Sales professionalism 18

By:  Dr. M. Shehab

All rights reserved to the writer

Sales person career stages

Sales people (medical reps) pass though career stages like products or organisms life cycle. Their performance in these stages changes from improving to plateau, then declining at the end of their career. Challenges and desires relevant for sales people would change through progressed career stages.

Salespeople’s (medical reps) career can be broken down into four stages; Exploration, establishment, Maintenance and disengagement. In each stage there will be different career concerns, development tasks, personal challenges and psychological needs.

 New Picture

1-      Exploration: sales person (medical rep) is most concerned with finding the right occupational field. He is thinking if he chooses the right career or not. He aspires to be accepted as a productive member in his company, he is concerned with learning the skills required to do the job well. He wants to establish a good initial self-concept. He need support from his manager, acceptance from his peers and seeks for challenging position. Some sales people drop-out or terminate in this stage.

2-      Establishment: Sales person (medical rep) commits to the sales field as an occupation of choice. His skills are increasing. He begins to concentrate on producing better results. He is working with greater autonomy developing creativity and innovation. He is producing superior results on the job in order to be promoted. He is balancing the conflict demand of career and family.

3-      Maintenance: Sales person (medical rep) performance is reached to a satisfactory plateau; He strives to maintain this plateau. He reports quite positive attitude. He develops boarder view of work and company. He maintains a high level of performance. He needs some motivations through personal rewards. He is concerned about aging and disappointment over what he has accomplished.

He maintains his productivity and reduces competitiveness, he helps younger colleagues. By this stage both the opportunity and desire for promotion diminishes.

4-      Disengagement: This is a transition from work to retirement. Sales person (medical rep) perspective becomes more oriented towards factors outside the company such as retirement plan or establishing an identity outside the work environment. His acceptance to career accomplishment is declined.


According to the career stages; during the early stage, sales person greatest need is professional developmental support as the individual seeks to identify and build competencies. As he becomes at later career stages, he is likely to become oriented to doing things by his own way and rely less on external support and company support in areas such as product knowledge, territory/customer information, field management procedures, and sales presentation. There are good relations between these stages and compensation, job satisfaction, and turnover of sales people.

After these career stages some sales people will spend their entire life without advancing into management, other will move into management positions.

I will be happy with your comments.