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CPSA Sales Institute

Key Competencies
for
Sales Representatives

TABLE OF CONTENTS

COMPETENCIES

Page

I.

Account Management (At a Glance)

II.

Business Acumen (At a Glance)

III.

Communication (At a Glance)

14

IV.

Consultative Selling Skills (At a Glance)

27

V.

Knowledge Management (At a Glance)

39

VI.

Customer Value Creation (At a Glance)

43

VII.

Local Area/Regional Marketing (At a Glance)

47

VIII.

Product & Technical Knowledge (At a Glance)

57

IX.

Relationship Building (At a Glance)

60

X.

Sales & Technology (At a Glance)

65

XI.

Sales Administration (At a Glance)

69

XII.

Self Development (At a Glance)

73

XIII.

Strategic Sales Planning (At a Glance)

81

XIV.

Time & Territory Management (At a Glance)

88

(Revised July 2003)

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Account Management (At A Glance)

TASKS

Develop Account Plan


Connect And Navigate
Build The Value Case
Implement and Operationalize

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Account Management

TASKS
Develop
Account Plan

SUB-TASKS

Build Account Profile

Identify business drivers (vision, key strategies, objectives,


including e-business strategy)
Research account history
Complete a win/loss analysis
Review the organization chart
Complete stakeholder analysis and analysis of key
relationships
Review current share of customer and competitors share of
customer
Analyze customer interaction points (i.e. channel analysis)

Complete Sales Opportunity Analysis

Identify customer needs, challenges, buying criteria, decisionmaking process


Identify sales opportunities, and value propositionsnew
business, extension and growth per customer and per integrated
solution
Set targets per customer, per product within account (annual,
quarterly, monthly)

Develop Your Sales Strategy

Identify challenges and resources


Determine what is needed to win
Develop sales strategies
Direct hit
Value-added
Revisioning
Development

Develop Sales Tactics

CPSA Sales Institute

Prioritize quick wins, medium and long-term sales cycles


Develop a sales plan that includes the categories action
items, by when, resources and results.

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Account Management

TASKS
Connect and
Navigate

SUB-TASKS

Make Key Contacts

Identify top tier/key buyers


Overcome blockers/barriers
Obtain reference for the key buyer

Gather Key Information

Confirm customer intelligence


Reconfirm business needs
Identify all stakeholders in buying process

Complete An Opportunity Assessment

Validate opportunities
Identify new opportunities

Build CRM Database

Link to contact management system


Continual update and communication

Influence And Engage Internally

Inform and co-ordinate CPC customer facing positions


(channels) as needed
Engage appropriate executive sponsors

Connect Leverage Points

Engage during sales process


Conduct pre and post client meeting debriefs
Manage relationships, information, business opportunities,
customer satisfaction
Incorporate new information and change action plans

CPSA Sales Institute

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Account Management

TASKS
Build the
Value Case

SUB-TASKS

Propose And Present

Create and communicate value levers


Build model to justify impact of solutions
Quantify benefits/value to the customer

TASKS
Implement and
Operationalize

SUB-TASKS

Fulfill Commitment

Follow-up internally/externally
Monitor and measure sales performance

CRM

Develop and grow relationships with key customers/


stakeholders
Act on new information
Monitor customer satisfaction

Monitor Results

CPSA Sales Institute

Customer satisfaction and loyalty


Sales revenue versus targets
Value added
Value plan metrics

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Business Acumen (At A Glance)


TASKS
Understand general business
management
Demonstrate fair competitive practices
Demonstrate ethical behavior
Understand and use contracts
Understand government legislation
and governing bodies
Understand insurance and liability
Comply with corporate policies
Understand financials
Think globally and act locally
Follow industry standards

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Understand Understand a common body of management knowledge, including:


general
Financial management
business
Human resources management
management
Information technology management
Marketing management
Operations management
Strategic planning management
Identify key interrelationships connecting the organization
Identify key components in strategic and business plans
Understand the customer value chain throughout the organization
(know all customer touch points through the organization)
Be aware of new business practices and their impact on the way you
do business with the customer (e.g. ERP, new online practices, etc.)
Identify industry, national and global trends

