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Is Your Sales Team Capable?

Is Your Sales Team Capable?

I recently attended a seminar presented by Paul Mathews of People Alchemy at the CIPD Learning and Development Show,  where he presented the difference between competency and capability. And this struck a particular chord with me -  in terms of its relevance in the sales environment.

Paul Mathews explained that competency is having the skills to be able to deliver against objectives, capability is being able to actually deliver the objectives successfully – this requires not only the skills, but also the resources, tools and environment to be able to complete the task.

The problem is that many managers, not at the sharp end of sales, fail to realise this.

The warning signs are there and I have seen them all too frequently. A sales team has not achieved its targets and the answer?  Put them through another sales training course – how many sales people do you know who have been through multiple sales training programmes? And the results - the same as before.  This is both a waste of time and money if your sales team is trained and competent the problem must lie elsewhere – capability.

The other sign is a sales person failing to meet targets is asked to leave. Twelve months later you meet them working for a competitor and they are amongst their most successful sales people. Again you are wasting time and money – you have to get new sales people on-board and get them up-to-speed, and we all know the high costs associated with staff turnover.

The basic issue is that there are components of capability that must be in place, of the right quality and accessible at the right time and place in the sales cycle.

So given that you have a sales team that has been properly trained what are some of the components that might be impacting capability to meet sales targets?

  • Is your sales process fit for purpose?
  • Do you have the right tools at each stage of the sales process to enable your salespeople to win?
  • Is your sales plan implementable?
  • How good is your value proposition?
  • What do you know about your competitors and how to win?
  • Do you understand your market and your customers well enough?
  • Are your product positioning and pricing strategy appropriate?
  • Have you got the right sales infrastructure and performance environment?
  • How do you monitor, measure and manage sales performance?
  • Do you have adequate sales support resources?
  • Are you providing the right quality and quantity of sales leads?
  • Are your sales proposals of the right quality?

These are just a few of the things that influence your sales team’s capability to deliver.

So the next time your sales team or individual sales people are not achieving their targets first ask yourself is it competency or capability?

Sales performance consulting looks at competency and capability to enable your sales team to achieve its objectives.

Roy O’Neil

07958 614398

0203 826 8262


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