Sales Competence Isn?t About Quota Performance!

Compounding the problem are two myths regarding measures of competency in sales.

Myth#1: Quota performance does not equate to sales competency ? A salesperson's quota is usually determined by management. More often than not, the quota is set as a way to attain a goal of an increased share price or its just pulled out of the air as a "nice-to-have-number" that is bigger than last year. It's a rare organization that can articulate how a quota was set. It's even rarer to find an organization that sits down to do the sales math and determine the realistic quota and stretch quota for their salespeople. Without this understanding, how do you know if the quota is too high? How do you know if it is too low? You don't! Therefore the salesperson that hits quota in an organization that doesn't know how to set one is not proving his or her competence.

Myth#2: Activity level does not equate to sales competency - Many organizations set sales activity goals. They will ask their salespeople to accomplish X sales calls, X phone calls, and X proposals a day. These types of measurements, and constantly hitting them, do not mean the person can sell. Sure, there is a positive correlation between activity and selling, but if I play the lottery every single day I probably won't win. If I play X lottery games, in X states, and with X amount of money, it doesn't mean I'm driving towards a win. It simply means I'm increasing my chances. I'd rather have someone that knows exactly what they are doing and not playing the lottery with their sales territory.

So what exactly is sales competency? Competence is defined as someone's knowledge, skill and internal motivation. Knowledge is the building block of competence. Effective sales professionals are continuously learning and they have developed a framework and process for accessing their knowledge. They have a solid knowledge foundation and they understand their strengths and weaknesses. Skill is determined by the knowledge a salesperson has gained plus their experience level. The most skilled sales professionals have stayed in one vertical market or industry for a longer period of time. They have also stayed in the same sales role for a longer length of time (such as outside sales). They have also followed a defined career path with increasing levels of responsibility and complexity of sale. Internal motivation is someone's self talk, drive, and purpose. Their passion for the product, zeal for the organization where they work, and their positive attitude form the cornerstone for the ability to overcome objections, handle rejection, or deal with poorly set sales quotas.

A competent sales person has the ability to move into any organization and gain the trust of the decision-makers. They work to create a situation where buying can occur within an ethical environment at a fair price. They have the knowledge to speak to a CEO, the front-line manager, or the newest employee about what issues and challenges they face. Most of all they strive to increase their knowledge, skill, and motivation so they can be the best at what they do.

Brian is the Chairman and Founder of the the United Professional Sales Association (UPSA). UPSA is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC that has addressed the concerns and challenges of individual sales professionals. Brian has authored the world's first universal selling standards and open-source selling framework for free distribution. This 'Compendium of Professional Selling' containing the commonly accepted and universally functional knowledge that all sales professionals possess. The open-source selling standards have been downloaded in 16 countries by over 300 people. Over 30 people have made contributions.

Because UPSA is not owned by one person or any company, it is a member organization and guardian of the global standard of entry into the sales profession.

Find out about the membership organization and understand the processes and framework of professional selling at the UPSA Website at http://www.upsa-intl.org. Find out more about Brian at: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert_bio=Brian _Lambert

In The News:

Why Women Are the Future of B2B Sales  Harvard Business Review
Your Family Business Needs a Deep Bench  Harvard Business Review
Head of Guest Experiences  winebusiness.com
Leistritz Hires John Ross as Sales Manager  Pumps & Systems Magazine
Recession-Proof Your Sales Team  Business 2 Community
MOVING AHEAD  Daytona Beach News-Journal
Crucial conservation  Nursery Management
Seven Reasons Why A Sales Manager Can Fail  Radio & Television Business Report

The Hardest Job Of A Trade Show

You've heard this before: There were four people named Everybody,... Read More

Is Your Sales Trust Factor High Enough to Win Against the Competition?

How high is your sales trust factor?Is it higher than... Read More

Keeping Your Sales Team Motivated

Sales managers frequently approach me for advice on how to... Read More

Beyond the Golden Rule

There are several types and sub types of people in... Read More

Sales Pipeline Forecasting Is There A Better Way?

To put it mildly most companies sales forecasting just isn't... Read More

Generous Donor Refused (how qualified business slipped away)

Generous Donor RefusedPicture this. You are a fund development director... Read More

Producing Premium Performance

One of the major issues that arises in managing a... Read More

Make Time, Not Excuses

There are four primary activities that successful salespeople engage in... Read More

3 Ways to Increase Your Sales

Last week I got a call from Jose, who was... Read More

How to Develop a Proactive, New-Business Sales Team!

I don't know about your business but in my experience... Read More

Free to Succeed: Effective Sales Leadership Using A Coach Approach

About 2 years ago, I participated in a training program... Read More

Raise Concern About Sales Competition, Not About Yourself

As you are reading this sales article, read very carefully.... Read More

Sales Marketing: 12 Sneaky Tricks To Help You Outsell Your Competition

Business can be like war sometimes.You may have to fight... Read More

How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Performance -- Part 2

Another key reason why companies suffer from 80/20 performance is... Read More

Profitable Relationships: Is It Amateur Hour or King of the Hill?

"We're in the relationship business?...airplanes are what we use to... Read More

All Small Businesses Need to Gather Community Intel

How well do you know your community? As business owners... Read More

Getting Off The Advertising And Sales Rollercoaster

Seeing the results of advertising your business can be like... Read More

Is Your Forecast Too Sunny? How to Improve the Accuracy of Sales Forecasts

As spring moves to summer, the forecast should be for... Read More

7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

One marketing technique may work wonders for someone, but that... Read More

A Coachs Handbook For Sales Managers

This article may be reprinted in its entirety with express... Read More

It?s Time For A Sales Management Revolution

Are you dog tired because of the way you manage... Read More

Sex, Drugs, & Rock-n-Roll at Trade Shows

Here's the Scenario...You're at a trade show. Out of town.... Read More

Building Trust For Lifetime Success

Trust.One word.One very powerful word that can increase both first... Read More

How To Build A Worldwide Distributor Network

When your product is market ready and has a good... Read More

Retail Operations - Effective Branch Manager Support and Guidance

Performance and behaviour management is by far the most difficult... Read More