CPSA Sales Institute

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Demonstrate Follow appropriate professional code of conduct


fair
Keep a competitive intelligence file
competitive
practices
Know the implications of the competition's activities
Develop relationships with competitors - explore common areas of
interest
Be aware of franchise rights

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Follow ethical codes of conduct


Demonstrate
ethical
Understand your customers' codes of ethics
behavior
Declare conflicts of interest (related orders that compete, etc.)
Maintain confidentiality
Honor your commitments (timeframes/deliverables, etc.)
Use property and information for business only
Use internet for business only on company time

CPSA Sales Institute

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS
Understand
and use
contracts

SUB-TASKS
Define contract law as it pertains to your product/service/company
Know the elements required in a contract and/or refer to legal
department
Define licensing as it pertains to your product/service/company
Identify forms of corporations/companies

Proprietary owners
Partnerships
Limited companies
Corporations
Franchises

Use employment contracts


Negotiate and renegotiate contracts with companies, customers,
suppliers, etc. or liaise with the purchasing department
Anticipate contingencies and put additional elements into the contract
to prevent misunderstandings/problems
Adhere to contracts (verbal and written)
Know the implications of bankruptcy, change of ownership, etc. with
regard to the contract

CPSA Sales Institute

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS
Understand
government
legislation
and
governing
bodies

SUB-TASKS
Respond appropriately to governing bodies
Follow federal, provincial and local regulations
Follow employment standards
Apply the principles of human rights legislation
Comply to equity and harassment legislation
Keep current on employment law as required
Be aware of and familiar with

Sale of Goods Act


Consumer Protection Act
Competition Act
And other federal and provincial statutes that apply

Obtain licenses and certification


Track impending legislative issues

TASKS
Understand
insurance
and liability

SUB-TASKS
Insure for personal liability
Know your product and company liabilities
Carry the proper insurance coverages

CPSA Sales Institute

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS
Comply with
corporate
policies

SUB-TASKS
Identify all company patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.
Use company logos and adhere to standards
Ensure proprietary intellectual property stays within the corporation
Follow corporate policies
Understand and demonstrate sound environmental practices

CPSA Sales Institute

Know the best practices as it pertains to your


product/service/company
Know the information on the environmental attributes of
products (e.g. recycling)
Review current packaging and/or excessive packaging/direct
mail

10

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS
Understand
financials

SUB-TASKS
Know the financial details of your customers

Use the sales planning process to identify opportunities to impact


on business goals and strategies (bottom line)
Scope the options available for improved customer profits
Understand how customer's costs are generated (labor costs,
work flow processing costs, material costs, manufacturing costs,
distribution costs, etc.)
Understand the customer's operations (market share, growth
strategies)
Understand and analyze balance sheets, profit and loss
statements, financial budgets, sales reports and operating results
Understand key financial indicators (contribution margin, profit
contribution, discounted cash flow, accounting rate of return,
investment risk, etc.)
Understand key financial ratios (current ratio, net profit to net
worth, net profit to net sales)
Understand how your customers performance is measured with
his/her company

Know the financial details of your company

Understand all the same financial information about your


organization (see above)
Know how to read and interpret financial and sales reports
Know a variety of financing resources you can offer your
customers
Know list pricing, cost structure, cost of sales, gross margins of
your products and services
Know what influences may impact the cost of your product or
service (world shortages, increase in price of raw materials, etc.)

Know the financial details of your personal circumstances

CPSA Sales Institute

Know your financial needs and goals


Understand and monitor your commission structure, salary,
draw, expense plans, etc.
Take maximum advantage of Canadian tax laws
Obtain personal necessary insurance's (liability, disability,
automobile, etc.)

