What Does 'Good' Look Like in Sales?

What do sales and cooking have in common?

Understanding and measuring sales competency is similar to finding the secret ingredient in a master chef's recipe - it's key to cooking a great dish but often unreachable.

So, how do we demystify this process?

In other words, how can we truly understand and measure what GOOD looks like in sales?

Today, we bring you a real sales chef with a wealth of experience in sales leadership and transformation, Kate Lewis, the CEO and Co-Founder of e4nable.

Step-by-Step Guide to Effectively Develop and Measure Sales Competency

1. Understand Sales Competency

First things first, let's break down what sales competency really means.

For Kate, things stand clear - it's a mix of various elements, such as skills, knowledge, behavior, and mindset traits.

However, it's one thing to possess these traits and another to effectively apply them in real-world scenarios.

Sales competency is about transforming theory into practice consistently. No one asks you to be perfect in everything; it's about recognizing and optimizing your unique mix of these competencies.

“Competency can be knowledge. It can be skills. It can be a mindset trait. It can be the things that go up, the ingredients that go into making the perfect sales cake. It's what good looks like. It's the attributes of what good looks like”.

2. Employ a Competency Framework

For those new to management or lacking experience in sales leadership, a competency framework is your secret weapon.

As Kate puts it, “If you're a first-time manager or you're not an experienced manager, the tool of having a competency framework where that is called out in it, that you've got the right blend of these is the mindset traits, these are the skill set traits, these are the knowledge traits, these are the process or behavior traits. Having that painted clearly allows you a safe place to have those conversations”.

A competency framework acts as a roadmap, outlining essential skills, knowledge, mindset, and behavior.

The benefits?

  • It sets a clear performance benchmark for performance.
  • And it opens dialogues about strengths and areas for improvement by creating a map of ideal competencies.

While it might be tempting to use the GROW coaching methodology, remember that the competency framework adds specificity, guiding managers and team members to understand the reality of their performance and explore viable options for improvement.

3. Measure Your Training Impact

A competency framework also works wonders when it comes to training and development.

Specifically, it links desired outcomes to specific competencies, ensuring targeted and impactful training.

But how do we measure this impact?

Start by assessing the existing level of competency, focusing on behaviors supporting each competency.

Post-training, observe the connection between enhanced competencies, behavior change, and business results.

4. Measure and Enhance Questioning Techniques for Actual Results

Asking the right questions is truly a great skill, especially in sales competency.

But how do we define and measure this effectively?

For Kate, it's essential to define positive behaviors and specific terms, which involves using tools like conversational intelligence software and data points to track clear behaviors, questions, and subjects.

Likewise, early success indicators like positive meeting outcomes and stakeholder engagement should be monitored, along with lagging indicators such as revenue closure and pipeline growth.

“It's about defining. It's about being clear about defining what good looks like. So describing a competency isn't good enough. You need to describe the positive behaviors in as specific terms as you can and then find the ways that you can measure them”.

As Kate has shared her full recipe for mastering sales competency, it's up to you now to put it all together and start cooking.

One last thing, though - keep in mind that the journey to sales excellence never stops.

Always learn, adapt, and evolve to new challenges and opportunities.

Now that you know how to successfully develop and measure sales competency, check out the full list of episodes at The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you enjoy the show, instructions to rate and review it are found here.

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