A quantum shift to a competency-based approach will help sales trainers align their efforts with the real needs of the business and the roles that salespeople play. Sales trainers will be more effective in helping their organizations attain business outcomes and results by focusing on sales team member knowledge, skills, and abilities that are closely linked to workplace demands. Sales training and development staff will be able to work proactively with hiring managers to select new employees who demonstrate the predetermined competencies and expertise required for success in each position. These competencies then become part of the performance management system that monitors and evaluates each employee's performance on the job. Finally, these competencies will lay out clearly what each worker needs for possible promotions and the assumption of new roles and responsibilities.
Alignment Balances Competence and Capacity
An organization often will build its sales team to support revenue generation. Frequently, leaders will work hard to build a sustainable model that helps optimize the customer experience. Sales team member efforts support customer service actions, and sales managers interact with leadership teams in other departments. The efforts of the leadership team to create and sustain revenue generation activities are therefore directly affected by how well everyone in the organization works together to support revenue generation, no matter their role. It is every person's job to support the mission of the organization; every employee should understand his or her potential impact on the overall sales effort. Organizations can ensure that understanding by aligning sales capacity with sales competence.
Sales capacity. Sales capacity is an easy concept to understand, but a difficult one to execute. It rests on the premise that the more sales capacity an organization has, the easier it is to sell products and solutions. Conversely, the less sales capacity that exists, the harder it will be. Sales capacity can be measured by leadership position, market share, and customer loyalty. Solid performance in these areas is built upon an organization's business strategy, processes, tools, and innovation. Sales capacity can "create space" for sales professionals to occupy and allows them to produce the desired outputs. Without sales capacity, even the highest performing sales professional will have difficulty achieving results.
Sales competence. Sales competence comprises the knowledge, skills, and abilities of salespeople. By understanding what it takes to achieve sales competence, organizations can effectively address the challenge of executing higher-level strategies with tactical finesse and successful revenue generation. More important, sales competence helps organizations focus on what customers want and need despite rapid changes in the market.