11

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS
Follow
industry
standards

SUB-TASKS
Review industry standards
Know and follow self regulated/company standards
Meet/exceed industry standards

ISO 9000
TQM (Total Quality Management)
Customer service/satisfaction/loyalty
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer
Relationship Management)

Informally benchmark against standards


Know how the competition rates against the standards
Follow industry trends
Be aware of recent legal settlements/rulings

CPSA Sales Institute

12

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Business Acumen

TASKS
Think
globally and
act locally

SUB-TASKS
Read and learn about the countries/companies that you are currently
doing business with (or markets you may be entering):

Know international copyright protocol


Develop an awareness of political, economical, language, social,
technological, culture
Learn another language that will benefit you/your company
Understand and follow appropriate business etiquette
Understand international financing/currency
Join the export association
Learn about the excise and tax legislation

Investigate associations, professions with international associations


Adapt sales process, presentation and communication style to the
culture/country/company that you are doing business with
Identify new products and services and opportunities to your
company
Know the global reach of your customers
Liaise with other sales representatives from your company that are
serving your customer in other markets (i.e. multinational or global
industries)

CPSA Sales Institute

13

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Communication (At A Glance)


TASKS

Listen effectively
Probing questions
Provide continuous feedback
Communicate according to customer
type
Negotiate for agreement
Deliver sales presentations
Written communication
Write sales letters
Write proposals
Deliver training to customers
Educate others
Conduct telephone sales calls
Identify communication vehicles
Facilitation

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

14

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Listen
effectively

SUB-TASKS
Remove or reduce barriers to listening

Preoccupation (with what you are going to say next)


Prejudgement (preconceived assumptions or stereotyping based
on appearance, gender, age, etc.)
Distractions

Display interest through appropriate use of body language (eye


contact, gestures) or words ("I see, Go on")
Respect and show empathy for the speakers feelings and opinions
Paraphrase or ask questions to

Show interest
Confirm understanding
Clarify information or unclear messages

Summarize to ensure understanding

Restate the main points and supporting ideas


Check for agreement

Let the speaker complete the message, refrain from interrupting,


wait for information
Watch for the non-verbal part of the message listen with a sense of
curiosity about speakers needs, expectations, etc.
Be aware of the speaker's culture/work environment
Take detailed notes, record key points
Recognise and respond to buying signals
Confirm communication by clarifying understanding and closing
the loop

CPSA Sales Institute

15

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Probing
questions

SUB-TASKS
Use open-ended questions when appropriate. Open ended questions:

Usually begin with words like "what, when, where, how, why,
describe, tell me about"
Allow the other person to answer freely, give you general
information, expand on earlier statements
Create a warm atmosphere and establish rapport

Use closed-ended questions when appropriate. Closed ended


questions:

Usually begin with some form of the verbs BE (is, are, were,
isn't, etc.), DO (does, doesn't don't), or HAVE (has, had, haven't)
Are used to narrow the field of inquiry, get detailed information,
and/or confirm that you are on the right track

Use high gain questions when appropriate. High gain questions:

Demand a more thoughtful response


Ask the other person to interpret information and produce new
high quality insights and information (how would you compare
our service to that of the competition?)

Use mirror questions when appropriate. Mirror questions:

Repeat information as questions to clarify ('I need 4 samples for


each store.'; So, if you have 12 stores then you'll need 48
samples?)

Use probing questions when appropriate. Probing questions:

Ask for more details (What other needs have your customers
expressed?)

Use situation questions when appropriate. Situation questions:

CPSA Sales Institute

Collect facts, information and data about the other person's


situation
Focus on the necessary information (i.e. Information that links
directly to your products and services - how many items do you
currently ship monthly? Do you see this number changing in the
next quarter?)

16

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Probing
questions
(cont'd.)

SUB-TASKS
Use problem questions when appropriate. Problem questions:

Uncover actual, potential or implied needs


Probe for problems, difficulties or dissatisfactions (Are you
satisfied with the way that your current supplier is handling your
account?)

Use implication questions when appropriate. Implication questions:

Demonstrate the seriousness and costs of the problem/need and


the value of the solution
Help the other person see beyond the immediate problem to the
underlying effects and consequences (What do you estimate is
the cost to your company of the returned or defective products?)

