- Billie Hopkins
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After working for 4 pharmaceutical companies and close to 12 years working in the industry, I have quite a good idea of the kind of company to work for. There are companies we want to work for, and there are companies we wish we work for. We can end up working for neither of them.
It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to have a good idea of an ideal company or perhaps close to the perfect company to work with.
And like we’ve discussed in the previous article, it is imperative to make the right choice because it can help you stay motivated in tough times, and even more motivated in good times. Choose the correct entry so that you don’t have to struggle to find the exit!
Do you have the ideal pharmaceutical company in mind?
If not, read on, and I’ll share with you what it looks like, for me, and you can size it up for your own good.
So here goes:
Fit into your goal
I assume you have a goal to achieve with the job as a pharma sales rep. The goal must be your own goal, not the one set up by others.
When I land my first pharmaceutical sales rep job, my goal at that time was to learn how to sell.
Then I devise a new goal after five years working for the first pharma comp. My original intention was to learn success factors in different channels, like for example, selling to the government, institution and general practitioners.
And now I’m embarking on a different journey thus setting clear goals.
But that’s just me. How’s yours?
What do you want to achieve by working for a pharmaceutical company?
Relatively sell-able product
Of course, if the product is natural to sell, the company won’t be needing you in the first place.
But that’s beside the point.
The main drive here is motivation. Selling, by any measure, is a tough job. It’s dynamic, unpredictable and at a time, a heartthrob!
One needs the motivation to persist, and nothing is better than the product with minimal resistance from the market.
One easy sale will lead to another and another and another. It’s hard to give up with sales piling up.
That’s the idea, which brings us to…
Attractive overall pay scale and perks
This is a delicate area. Pharmaceutical companies, somehow, appears to have an agreement between them. No one company has a better offer than another after we add everything up.
But you need to decide here.
My choice? I always go for the company with higher incentive payout.
My reason: I’m in sales. When I sell, I want to be rewarded for my effort. I want to see my effort paid off; hence incentive is my best milestone to gauge whether I am on track or off
In the end, it’s totally up to you. What do you want from this pharma company? You want to climb the corporate ladder? You want to learn specific competencies?
The company size
Some people find success in a small but growing company. Others find it in a well-established company.
For all the years I’ve been working, only recently I worked for a small, growing company. All the previous years were spent in well-established companies.
There are plus and minus. There are no right or wrong.
The important thing is to start somewhere and see where you’re heading.
It is also NOT essential to work for original/ethical companies versus generics.
I got a friend who starts from generic now working with an ethical company, and vice versa.
But perhaps I see more ethical pharma sales reps joining the generic companies (that should give you a hint)…
Start somewhere and size up (or down).
- Market or niche
In the real sense, companies do not grow; market grows.
There is a market right now with tremendous growth and potential. Oncology, diabetes and pediatric are some of them.
Subscribe to news and updates for the industry and keep your option open. Once you have identified an opportunity, act on it.
If you can see, from the start until the end of the article, one theme runs consistently in my message: you decide what it’s going to be.
The pharmaceutical companies are a tool, and you are the craftsmen:
What do you want to produce with the raw material?
What image do you have as the finished product?
It’s in your hand.
Are you with me?
Do you have something else in mind?