|Also Known As|
|Customer Support Representatives||Manufacturer's Sales Representatives|
|Sales Persons||Sales Reps|
|Technical Sales Reps||Technical Support Specialists|
Technical sales specialists usually specialize in a particular line of goods or services, such as laboratory supplies and equipment.
Working as a technical sales rep requires knowledge of:
Medical equipment and supplies sales specialists use their knowledge about medical and laboratory terms, processes, and equipment to sell products and assist customers.
Technical sales specialists work for establishments that produce or provide technical goods and services such as computer services firms, communications companies, and engineering firms. Medical equipment and supplies sales specialists work for pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing companies.
Many technical sales specialists work long hours. They spend much of their time visiting possible buyers and creating sales. Technical sales specialists are assigned specific territories that may be defined geographically (for example, Greater Toronto Area, Atlantic Canada), by market segment (for example, medical), or by type of organization (for example, government hospitals, private clinics). Some technical sales specialists have large geographic territories and travel frequently. They may be away from home for several days or weeks at a time.
Because their incomes often depend on commissions, technical sales specialists are always under pressure to keep and expand their client base.
Most employers prefer to hire technical sales specialists who have a college diploma or university degree from a program related to the products and services they will be selling, plus several years of related work experience. For example, medical and lab equipment companies will seek job applicants with a diploma or degree related to medicine and a background in equipment operation or laboratory work.
Good communication skills play an important role in the success of sales specialists. All of the duties of technical sales specialists require reading, writing, speaking, and/or listening skills.
Companies that import or export technical goods or services may require technical sales specialists to be fluent in a specific foreign language. The ability to speak and write in multiple languages can be an advantage in Canada’s multicultural environment.
Wages are affected by the workers’ level of education, work experience, and job responsibilities, plus the job location, work conditions, and whether the workforce is unionized or not. The figures provided below reflect a national average for low, median (mid-point), and high wages (before taxes).
|$12 per hour||$23 per hour||$42 per hour|
|$24,960 per year||$47,840 per year||$87,360 per year|
For wage information in specific regions or cities in Canada, see Working in Canada’s Explore Careers by Wages.
Employers often offer extensive training programs for technical sales specialists that may range in length from a few weeks to several months. Sales specialists must keep up to date with technological changes affecting their customers’ companies.
Advancement depends on the size and nature of the company, and the individual’s sales abilities and interpersonal skills. Many companies require front line sales experience for advancement to senior level positions.
See the career advancement and change opportunities for sales reps as described in BioTalent Canada’s BioCareer Pathway.
For general career information and job search ideas, refer to the Introductory Page.
More details about technical sales specialists are available at:
Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA). The CSPA works to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness, and efficiency of the sales community. The CSPA offers a Certified Sales Professional (CSP) title as a way for competent sales people to set themselves apart. It also provides training and a job board.
Humber College offers an online Canadian Medical Device Industry certificate. This training program is designed by MEDEC.
MEDEC is the national association created by and for the Canadian medical technology industry. MEDEC is the primary source for advocacy, information, and education on the medical technology industry for members, the greater healthcare community, industry partners, and the general public.
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceutical products, manufacturers and distributors of active pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic pharmaceutical industry. Check out its Resources page.
See BioTalent Canada’s Skills At-a-Glance for sales rep.