Use blue sky questions when appropriate. Blue sky questions:

Engage the other person in creative thought


Widen the horizons to include innovative new ideas
Produce fresh ideas or insights for your products and services (If
anything were possible, what else could we do for your
company?)

Use qualifying questions when appropriate. Qualifying questions:

CPSA Sales Institute

Ensure that the other person has a need, has authority to buy, has
the financial resources to buy, etc. (Whose approval is necessary
for this purchase?)

17

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Provide
continuous
feedback

SUB-TASKS
Give and receive feedback with customers:

Create a positive, constructive format to give and receive


feedback
Schedule feedback sessions
Use appropriate listening and questioning skills
Use bias-free language (spokesperson versus spokesman)
Use appropriate body language and be aware, read customers
body language
Use correct gender terminology (women versus girls)
Share ownership, let the other person own 50% of the feedback
discussion
Conduct meetings
Prepare newsletters, updates, send industry information, releases,
etc.
Send birthday cards, congratulations, personal
acknowledgements
Write business plan cases, application models
Learn from the feedback, assess customer reaction/response, reassess your position and respond accordingly

Give and receive feedback with internal departments:

Design a communication system/process share


information/successes via meetings, etc.
Network with all relevant resources:

Other departments

Customer service

Management/sales

Colleagues/peers

Suppliers
Gain commitment from others to work together in the interest of the
customer
Conduct meetings
Utilize the feedback to identify opportunities for product/service
improvements
Check back with support staff, other departments, etc.

CPSA Sales Institute

18

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Communicate
according to
customer type

SUB-TASKS
Analyse customer attitudes, behaviours and styles
Develop criteria to assess the customer type

How does the customer like to make decisions?


How does the customer like to receive and process information?
What are the customers hot buttons?

Vary your approach in accordance with the customers personality

CPSA Sales Institute

If customers talk and move quickly, adjust your rate of speech


and movements
If customers are task oriented, shift your focus to tasks

19

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Negotiate for
agreement

SUB-TASKS
Prepare for the negotiation

Research competitors pricing, customers history, business


potential, etc.

Create trust
Focus on interests

Determine what is most important to the customer, and what is in


your company's best interests

Invent options for mutual gain

Brainstorm to expand or extend opportunities or alternatives

Use objective criteria

Use independent data to help the customer realize that your


proposal/pricing etc. Is fair

Focus on the negotiation and not on the people

Keep a positive outlook and tone


Communicate effectively
Balance emotions with reason

Determine your customer's negotiating style and adjust your style


accordingly
Ensure that your negotiation process is in alignment with your
company's core values
Strive for a "win win" outcome
Fulfil promises & agreements that resulted from the negotiation

CPSA Sales Institute

20

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Deliver sales
presentations

SUB-TASKS
Prepare for the presentation

Identify customers needs (consider demographics, education,


experience, interests, etc.)
Choose a location for the presentation
Plan the agenda, content, structure of the presentation
Practice (in front of a mirror, in front of others, etc.)

Design the content

Match the sophistication of your presentation to the


sophistication of your customers
Research latest information
Include product/service information, updates, ideas, etc.
Organize your information in a logical and orderly manner
Focus on features advantages and benefits of your
products/services
Give the customers just enough information to inform but
not to overwhelm
Create materials to hand out to customers
Create support materials, audiovisual, slides, etc.
Review the presentation materials and handouts for spelling
errors, typographical errors, etc.
Review the presentation materials and handouts for clarity of
message, brevity of message, etc.
Revise and edit the presentation

Utilize appropriate technology (video conferencing, overhead


projectors, videos, computers, etc.)
Deliver the presentation

CPSA Sales Institute

Confirm customers needs by reviewing the


agenda/presentation plan
Adjust your pace, voice, etc. to the customers needs, size of
the room, etc.
Tell the customers whats coming every time you move to a
new topic
Involve the customers, encourage interaction, discussion,
questions and answers
End your presentation by restating the key highlights/ideas and
ask for commitment to the sale

21

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Deliver sales
presentations
(contd)

SUB-TASKS
Follow up

Thank the customers for attending


Evaluate the presentation for effectiveness and make
adjustment in future presentations

Fulfil any commitments to provide further information, answers to


question, etc.

