“There hasn’t been a traditional route into medical device sales for graduates or professionals from outside of the industry. This partnership will provide professional athletes with a clear pathway into an industry we know they thrive in while giving businesses access to a driven and diverse talent pool. It’s a win-win for all sides.”
Business Manager, Med Sales Academy
When Tom Prydie finished playing Premiership Rugby for Bath and was contemplating his options, a career in the healthcare industry really excited him.
Nutrition, training regimen and rehabilitation are an everyday reality for professional athletes, meaning they spend much of their time interacting with medical professionals, learning how to maintain peak physical performance.
It’s natural then, that following the end of their playing careers athletes seek out positions in a field they understand well and that might just keep them close to the sporting world.
Tom Prydie, Former Welsh International rugby player
While coaching offers the most direct opportunity to do that, there are only so many jobs to go around and a select few make it to the top. So what are their options?
Well, their motivation, attitudes and drive make athletes incredibly adaptable and super team mates. And their commitment to better themselves, day after day, and their desire to win at all costs, gives them an unrivalled edge, particularly in sales.
The problem is that sales positions in the medical world are typically taken up by life sciences graduates and people already in the industry. But not for long.
A new partnership between Med Sales Academy, the UK’s leading provider of medical sales and clinical courses, and the athlete transition consultancy, FutureProof, will provide athletes with a direct route into medical device sales.
We spoke to Warren Howell, Business Manager at Med Sales Academy about the offer and Tom Prydie about his journey from sport into the world of medical sales
What does Med Sales Academy offer athletes?
“We need more good people in the industry,” explains Warren, a 25 year veteran of the healthcare device sector and sales trainer.
“There’s simply not enough talented sales people to go around and so what you see is a lot of poaching from companies.”
To combat this talent shortage, Warren, Samanatha and Kate at Med Sales Academy devised a series of online training courses in sales discipline and clinical specialties.
“The courses are super affordable, can be completed online, but provide everything you need to build a framework for success.”
Originally targeting the graduate and healthcare professional market, Med Sales Academy stumbled into working with athletes after another ex Wales rugby player, Aled Brew, discovered the business and enrolled in a course.
“Understanding how the human body works has always fascinated me,” explains Aled. “I suffered a few injuries during my playing career and learned a great deal during my time on the treatment bench.
“It was clear from there that I wanted to work in the healthcare sector in some way, but I needed the skills and knowledge to do it. Med Sales Academy was my ticket into that world.”
“When it comes to describing the perfect fit for a role, it’s hard to imagine a better example than professional athletes working in the healthcare industry,” says Warren.
What does the partnership with FutureProof mean for athletes?
“Athletes have many more transferable and desirable skills than you realise,” explains James Hitchman, Co-Founder at FutureProof. “Natural teamwork and innate confidence make them incredible assets in the workforce.
“Med Sales Academy represents a perfect opportunity for athletes to learn vital new skills and accelerate their transition into potentially lucrative careers in healthcare.”
The partnership will offer athletes a trodden path out of competition and into potentially global organisations at the cutting edge of science.
“Before taking the course with Med Sales Academy, I had zero experience in sales,” explains Tom Prydie. “However, the content and delivery of the course materials gave me the confidence to pursue my dream move into healthcare.”
“Tom isn’t the first through the programme and we have strong relationships with pioneering new companies,” says Warren. “There is a need for talent and a recognition of the value that athletes bring.”
What does the partnership mean for medical device businesses?
“High staff churn, expensive recruitment costs and old-fashioned hiring practices of picking life sciences graduates are haltering the growth of the sector,” says Warren.
“More talent and more diverse recruitment practices are needed. And we know that athletes have what it takes to win and are worth their weight in gold.”
Med Sales Academy conducts comprehensive training programs and offers additional clinical specialisations for all delegates.
However, to further de-risk employing athletes, the firm is offering to act as a coach for all placed candidates for the first month whilst they are on-boarded into their new role.
“We want to work alongside the sales manager and business development leaders to support our candidates in achieving revenue goals,” continues Warren.
“Offering supplementary and on-the-job training for candidates, we are confident that healthcare companies can successfully integrate athletes into their teams.”
Athletes naturally inspire those around them and their commitment to always be better than yesterday is a boon for teamwork and productivity.