Career Growth On The Job

3 Ways Medical Sales Reps Can Fast-Track Their Earning Potential


When Mike started his first medical sales job after college, he instantly fell in love with his career. Fast-forward seven years later, and Mike still wakes up every morning excited to go to work because he feels professionally fulfilled and like he’s making a positive difference in the world.

Although Mike loves his job, he recently starting thinking more about his earning potential. With future milestones on the horizon — such as getting married, buying a house, and saving for retirement — he’s concerned he won’t achieve his financial goals in time.

Medical sales is a rewarding career that offers many opportunities for growth, both professionally and financially. However, when it comes to earning a higher salary, many factors can influence your income, such as building strong relationships and having a true passion for what you do.

If you are feeling like Mike and are ready to take your salary to the next level, here are three ways to reach your highest earning potential:

1. Be patient.

With any goal, patience is the key to success. In fact, our 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report found patience pays off when building a successful medical sales career. Medical sales reps who have worked between 11 to 20 years in the industry or have more than 20 years of experience have the highest earning potential.

Whether you’re just starting your career or you’ve been working in the industry for seven years like Mike, sit down with your manager to discuss your career goals. Talk about where you hope to see yourself by the end of this year and where you’d like to be in the next three to five years.

As you discuss your goals, ask your manager to help you break down your goals and set benchmarks that will get you on a path to reaching your highest earning potential. For example, if you need to earn a certification to get to the next earning level, identify steps to completing that certification this year.

2. Hit the road.

One of the quickest ways to fast-track your path to becoming a top-earner is to hit the road. Our report found that medical sales reps earning the most travel at least 50 percent of the time. Additionally, frequently traveling medical sales reps earn almost $10,000 more than medical sales reps traveling 20 percent of the time.

Even though we live in a digital world, building relationships still relies on personal, face-to-face interactions. At the beginning of each week, plan your schedule around the availability of doctors and your contacts. Next, lay out a roadmap that outlines locations and travel time. This plan will help you be more efficient as you travel and even stretch your gas money.  

3. Find your product.

Having a passion for your product is key to rising to the top. Don’t pick a product solely on its earning potential. Identify a product you believe in and know you can sell every day. For instance, just because our research found that health IT/software sales professionals are earning top dollar, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell medical devices if that’s what you’re passionate about.

Spend time exploring different products that align with your interests and you could fall in love with. Incomes that follow closely behind health IT/software are biotechnology and medical or surgical device.

Next, write down your current earning goals. Then, look for a product you believe in and can sell with passion. Once you find a product that overlaps with your earning goals, that’s the sweet spot for your earning potential.

Wherever you’re at in your career, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your earning potential. If you’re just starting your career, this is a great time to advocate for yourself and develop a gameplan for achieving your financial goals.

As long as you continue to keep your passion strong and find ways to enhance your skills, you will be well on your way to climbing to your highest earning potential in no time at all.

What are some strategies you’ve used to reach your earning potential?