TASKS
Written
Communication

SUB-TASKS
Write sales letters

CPSA Sales Institute

Plan the letter

Identify your audience

Set the objective


Write the content

Organize ideas in a logical and orderly manner

Utilize existing sales letter prototypes/formats if they are


appropriate

Use appropriate sales language, avoid jargon and technical


descriptions

Create interest by appealing to your customers needs

Attract attention through special promotions, offers, etc.

Use a strong close that will motivate the customer to take


action
Check the letter

Review the letter for spelling, grammar, and typographical


errors

Review the letter for clarity of message, brevity of


message, etc.

Revise and edit the letter


Send the letter

Address the letter to the specific target customer

Ensure that all address information is correct, spelling of


names, title/position, etc.

Determine method of delivery (bulk mail, regular post,


courier service, hand delivery)
Follow up

Telephone, email or personally visit the customer

Offer to arrange a time to discuss the details of the


proposal, answer questions, etc.

Thank the customer for the opportunity to bid on the


proposal regardless of the outcome

22

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Written
Communication
(contd.)

SUB-TASKS
Write proposals

CPSA Sales Institute

Plan the proposal

Identify the customers needs

Set the objective

Gather information, facts, company background, samples,


etc.

Assess and strategize to meet the needs of the customer


Develop the content

Focus immediately on business concerns

Describe the product or service you are recommending


and explain how it meets the customers need

Make a clear recommendation for action

Address all cost concerns/issues

Comply with the specs/criteria (i.e. tender)

Include supporting information, documents, statistics

Make terms of the proposal clear (terms, dates, prices,


etc.)

Highlight sensitive information (i.e. system designs,


creative solutions, pricing structures)
Check the proposal

Review the proposal for spelling, grammar, and


typographical errors

Review the proposal for clarity of message, brevity of


message, etc.

Revise and edit the proposal


Deliver the proposal

Package and format to appeal to the customer

Ensure the proposal arrives by the deadline date

Send by traceable means or personally deliver


Follow up

Telephone to ensure the proposal was received on time

Offer to arrange a time to discuss the details of the


proposal, answer questions, etc.

Thank the customer for the opportunity to bid on the


proposal regardless of the outcome

23

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Deliver
training to
customers

SUB-TASKS
Conduct training sessions
Provide product/application knowledge
Prepare manuals, support materials
Provide ongoing support
Extend the training to include customers and/or anybody in the
selling process with the customer
Evaluate the training and modify accordingly
Follow up on the training to add further value
Inform customers of third party training opportunities

TASKS
Educate others

SUB-TASKS
Educate your internal departments, support functions, etc.:

Ensure that they understand your customers needs and


expectations

Educate the broader public (consumers):

Participate in associations, public forums, conferences, training


events

Keep others aware of third party training opportunities

CPSA Sales Institute

24

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Conduct
telephone sales
calls

SUB-TASKS
Prepare for the call

Identify the customer/prospect and determine potential needs


Set an objective for the call
Organize key discussion points
Rehearse the call, make a recording or tape of your voice and
playback to reveal areas for improvement
Gather reference materials, customer files so they are easily
accessible
Determine the resources you will need (pen, pencil, calculator,
price schedules, etc.)

