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Virtually any for-profit business depends upon some type of sales and marketing function to exist.  The business of healthcare is no different. There is a plethora of products and services offered in the medical field.  These may range from pharmaceutical sales to medical devices to services such as healthcare plans, physical rehabilitation, home care, and a host of others.  Every company or organization depends upon “getting the word out” by employing sales and marketing professionals.

Training and Education in Sales and Marketing

Most pinnacle type sales positions prefer a four-year degree from and accredited college or university.  Approximately 90% of medical/pharmaceutical sales positions require these degrees to be considered for employment.  Depending upon the position, it may not be critical regarding what discipline the candidate studied.  Some clinical sales positions prefer someone with a science background, such as a degree in microbiology, while others are okay with simply a marketing degree.  Recently, medical and pharmaceutical sales companies are looking more towards those with a more clinical background. These individuals can enter into the field and can communicate with prospective clients on a more consultative basis. Still, many other companies want individuals with strong business-to-business sales experience such as cell phones, copier, rental car, or uniform sales type backgrounds.

Salary in Sales and Marketing

The compensation rewards of successful sales representatives and marketing professionals can be great.  Some positions include a low base, but provide much greater opportunity in the form of commission or other variable compensation.  Virtually the sky is the limit in form of compensation.  Other more marketing based positions pay a good base with a little or no commission opportunity.  A significant number of positions in the pharmaceutical sales field start in the $50K range with potential total income of 75-100K for newer representatives.  Medical device positions, which sometimes feature a lower base, may have income potentials of $150K+ depending upon the territory.  Although medical sales positions are popular, many are finding that the industry no longer provides long-term stability.  The changing market conditions including managed care coverage and the heavy introduction of generics provide for an almost constant change.  Sheer ability and flexibility are key attributes to possess upon entry into this world of sales.

Job Outlook in Sales and Marketing

Although changes are occurring almost daily in the medical sales industry, the future looks bright.  No matter what the government or healthcare plans elect to do, the fact is that America has an aging population that will demand medical services, supplies and products.  To satisfy this demand there will be a need for product managers, clinical managers, territory representatives, regional managers, district managers, hospital and institutional managers, brand managers, compliance officers and a host of many other positions needed.  Additional training, flexibility and education will help the assertive candidate win these positions.  Even in tough economic times, top talent is always in demand.

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