Sales competencies and sales readiness. Two big ole’ buzzwords that we throw around here in the office like a bunch of tennis pros warming up for a match (and by “office,” of course I mean our personal remote offices). But what do they mean and why are they important? We’re so glad you asked…
What Are Sales Competencies?
Sales competencies are the skills that successful sales reps need to use to impact the buying decision. This artistry, if you will, is comprised of both inherent personality traits as well as skills or processes that can be trained and practiced. This image below shares a bit more about this.
In our experience, sales reps do their best work if these qualities are part of their make-up:
- A strong desire for sales success: This is what we should measure regardless of whether someone’s ever made a sales call before: desire for sales success.
- Motivation: Tactical Skills like the art of calling can be taught, but motivation can’t. This speaks to an elite salesperson’s desire to excel in their role.
- Supportive buying cycle know-how: Supportive buy cycles relate to the mindset of how you buy as a consumer and, therefore, how you expect your customers to buy. If you get 10 quotes, you won’t be floored when a buyer says they plan to look around a little bit.
- The ability to control emotions: You’re not focusing on your commission check from last week or the deal that you didn’t get. Instead, you’re focusing on your buyer and current deals. Salespeople who control emotions are much more likely to be able to listen and respond with both prospects and reps.
- CRM savviness: Project management. Tracking data and performance. A strong CRM program. Enough said.
Sales competencies are completely blind to race, age, gender, class, education, intelligence, and prior experience. If you’re hiring reps, you need to be tuned in to core competencies rather than what an applicant wrote down in the “Previous Employment” section. And, in order to get the right people and onboard the right reps to your team (as opposed to starting with an uphill battle), take note of whether your applicant embodies any of these competencies we just touch on.
What Is Sales Readiness?
Sales readiness means empowering your customer-facing teams to be on message and on task every time they interact with a prospect. Sales readiness software includes a wide range of tools, including training, coaching, skills tracking, and content management. Sales readiness is frequently confused with sales enablement. While an effective sales enablement program is an essential part of readiness, these two concepts do have their differences.
Simply put, sales readiness means that your reps are ready to do their jobs. Sales enablement is a strategic focus that removes barriers for sales teams and helps reps optimize their performance and productivity.
For example, if you look at typical training courses for sales managers, the process often includes cumbersome sales training decks, long-winded in-person training sessions, and elaborate sales kickoff events. But this format isn’t effective anymore. Training isn’t exciting, and reps quickly forget what they learned.
Good news! There is a better way! We’ve found that the best teams create a sales-ready workforce by combining continuous and easily accessible training, intentional practice, purposeful coaching, and accountability for everyone involved.
Tracking Sales Competencies With Sales Readiness
So you see, these two can be buddies. They naturally go hand-in-hand. So if Ollie takes the sales competencies that he has and receives ongoing training within a sales training platform… folks, you have the perfect marriage! And even better, Ollie has a solid chance of hitting a slam dunk when he’s out there selling.
For Example: Through some sales competency training paired with sales readiness tools, Ollie picks up the phone to make his first round of sales calls. Sales competencies allow him to not only get through the list of 50 businesses (where 95% of them won’t be interested) but also fill him with the desire to keep at it. MOTIVATION. Her sales readiness tools and sales training programs will then help him turn that 5% into a success story by using on-brand messaging and appropriate sales skills.
Ya see? Best buddies.
Given that there is always room for improvement, the best sales organizations are continually looking to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Sales Readiness Starts With Lessonly
Sales teams move fast, and sales readiness should too. The rapid speed of business and ever-changing buyer expectations means that every organization needs to adopt the right sales training software that will empower reps to deliver outstanding experiences that result in real growth. Are your sales reps ready?