Make the call

Get past barriers (know the direct extension number, make an


ally of the secretary, etc.)
Ensure that you have the right person
Request permission to continue
Check to ensure this is an appropriate time
Focus on your objective, the reason for the call
Use effective questioning and listening skills
Follow the consultative selling process
Use your voice effectively (inject variety, keep tone even,
adjust volume, vary the pace, etc.)
Convey through verbal messages what is usually conveyed by
visual clues (put a smile in your voice, keep a mirror in front of
you to ensure this)
Turn on all perceiving receptors to interpret what is being said,
how it is being said and what is not being said
Speak precisely using positive strong works (i.e. I know
versus I think)
Record key points
End the call by summarizing (I understand, we have
agreed, the next step is)
Thank the other person
Hang up last

Follow up

CPSA Sales Institute

Document the call for your records


Diarize next steps
Do what you agreed to do

25

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Communication

TASKS
Identify
communication
vehicles

SUB-TASKS
Identify and use communication vehicles effectively:

E-mail
Internet
Written memos/reports
Process maps
Diagrams/Graphs

TASKS
Facilitation

SUB-TASKS
Create an agenda
Prepare all materials before the session
Open the meeting by reviewing objectives and agenda
Develop and post a parking lot
Be aware of group dynamics to encourage total participation
Manage conflicts when/if it arises
Follow the agenda timelines
Summarize key action steps and responsibility list

CPSA Sales Institute

26

COMPETENCY BLOCK:
Consultative Selling Skills (At A Glance)

TASKS

Prospect for potential customers


Plan for the initial contact
Contact the prospect
Plan the sales call
Open the sales call
Uncover needs
Present solutions/options
Address objections
Use the sales tools
Ask for the business
Follow up the sale

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

27

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Prospect for
potential
customers

SUB-TASKS
List sources for developing prospect lists (existing customer lists,
lost business, referrals, databases, trade associations, trade
magazine, networking, etc.)

Utilize electronic customer databases/contact management


software

Observe where competitors are calling and use this information for
prospect lists
Develop the prospect list
Research general information about prospects to determine potential
Prioritize the prospect list based on the research
Update and revise the list regularly
Liaise with call/contact centre

CPSA Sales Institute

28

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Plan for the
initial contact

SUB-TASKS
Establish and maintain prospect files
Obtain strategic information about the prospect's situation

Contact trade associations, chambers of commerce,


government and public libraries, databases
Analyze the current situation (who they are buying from, what
they are buying)
Record information in prospect file

Qualify the prospects (need or want, type and size of business,


financial condition, appropriateness of your product/service)

Consider the decision-making process (time, budget)


Consider the decision-making style (buyer level, etc.)

Learn about the prospect

Observe the prospect in action at work (or spend time in the


organization)
Manage all the people in the enterprise as appropriate
Record information in prospect file, manage entire enterprise
account

Identify the potential opportunities


Set contact objectives (primary goal, secondary goal, etc.)
Review the industry trends, challenges, issues

Know the gaps


Know the competition
Know your competitive positioning
Know your value proposition and position versus the
competition

Plan daily prospect activities

CPSA Sales Institute

29

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Contact and
Qualify the
prospect

SUB-TASKS
Write a personal letter, e-mail

Send a sales promotion gift or brochure in addition to the letter


if appropriate
Use effective business writing skills

Telephone the prospect

Use effective telephone communication skills

Ask the person who provided the referral to set up an appointment


or ask for and obtain the appointment

Determine timing, location, etc.

Use the planned sales strategies and tactics


Record details of the conversation

CPSA Sales Institute

Diarize the telephone call and meeting date


Note key learning in prospect file

30

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Review and
plan for the
sales call

SUB-TASKS
Review and analyze prospect file
Identify the potential opportunities
Set the sales call agenda
Set the sales call objectives (primary goal, secondary goal, etc.)
Determine sales strategies/tactics to achieve your objective

Master product knowledge


Identify and organize materials/data required
Develop a strong/compelling opening statement tied to customer
needs and benefits
Plan a variety of questions (open ended, close ended, high gain,
etc.)
Organize the questions to encourage maximum response (begin
with open ended questions, conclude with close ended)
Anticipate prospect's questions and objections and plan your
responses

Rehearse your approach


Reconfirm the appointment

TASKS
Select and
Use the sales
tools during
process

SUB-TASKS
Collect all the sales support materials
Analyze for prospect use
Personalize the materials you leave with the prospect (add your name
and phone number, highlight key information, etc.)
Select and use the sales tools at the appropriate time during the
process to emphasize key messages and solutions
Have all sales tools accessible and be pro-active

