What does sales involve?
There are two types of sales representatives; inside sales and field sales.
Inside sales don't involve much (if any) travel and is mainly done from an office. Field sales positions require frequent travel throughout a designated territory to sell products or conduct product training.
A career in veterinary pharmaceutical sales can be enjoyable for those who have strong interpersonal skills combined with a love of animals. You will also need commercial awareness as your customer group will have a strong financial interest in the products they buy and the impact it has on their practice.
While the majority of sales are in the pharmaceutical sector, animal food companies also have sales roles.
Generally speaking, you would be responsible for selling to a number of veterinary practices, achieving sales targets, building quality relationships, and effectively implementing sales campaigns and events.
Routes into the role
The clinical knowledge and experience you have as a vet is hugely beneficial, giving you expertise and credibility through your understanding of anatomy, physiology, biology, pharmacology and chemistry.
You would not need any further formal qualifications in order to make this career transition, but any steps you can take to acquire confidence in sales, marketing and public speaking would be beneficial.
Skills recruiters will look for you to demonstrate are:
- spoken communication skills
- outgoing personality
- persuasion and negotiation skills
- listening skills
- able to work independently
- resilience and a positive attitude
For a field sales role, you will also need a driving license.
Knowing how the pharmaceutical industry works, who the major players are, and what they manufacture will help you in your quest to find employment in this field. You should also understand the relationship between drugs and common diseases. In addition to doing this research online, you could also go to seminars, meetings and conferences that relate to the animal pharmaceutical field and add these to your CV.