Medical Sales Network

Start Ups or Big Brand Sales

Independent 1099 Medical Device Reps prefer Start-Up Companies over Big Brand Companies

A sample survey was conducted by targeting multiple divisions of our medical sales rep network with 5,751 total qualifying respondents. MedCepts continuously seeks to offer new insight to the latest trends within the medical sales industry. We feel there is no better way to gain insight, collect answers to questions and obtain opinions of medical sales reps than to go directly to sales reps for this insight. MedCepts has access to tens of thousands of medical sales representatives, allowing us to quickly and efficiently gather answers to questions that can be best answered by the sales reps themselves!

More about our Survey:

Our sample survey was sent to only 6,800 medical sales representatives. We provided 1,700 random medical sales representatives, within each of four (4) different divisions within our network with invitations to participate in our survey– 1.) 1099 medical device reps, 2.) 1099 capital equipment reps, 3.) Salary Pharmaceutical Reps and 4.) Salary Device Reps. Those that were omitted from this survey were sales representatives that selected more than one choice for Salary Device, Salary Pharmaceutical rep, Independent 1099 Capital Equipment or Independent 1099 Medical Device reps. (For example: a salary pharma rep, contract pharma rep or any situation where compensation was provided without the actual closing of a sale that also stated they carried an independent 1099 or commission only compensation product was excluded.) There were several unrelated questions to our survey we sought the answers to but this article only addresses one of the questions: "When selecting a company (or product/service) to represent as a sales professional, would your preference be to work with a "Big Brand Corporate Company" or a "Start-Up Company?" An anonymous, confidential and optional comment area was provided to explain the reason for their selection.

Nearly 90 percent of all independent medical device reps prefer representing products from start up companies over big brand companies.


A total of 2,917 Independent 1099 medical device reps and Independent capital equipment reps participated in this survey.

2,212 of the 2,917 independent reps stated they preferred to represent a start-up company over a big brand company.

Independent medical device reps' results (excluding the votes of the independent capital equipment reps) showed 1,323 voted for start-up companies with 124 selecting they preferred Big Brand over start-ups, resulting in nearly 90 percent of all 1099 independent medical device reps voting for start up companies.  A total of Seventy seven (77%) of all the 2,862 votes that expressed a preference for start up companies were independent 1099 medical reps. (Capital equipment and device combined) Twenty three percent (23%) of the total 2,862 votes expressing a preference to work for a start-up company were direct salary employee sales representatives. (Participants that could not provide a clear preference were removed from participating in the survey.)



There were 2,834 Survey participants stating they received a salary or hourly pay compensation plan and 2,917 survey participants were completely independent - commission only compensation based on sales results. 1,323 Independent Medical Device reps and 889 independent Capital equipment reps selected a preference of working with a start-up company over a Big Brand Corporate Company. Direct hire or salary reps were the smallest two groups to select a start-up company over a big brand. A total of 650 direct hired reps of the 2,834 participating in the survey chose a start-up company, with 2,184 making a preference of working with a big brand corporate company.


"I think if all sales reps were paid on results of their sales then it would weed out all those reps that are not successful. This would increase the level of professionalism in sales and help get rid of the bad rap for reps." - a survey participant's comment warranting acknowledgement due to the numerous similar comments.


75% of Direct Salary (employed) Reps surveyed voted for working for a Big Brand Company over a Start-Up Company

There were 2,889 total votes for all survey respondants voting for big brand companies. Direct Salary Reps surveyed preferred Big Brand Company Products over Start-Ups with 33% of the 3,607 the total votes for Big Brand companies. Pharmaceutical direct hired reps on a salary also preferred Big brand companies with 27% voting for big brand companies. Contract sales reps were the third highest voting for big brand companies with 1099 capital equipment sales reps and 1099 device reps coming in last with only 4% of all votes for big brand companies.

There were numerous comments to support their selections and include the following:

1. Salary Pharma Rep:  "The Corporate world with a Big brand budget is more likely to be stable offering me job stability."

2. Independent Device Rep: "I don't need a big brand to close sales when it's a good product. I'll take a higher commission any day over a base pay arrangement because by the time they pay a base to all the reps, including the not so good reps, they could be paying the producing reps a whole lot more!"

3. Independent Capital Equipment Rep: "I think if all sales reps were paid on results of their sales then it would weed out all those that are not successful. This would increase the level of professionalism in sales and help get rid of the bad rap for reps."







by MedCepts on 08-31-2015 in Trends and Insights, Medical Sales