CPSA Sales Institute

31

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Open the
sales call

SUB-TASKS
Greet the prospect

Be on time
Dress professionally
Make eye contact and shake hands
Use the person's name
Exchange business cards

Build rapport

Establish and build credibility


Establish and build commonality
Talk about topics other than the sales objective (the weather,
sports, etc.)
Align with (mirror and match) the prospect/company

Communicate your sales call objective

Present an agenda and time frame


Gain agreement to the agenda and time frame
Summarize the events/conditions that led to the sales call
Establish purpose/intent (refer to the reason/benefit - why you are
there)
Confirm that the prospect is the decision maker
Explain the prospect's role in the sales call
Ensure the propriety of the information the prospect shares with
you

Listen to prospect's objectives

Ask the prospect to express needs, concerns, and expectations


Work prospect needs into the agenda

Confirm agreement to objectives

CPSA Sales Institute

Make sure the prospect understands and agrees with your


objectives
Confirm the potential

32

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Identify needs
and/or
opportunities

SUB-TASKS
Ask the questions you have planned
Listen actively
Encourage responses through body language (leaning forward)
and verbal language ("tell me more about that")
Focus the discussion on the interests and needs of the prospect
Reconfirm needs frequently
Use effective feedback skills (i.e. paraphrasing, summarizing) to
check understanding
Involve the prospect fully (i.e. ask the prospect to identify the
benefits of your product/service)
Uncover buyers' selection criteria
Identify budgets

CPSA Sales Institute

33

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Present
solutions/
options

SUB-TASKS
Match products and services to prospect needs and/or opportunities

Analyze and interpret information you have previously


gathered
Focus on current needs but also look at emerging needs
Communicate your value proposition (what value are you
bringing to the client)
Identify solutions
Link solutions to customer need (what business needs are you
addressing)
Present proposals

Meet with key decision makers

Check to confirm real decision maker


Lead the meeting
Use effective presentation tools
Use marketing materials/sales tools effectively

Use a feature/benefit strategy

CPSA Sales Institute

Confirm needs
Present information and recommendations
Present features and benefits to the customer
Provide testimonials, etc.
Check for acceptance of benefits/solutions

34

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Address
objections

SUB-TASKS
Anticipate possible objections and preplan your response
Listen closely for the signals that indicate an objection

Watch body language


Interpret questions and statements

Identify the different sources of objections (cost, skepticism, lack of


understanding, etc.)
Acknowledge the objection immediately

Treat it with respect and show empathy with regard to the


objection
Give value to their concern
Appreciate their involvement in the consultative selling process
Show that you understand

Clarify the objection

Use questioning skills to probe for more information

Detach yourself from the objection

Remain relaxed, attentive, confident

Specifically address the objection to satisfy concerns (provide more


information, offer proof, restate features and benefits, etc.)
Check for agreement that the objection has been dealt with
Provide third-party or testimonial style examples
Offer alternatives if appropriate
Enhance the value of other products/services if appropriate
Adjust presentation or change direction if required

CPSA Sales Institute

35

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Close the
Sale

SUB-TASKS
Identify and match various decision-making styles
Check for more questions, concerns
Summarize the benefits

Reconfirm needs
Recap and highlight specific benefits
Watch body language and listen carefully for buying signals
(leaning forward, nodding, etc.)
Use the appropriate communication style to match the decision
maker

Establish agreement

Be prepared to go back to probe and other steps


Agree to next steps for this solution
Ask for the next decision
Write up order, fill out the application, etc.

