On The Job

Entry-level B2B to Pharmaceutical Sales – How to Prove You Have What it Takes


You’re up for the challenge. You’re ready to go head-to-head with any obstacles or controversies the sales world faces.

However, sales recruiters aren’t convinced. And with pharmaceutical sales reps up against medical marijuana legalization and the opioid crisis, the biggest and baddest controversies in sales, according to a recent report by our team here at MedReps, who can blame them for being extra cautious?

Pharmaceutical sales recruiters need to know candidates have the ability and confidence to take on challenges while still crushing their goals. Even with impressive B2B experience, you need to prove your skills and work history go beyond making the sale.

It’s time to prove you have what it takes to succeed in the pharmaceutical sales industry. Here’s how to show them what you’ve got:

1. Use controversy to your advantage

Controversy in the pharmaceutical sales industry presents many challenges. If you jump on social media or do a quick Google search, it’s easy to find negativity surrounding the pharmaceutical sales industry. While some of this is due to misinformation, emotions are high and real to each consumer.

Use this vulnerability to your advantage by showing off your natural empathetic nature. Start by writing a 30/60/90 day plan to outline how you’d first approach the customer, how you’d personalize their experience, and, as a result, how you’d close the sale.

2. Prove your strength

Education, years of experience, skills, goal-hitting records — these are all necessary when it comes to impressing recruiters. But it’s too generic for recruiters in the pharmaceutical sales industry — especially when you need to validate indirect B2B experience.

While you may not have tackled medical marijuana legalization or the opioid crisis in the past, chances are you’ve dealt with a similar crisis or controversy.

If a company you’re applying to is in the midst of controversy, sit down and make a list of relatable sales challenges you’ve already overcome. Why were they difficult? How did it affect your ability to sell the product? What did you do to resolve/overcome those issues and make the sale?

Compare this challenge to what the company is currently going through, and add it to your sales portfolio. When a recruiter asks to see your portfolio, they’ll appreciate the connection and better understand your ability to handle difficult situations.

3. Show your dedication to information accuracy

It’s no secret that pharmaceutical sales reps have the potential to earn a large paycheck. But if that’s all that you’re after, this is not the job for you. Pharmaceutical sales reps are dedicated to their products, missions, and, most of all, customers. That’s why 22 percent of sales reps in our 2018 Med Rep Job Satisfaction Report, said they value a company that is socially responsible.

Unfortunately, many potential customers aren’t properly educated on topics surrounding products or the industry. In fact, according to the newest findings in our previously mentioned report, Selling Controversial Products: Rising Above the Negativity to Find Positive Impacts, 94 percent of sales reps agree a lack of proper education impacts their sales.

This means, as a pharmaceutical sales rep, you’ll go far beyond selling products. You’ll also be educating the public.

During your job hunt, show recruiters you’re not just eager to be highly-knowledgeable about products and industry trends but are prepared and dedicated to share that information accurately.

Find research and dive into customer testimonials and reviews. Then, use this information to create a few examples of how you’d better inform clients. This empowers you to prove you’re dedicated to educate customers and consumers so they become true believers in the product.

How do you prove to pharmaceutical sales recruiters that you have what it takes? Let us know!