Sales representatives in the pharmaceutical industry have a number of responsibilities, including calling on existing and potential clients to establish new accounts, obtain orders, service existing accounts, and implement brand strategies intended to convey the company's marketing message. They must also adjust the content of sales presentations to be client-specific and reflect any changes in products, services, policies, or competitive development.
Pharmaceutical sales representatives strive to resolve customers' complaints and concerns by investigating any issues that arise, developing solutions, and submitting applicable reports or recommendations to management. They also maintain sales records and histories and report sales activity to management via daily, weekly, or monthly reports and analyses. They typically meet with a variety of professionals, including medical personnel such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and technicians, medical office management, staff of medical facilities, and existing or potential clients, and often meet with clients at their own locations.
This work can be both physically and mentally demanding, and long hours walking, standing, and traveling between multiple locations may be necessary. Pharmaceutical sales representatives work primarily during daytime hours, but may also attend meetings and work-related functions in the evening and on weekends. Mental demands of the position include staying up-to-date with industry changes, products, scientific updates, and medical issues, communicating information about products to a variety of clients, addressing clients' questions and concerns, staying organized, and effectively reporting to management, and they typically report to a sales or marketing manager within the company.
Pharmaceutical sales representatives must be neat and professional in appearance and demeanor and have proven sales experience, excellent communication skills, strong time-management and organizational skills, some familiarity with medical-related science and medical issues, and proficiency with computers, tablets, mobile devices, databases, and the internet. These representatives may work on teams or individually and should participate in ongoing education, review trade literature and publications, participate in professional societies, and establish personal networks to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and scientific updates.
A bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field, knowledge of basic medical terminology, and an understanding of the regulations related to the pharmaceutical industry are generally required for this position, and prior sales experience may also be required by some employers.
Sales Representative, Pharmaceuticals Tasks
Attend special training of products or services to understand technical aspects of solutions.
Sell the organization's technical products to established customers or develop new prospects within assigned territory.
Build relationships and identify the prospect's need for the products or services.
Prepare and maintain records for sales leads and progress status of accounts.
Emphasize product features based on analyses of customers' needs, and on technical knowledge of product capabilities.