While entering the world of pharmaceutical sales may not require the high-level of education which is required in other pharmacy related careers, not everyone can join the sales force and succeed. The sales environment in the pharmaceutical industry is fast-paced with a high-turnover rate. In order to make it past entry-level, the right candidate must possess persistence, assertiveness, knowledge, confidence, and interpersonal skills, just to name a few. While some of these skills can be taught in a learning environment, most are inherent within the person. Sales representatives will be responsible for selling pharmaceutical products to physicians, hospital personnel to increase the saturation of their companies presence on the market.
There are three types of sales positions available depending on experience. An entry-level position will be necessary to build knowledge and familiarity with the market for individuals changing careers or just graduating college. These positions will generally involve contacting practitioners and primary care physicians and are sometimes called mass-marker sales positions. Once this is mastered, other positions in the specialty and hospital divisions will be available.
Pharmaceutical sales is a territory-oriented business. Because income strongly relies on the employees ability to sell, the commission-based structure can be extremely stressful and create pressure that not all individuals are able to cope with. The right candidate must be able to balance their career, social life and family time without burning out. Although there is a lot of pressure, the job is extremely addictive because of the chance for high commissions on many brand-name products. While it may not be required, most reps committed in their profession will eventually take advanced courses in pharmacology to build a knowledge which can give them selling power in the field.
If you believe this is the career for you, begin searching jobs on Internet and get a feel for the what employers are looking for. Having a background in science and/ or sales will give candidates an advantage when applying. While a college degree is standard in the field, some employers are willing to overlook this with extensive sales experience. If you feel this is a position for you, take a proactive step to achieving your goals and becoming successful.