Insights & Trends

Tech Skills You Need to Stay Competitive


Ben is still searching for the medical device sales career of his dreams. Although he’s a job seeker with the necessary skills and experience, he hasn’t kept up on the latest technology. He figures his knowledge and people skills got him this far, so why start learning new things now?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s his mantra.

Meanwhile, Ben’s brother, Edward, makes a conscious effort to consistently hone his tech skills, learn new ones that employers want, and take professional development courses to prove his commitment to staying on top of technology in a constantly-changing field.

Who do you think is the more attractive candidate to medical sales recruiters?

According to a 2016 Greater Washington Workforce Needs Assessment study, 80 percent of employers seek at least some tech mastery from job seekers. The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) compiled the study through research gleaned from employer surveys and interviews.

While advanced skills certainly benefit the company, having solid technical knowledge also contributes to your own bottom line. A 2017 Dice Salary Survey found that salary increases are directly linked to tech proficiency.

The report was administered online by, through survey responses from 12,907 employed technology professionals. Of those respondents, 14 percent reported concerns about keeping their jobs due to lack of updated technology skills.

With all that in mind, here are the tech skills medical sales recruiters most want to see on applications and the importance of opportunities for continuing education in a field that depends on and thrives with the latest technology:

Tech skills to know (or quickly learn)

Ben understands that most medical sales reps work independently in the field. He knows that learning these basic (and some advanced) tech skills help optimize sales potential and build confidence with clients:

1. Microsoft Office: Medical sales recruiters naturally assume use of this software has already been ingrained. If you don’t yet have a solid knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.), you will need to quickly learn these programs. Fortunately, there are many tutorials available online.

2. Technical Writing: Technical writing is the process of translating complicated information into “layman’s terms.” Ben uses the same technique when explaining medical device product use and function to his clients.

When you can demonstrate what a product is and how it’s used in a clear and simple fashion, clients will be more receptive to sales pitches.

3. Project Management Tools: Even if you’re not directly managing a project, mastering the core skills of project management is essential for medical device sales success. Recruiters want to see that you have a solid foundation in leadership, communication, organizing/scheduling, risk management, and negotiation skills.

Essential project management technical knowledge includes at least basic proficiency with:

  • project planning software such as Microsoft Project, Basecamp, or Wrike
  • project management tools such as Asana and Trello
  • time management software such as Harvest and Cold Turkey

4. Social Media Experience: It is difficult to find someone today who is not part of at least one social networking platform. While most of your client communication will still take place by phone, email, or in person, you should understand the impact of social media, and the potential to make a “personal connection” that results in sales contracts.

5. Big Data Analysis: Big data analysis provides many benefits to companies, including new revenue opportunities, more effective marketing and customer service, and advantage over competitors through increased efficiency.

You should have at least a working understanding of how to collect and analyze statistical information relevant to the medical device sales field.

New and emerging tech trends to watch

Unlike Ben, Edward realizes that the medical device sales industry is constantly changing. He knows it’s important to learn insights and stay up-to-date on the latest information about new medical devices and software, companies to watch, emerging players in medical devices sales, and how to use this data to better market products to clients.

Industry trends to be aware of include:

1.Wearable Tech: These devices include fitness trackers, but also heart monitors, hearing aids, chronic injury monitors, and more. According to a Fung Global Retail and Technology report, wearable medical devices are expected to generate $32 billion in revenue by 2019.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics: The medical industry is increasingly going high-tech. An EY MedTech report predicts a marked increase in robotics-involved surgery and rehabilitation in the coming years. Artificial intelligence is expected to continue to have a huge impact on the medical device sales industry.

3. 3D Printing and Desktop Manufacturing: This technology continues to provide ease and cost savings to medical professionals and clients alike.

Improvements to these devices have made them faster and easier to use. Newer-model 3D printers are able to handle multiple materials at the same time. According to a Deloitte report, 3D printing and desktop manufacturing device sales will top $2 billion by 2020.

In an ever-changing and increasingly-competitive medical device sales job market, it’s important to have a solid base knowledge of the key tech skills medical sales recruiters want, continually stay up-to-date on the latest medical device sales technology, and avoid becoming comfortable or set in your ways.

How do you keep up with new and emerging medical device sales technology? Let us know in the comments!