The Sales Effectiveness Profile

In an increasingly competitive world, an effective salesperson (no matter what they might be trying to sell) needs a wide variety of skills and competencies in order to be successful. These skills include the ability to appreciate customer needs and expectations, listen attentively, be analytical, problem solve, handle objections and even complaints, communicate and present effectively, show personal warmth and empathy, demonstrate tenacity and self motivation be well organized and resourceful, and many other attributes. Not only is this list of competencies a long one, but the skills needed are likely to vary in the four major phases of the sales cycle—these are when a salesperson is prospecting, negotiating the sale, closing, or providing follow-up service.

Extensive research has been conducted over a large population of over 400 sales managers and sales representatives (in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia). This was also carried out across a wide range of product- and service-led industries. This research clearly demonstrated that a number of core competencies were critical in every phase of the sales process. In total, seven competencies were identified, and these are as follows:

 • Temperament/disposition

• Organizational skills

• Active-listening skills

• Communication skills

• Relationship-nurturing ability

• Exceeding customer expectations skills

• Drive and persistence skills

This assessment  of sales effectiveness is based on these competencies to help individuals understand more about their relative skills in these critical areas. The seven competencies that contribute to good (or bad) sales skills have therefore been drawn out extensively to gauge an individual’s overall selling profile. Ideally, each of these competencies should be viewed as individual pieces in an overall “Sales Effectiveness jigsaw.” Although no one piece makes for effective sales competence by itself, each piece does work in combination with the others to create a comprehensive model. By aspiring to improve our performance in all of these core competency areas, it is consequently suggested that we can improve our capacity to sell effectively in many different situations and at all four of the major selling phases.


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HRD Press, Inc. 
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