I recently read Sales Competence, How Do We Know? By David Brock, and the premise was sound to the point that I even wrote down a couple notes. The article spoke about making lists of competencies, and talked about a sales competency model or framework. It all made perfect sense. The example the author gave was of a particular client who listed 150 competencies. (Whew! That is a LOT of competencies.) The general idea is to help aid in hiring the right salespeople, as well as in creating a development path for existing salespeople.
So then I started thinking, how could anyone ever consider hiring someone again in those positions expecting them to have all or a majority of the 150 competencies? And, then furthermore, how will that person objectively evaluate whether or not the individual has those required competencies, especially in a hiring situation? During a hiring process, would it not would be nearly impossible to interview for all those required competencies? I started to get a little stressed thinking about it. That is when I realized that testing for the relevant competencies is quite easy, but the interviewer cannot rely on his or her gut instinct to reliably understand the candidate’s set of competencies, nor can a sales manager be expected to know the potential of their existing salespeople without some aid. The only way to effectively analyze the presence sales competencies is to use a reliably predictive sales-specific evaluation tool, such as the ones we have adopted for use with our clients and created by Objective Management Group.
As I was reading the article I did not realize that the points made were a direct endorsement of using such a tool to evaluate current sales teams as well as to prevent hiring mistakes, but that is exactly what the article points to. This is why the information resonated with me so fiercely. It is the exact approach we take toward diagnosing an organization’s situation, thereby enabling the creation of actionable recommendations to transform the sales organization. If you want to understand this diagnostic process to both improve hiring efficiency, and also aid with developing specific coaching and development plans for existing sales team members drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.