Biotech is a rapidly growing industry, which is good news for all of those looking for a sales job! Companies in this industry use living organisms to develop products and processes which are sold to doctors, hospitals, researchers and laboratories. For this reason, it is necessary for candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in life science and relevant experience in the field. In this article we will talk you through five different career roles in biotech sales.
Biotech sales representatives must have sales aptitude and a background in science. It is their job to meet with potential clients, inform them about their company’s latest products and persuade them to place an order. Whilst it is essential that sales representatives have great communication skills, it is also necessary for them to be able to travel frequently. In order to sell the products efficiently they must have a scientific or technical background. There is great earning potential for biotech sales representatives, who usually receive a combination of salary and commission. Entry level salaries start around £28,000 but with experience in the field, sales reps can earn around £49,500 per annum.
Technical Service Representative
Technical service representatives are usually required to have a bachelor’s degree in a life science field as well as relevant technical experience (minimum of two years). They must possess excellent customer service skills, as it is their job to help customers solve technical problems with the products they have purchased. Technical service representatives work closely with sales representatives. They often visit customers to demonstrate how to use a product and are able to offer more in-depth knowledge of a product’s advantages. This is the ideal career for someone with a science background who doesn’t want a career in lab work.
Field Sales Specialist
It is the job of field sales specialists to find potential new businesses to work with. They are also assigned a number of accounts which they must manage and develop strategies for, along with the district manager. Field sales specialists are able to identify clients’ needs in order to create new opportunities for the company. They will utilise marketing tools and resources in order to move sales along to the next step. Field sales specialists are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a life science subject, as well as a minimum of four years’ experience in biotech, pharmaceutical or medical device sales. It is essential that they also have a working knowledge of hospital settings as they may often be required to train and support clients who are trialling new products. Field sales specialists’ starting salary usually ranges between £21,000 to £27,000 (plus commission).
Product managers in biotech are usually assigned with territories in which they are responsible in managing the sales for. It is their job to promote product lines, produce sales forecasts and prepare quotes for clients. Working with the sales and marketing teams, they will develop strategies to increase conversions. This is a results-oriented job and requires the person to have great communication skills and the ability to travel. A bachelor’s degree in engineering or life sciences is preferred, along with experience in biotech sales jobs.
Field Application Scientist
A field application scientist role is ideal for someone that is looking to transition from the lab to the business side of things. The position requires the candidate to demo new products and equipment to potential clients, as well as provide on-site support to existing clients. Field application scientists often get bought in when technical service representatives are unable to solve a problem.
Working in Biotech Sales
Although pharmaceutical sales is often viewed as a safer career, the financial rewards are often much greater in biotech sales. In biotech, you may end up joining a company before its product has been approved, which is obviously a risk as you may be out of a job if it is not approved, however if successful, the earning potential is extremely high.