January 13, 2015

Prepping for Medical/Pharma Sales (Final Part)

Part 3

Prepping for a Career in Medical/Pharma Sales (Part 3 and Final Part)

For the final blog on this topic, I will cover sales positions that are not typically the best transitions into Medical and Pharmaceutical Selling from a headhunter/recruiter perspective.

Low activity level b2b sale—Low activity level b2b sales positions are business to business sales roles that typically don’t require lots of new business development or cold calling. They might require gaining the business of a company and then for the most part, managing the account, adding on sales, and up-selling. Media sales and promotional product sales are two examples of what might be considered a lower activity level sale. Any selling role that is considered more account management, versus aggressive cold calling, is not desirable for transitioning into these industries. It should not surprise you when you are interviewed, if companies get into specifics about the % of time you are cold calling and the % of time you are managing accounts. Companies expect you to be specific and to know the answer to questions like this. While a b2b telemarketing role can be a great way to start your career, Medical and Pharma companies prefer outside business to business sales with lots of cold calling. Telemarketing sales roles can be a great transition to an outside business to business sales position that will later help you get in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sales.

Any sale to an individual—This is typically a sale in a retail environment or an outside sales role where the customer is an individual versus a business. Some examples of this type of sale include real estate sales, pyramid marketing, mortgage lending, financial advising, banking sales to individuals, and insurance sales etc.

Self-employment—Self employment is not a good transition into these industries.

Any high activity level b2b sale WITHOUT a track record—As I mentioned earlier in this blog, it doesn’t really matter what sales background you have, if you don’t have a track record of exceeding quota’s, awards, and top rankings. The best b2b sales background won’t get you in these industries without a track record.

Take away from this series—If you are excited about a potential career in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sales do these—

1. Get on track RIGHT out of college for these careers. Work with a recruiter or an agency that is going to mentor you and point you in the right direction to get into these industries.
2. Make sure your positions are good transition positions, watch the # of jobs out of college, and pay attention to your career progression
3. Build a track record and report it on your resume and in your brag book

As I have mentioned earlier in this blog, I am not saying you cannot get into Medical and Pharmaceutical Sales if you don’t have the backgrounds mentioned.   I am merely telling you my experience from a recruiting standpoint.  If you don’t have the background these companies are requesting from agencies, you might try networking on your own to get in these industries.


Tanya Duncan has 12 years of National Recruiting experience. The first 6 years of her career was spent focusing on National Sales Recruiting primarily in Industrial/Mfg., Medical, Pharmaceutical and Business Products/Services.

Tanya obtained 12 National Sales Awards from her career with Snelling to include a #1 Recruiter in the Nation Award March 2009, out of 88 National Recruiters. When she left Snelling she was ranked in the Top 10% of Snelling Recruiters Nationally. Tanya now operates her own recruiting agency focusing primarily on Industrial and Manufacturing but is also full-service working in other industries. A-PLUS Recruiting, Inc. offers 1-Year “pay as you go” guarantees on candidate placements.

Tanya’s Expertise includes—Recruiting/Headhunting in all industries, Interviewing, Resume Consultation and prepping new grad’s on pursuing a career in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sales Recruiting.

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