A new report by MedReps.com, a job board for medical sales representatives, found that those professionals selling health IT and healthcare software are no longer the top earners in medical sales, with an average total compensation of $149,985. This is a drop of $19,896 from 2015 and a drop of $22,906 from 2014. The 2016 MedReps Medical Sales Salary Report of nearly 3,300 professionals looks at how salaries are impacted by key factors such as the type and size of employer, how much professionals travel, their job titles, where they live, age, gender, and education levels. We were thus interested in interviewing Robyn Melhuish, Communications Manager at MedReps, about this report.

What was the motivation behind conducting the Medical Sales Salary Report?

Commissioned salespeople are unique in that the harder they work, the more money they make. But the compensation package and commission structures offered by employers must be competitive in order to retain top talent. We conduct the Medical Sales Salary Report annually in order to benchmark medical sales earnings for both professionals working in the industry and also employers seeking talent. This transparency helps professionals know what they should be making, and allows employers to make competitive offers.

How can people willing to enter the medical sales industry benefit from this report?

The report sets a benchmark for what they might expect to make which can be helpful in negotiating base pay and benefits. The data on experience, specifically, will serve to set their expectations on overall earnings. Newcomers shouldn’t expect to earn top dollar their first few years.

What is the difference between the average base and the average total values?

Most medical sales professionals earn commissions for the products they sell. Some are paid 100% commission, but most earn a combination of a base salary plus commissions and/or bonuses. The base salary is an amount guaranteed to them by their employer regardless of what they sell.

Commissions and bonuses are paid usually as a percentage of how much revenue they have generated through selling a product. So, the Average Total in the report is a combination of average base pay plus average commissions and bonuses.

What do you think are the most attractive medical sales perks?

I think the company car or car allowance is an attractive perk for any field sales person, not only for the monetary savings it represents, but also for what it signifies in terms of flexibility and freedom on the job. In our 2016 Med Rep Job Satisfaction Report, respondents cited “Autonomy/Flexibility” as one of the top two things they liked most about working in medical sales.

Which 3 products do you think will be sold most in the coming 5-years?

Thanks to aging Baby Boomers and the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry is booming, and with it healthcare sales. It’s safe to say there will be increasing demand for most medical products and services. However, there is a lot of growth in the biotech sphere at the moment – advances in technology will continue to impact development and ultimately demand in this niche.

What recommendations would you like to give those willing to enter the medical sales industry?

Know what it takes to be hired in the industry. Most companies require at least a few years in a business-to-business sales job, so that is a great first step. Work hard and be able to show your successes on your resume.

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Robyn Melhuish is a Communications Manager at MedReps.com

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