medical device sales companies love. On top of it, if the BtoB sales person has to make daily routine cold calls going door to door, doing the pitch, facing rejection and getting their head basically bashed in every day, AS WELL as growing and cultivating relationships with current customers, then Medical Device Companies begin to get real interested in you. When do they begin to salivate over you? When you can show that you have TOP National Sales Ranking performance with ONE company for at least 3 years and can prove it with a National Awards Trip or Presidents Type of Award. They just can't wait to hire you!
I get so many questions from the folks who went right from college graduation into pharmaceutical sales or intangible sales (like financial or real-estate) and they get really upset when they are told their background is not desired by top medical device companies. They always reply, "Those companies don't understand my industry, I do the same thing as a BtoB and what I do is harder than what a BtoB does, try selling something you can't demo and has to be sold from a brochure or from a mere concept." Well, I often reply, "YOU don't understand, let me explain. Simply put, BtoB sales folks have more TRANSFERABLE 'like' skills into medical DEVICE sales." Yes, it is a device, not JUST an intangible (in fact the sale involves selling both a tangible and intangible), it is something you can hold or at least stand next to and demonstrate to a customer ALONG with the intangible (like service, profit on resale, advertising and reimbursement). Don't discount the experience of a hands on demonstration of a tangible product!
So let me do a quick run-down of what a copier representative (let's use this as an example, because that is the TOP type of BtoB product background medical device sales companies love) has that most pure pharma or financial sales people don't have.
What BtoB Folks Bring To The Table
As you can see, if you don't have this background, then well, you don't have any idea how rough a BtoB sales can been when it is product that you have to demonstrate how easy it is to use, how the customer will reduce their overhead or increase their sales with the product, develop the advertising pull through for THEIR customer, actually get their money in a form of an order and, if they don't pay, go and collect it!
On top of it, they have to go back and get that same customer to buy new products or improved products on a repeat sales basis sometimes monthly. Rough stuff and medical companies know it. As many medical device sales managers have told me through the years, "Give me one of those copier, office supplies, ADP, Paychex, Enterprise Rental or Gallo Wine Representatives ANY day, they will think my job is a piece of cake once I train them up on the medical side and do great."
So next time a pharmaceutical, financial or mortgage sales person tells me that they have the same experience as a copier representative or a Gallo Wine Representative, well you don't and now you know why. Hats off to those with BtoB top performing sales experience, it's a rough road and if you can nail that type of sell, then we have a job for you in Medical Device Sales!
©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved
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