Using A Sales Competency Ladder To Examine The Competency Of Your Sales Team - Part Two

Published: 08th April 2015
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For results you'll need staff on your sales team who can act as competition oriented sales advisors who've achieved the fourth and ultimate phase of the sales competency ladder. In this sales training post the last 2 components of the competencies necessary, their relationship and their values, are described in detail.

1. Client relationships.

When your sales person is operating at step one you really cannot talk of them having a client relationship. A junior sales person concentrates on the merchandise rather than the client & so, at best, have a very casual relationship with them. Developmental sales training for such sales people must focus on ways to build relationships.

The sales person at step two is focused on developing trust. They put themself in the client’s shoes & show that they are honestly thinking about getting solutions which best solve the client’s challenges.

At stage three an actual partnership has been built up. This is able to withstand short term difficulties or pressure brought to bear by competitors and is based on mutuality. The competition oriented sales man or woman builds a stable bridge between the supplier and the customer whose supports are benefits for both sides. In such a situation it is not only a question of the functions of the product and aspects of the business which are important but also the desired goals of the company’s policy. The sales person wins the support of critical employees in the customer’s business who then introduce their own personal goals at the same time.

At phase 4 the relationship between the sales man or woman and the customer will take on a symbiotic character. Both partners are dependent on one another. It would be both complex and expensive to end the relationship. This creates a bond between the supplier & the client which can scarcely be broken.

2. Creating additional value

A junior sales man or woman simply gives the customer a number of product options. The sales man explains the many options to the customer in depth only to have the customer give the order to your competition after all. This is very frustrating for the junior sales man or woman.

At stage two the sales man or woman wants to offer solutions not just alternate options. They want to find out the needs the client has and suggests answers to their issues which will allow them to make the solutions a reality.

Similarly, a competition oriented sales man considers the levels of product application to be very important. But they also realize that in the longer term they can secure neither customer nor business if they don't bring a clear contribution to the general development of your clients business at the same time.

The competition oriented selling adviser is at pains to make a contribution by identifying the strategic direction of a business. If they succeed in delivering a strategic option they'll free themself from the dictates of price. What is more they get hold of a great deal of important information which in turn makes it possible for them to go forward in a more focused way and also to protect themself far better against the competition. Ways they do this are covered in key account sales training courses.

Richard Stone is the Director of Spearhead Training Group Ltd, an organization that runs a full range of management training and sales training courses designed for increasing business and individual effectiveness. You can see extra articles at

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