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How to improve your leadership skills in Medical Sales

Posted on: 11 Sep
Working as a Medical Sales Representative can be tough, especially for Sales Team leaders. The Pharma industry is growing rapidly, and the job is becoming much more complex as new regulations continue to be introduced. Today, the patient is key, and Sales Representatives need to embrace and learn a new set of skills if they want to thrive in the changing market. Alongside increased flexibility, today’s Sales reps need to be team players, adept at manging multiple accounts, and able to manage multiple stakeholders at the same time.

One trait you should also be investing your time as a Medical Sales Rep into is leadership. Essential if you want to progress in the industry, good leadership skills will help you to encourage and inspire your team to be better, as well as giving them the guidance they need to improve and upskill within their role- all whilst hitting your Sales targets and closing deals. 

Whether you’re looking to flesh out your skillset or for ways to motivate your team, here’s what you should be doing. 

Be open

The best way you can inspire loyalty within your team is by providing them with the chance to use you as a sounding board. 32% of a sales manager’s time is spent managing people, so put that time to good use. Conduct regular reviews and team meetings to touch base with your Medical Sales Representatives, and check in with them on a regular basis to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly. Take the time to listen, and your team will reward you with higher levels of trust and engagement. 

Be inspirational

Working as a Medical Sales Representative can take its toll on you, even if you love the job: with representatives spending around 60% of their time on the road, 30% of their time waiting to see their client, and only 10% researching and chasing up leads, this hectic lifestyle can be wearing and sometimes disheartening.

Stop your team from falling into this rut by being taking charge and motivating them. A good leader understands what makes people tick, and what motivates them to do better: whether it’s by hiring well, encouraging a positive atmosphere within the office or challenging them over time to raise the bar in their work, you can create a positive cycle in your team that sees continuous improvement. 

You should also make sure that you give praise where it’s due. After all, there’s nothing that will increase job satisfaction and employee loyalty by showing that you appreciate the efforts and achievements of your colleagues.

Be a coach

Medical Sales is changing, and you need to make sure that your team changes with it. Effective coaching is a keystone of leadership, as it’s your responsibility to make sure that your team is equipped to make great sales, whatever the state of the market. 

Whether it’s coaching your team on closing a deal or educating them on more obscure disease areas and healthcare to add value to sales calls, great leaders work on their team’s weaknesses and enhance their strengths. They understand that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all when it comes to Sales skills, so they will adapt their coaching style in order to suit their team. Given that 74% of leading companies say that mentoring sales representatives and providing great coaching is the most important role that managers play, it’s vital you make sure that you’re giving your team what they need. 

Lead by example


Great leaders don’t just delegate, although having a good head for numbers and a vision to lead your team is important. They’ll also lead by example, working with the sales representatives to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly. How is a certain account doing? Is there anything that can be done to get that deal over the line? Managers should know what’s going on within their sales pipelines, so they can adjust their targets, work with people who need extra support and speak up for their team if there are any problems: for instance, if they need new technologies or equipment to do their job more efficiently. 

Take the next step in your career with IQVIA IES

We know the challenges and rewards that go hand in hand with being a great leader. It’s time to take the next step in your career: why not browse our blog for more insights into Medical Sales, or take a look at our jobs?