Set the stage for additional business

Ask how you will be evaluated


Establish customer expectations (number of meetings, turnaround
dates, etc.)
Commit to next steps (next meeting, telephone call, delivery date)

Reconfirm the buying decision

CPSA Sales Institute

Reassure the customer that the decision was the right one

36

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Follow up the
sale

SUB-TASKS
Reinforce the buying decision

Send a thank you note


Emphasize what is good about the decision

Analyze the sales call for your own development (what went well,
what would you change)
Fulfill every commitment

Diarize key points from the sales call


Plan next steps
Oversee/manage the implementation
Co-ordinate the implementation
Include internal partners in the process
Ensure that budget, time lines, quality standards and deliverables
are communicated, understood and met
Check on level of satisfaction (with products/services and with
the consultative selling process)
Review visible signs of progress
Verify the customer understands and values the product/service
benefit
React to resolve problems
Exceed expectations

Stay connected

CPSA Sales Institute

Make yourself available


Organize and conduct all necessary customer meetings
Send articles of interest, books, etc.
Demonstrate interest in business and outcomes
Know the customer's business and talk the language of the
business
Seek other opportunities to provide value (address additional
needs)
Make calls without a "sales objective" (a public relations call)

37

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Consultative Selling Skills

TASKS
Follow up the
sale (cont'd.)

SUB-TASKS
Ask for referrals

CPSA Sales Institute

Check customer satisfaction


Describe other potential customers
Ask customer for names of individuals/companies that fit the
profile
Contact the individual/company using the name of the person
who made the referral
Follow the consultative selling process
Follow up with the person who gave you the referral to let them
know what is happening
Thank the person for the referral

38

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Knowledge Management (At A Glance)


TASKS
Know more about yourself and clients
Increase efficiency, speed at which
you work
Facilitate the transfer of knowledge
Distinguish the key difference between
information and knowledge
Know how to analyze information

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

39

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Knowledge Management

TASKS
Storage of
Knowledge/
Dissemination

SUB-TASKS
Tools/techniques
Techniques to uncover business issues of clients organ.- shoulder to
shoulder (executive round tables)
Client dialogues - risk techniques
E-business technologies

TASKS
Sources

SUB-TASKS
What info do you need
Sleuthing & feedback to channels
Attitude life long learning

TASKS
Interpreting
info in
presentable
format

SUB-TASKS
Looking for gaps / analysis
Assess issues
Know/don't know
Doing/not doing
Questions to uncover complete picture
Relevance

CPSA Sales Institute

40

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Knowledge Management

TASKS
ShareTacit
explicit

SUB-TASKS
Historical
Incentive to share/BP
Push knowledge to clients (educate)
Create customer pull (self-serve knowledge specific for clients)
Create communities of client networks
Linking clients
Operationalize self-serve
Customization of info/P&S

TASKS
Communicate

SUB-TASKS

TASKS
Accessibility /
Tools

SUB-TASKS
Internal sources - both people and info
Internet
Association/Professional publications
Where might info be stored
Repository
Link to customer knowledge need

CPSA Sales Institute

41

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Knowledge Management

TASKS
Indexing

SUB-TASKS
Put it somewhere you can use it
Maximizing ease use
Retrieveability
Store files

TASKS
Results

SUB-TASKS
Real time

TASKS
Implementation

SUB-TASKS
Customer development
Link customer information back to company
Product category

CPSA Sales Institute

42

COMPETENCY BLOCK:
Customer Value Creation (At A Glance)

TASKS

Manage your knowledge of the


customer and market
Create value for every sales
opportunity
Communicate the value proposition
to customers
Leverage your organizations
customer value chain
Create and manage a customer
value plan
Measure the value realized

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

43

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Customer Value Creation

TASKS
Manage your
knowledge of
the customer
and market

SUB-TASKS

Know your market and competition

Monitor changes in your organization


Monitor changes in your competition
Know the value propositions of your products and services
Know the value propositions of your competitors products
and services
Gather knowledge of your industry
Identify your competitive advantage

Determine what customers value


Create customer profiles
Identify key business issues, process, and the barriers to
address them
Understand customer buying process
Identify customer value drivers
Review purchasing patterns
Determine interaction preferences
Understand customer perceptions, motivations, intentions
etc.
Garner information from non-customers
Determine which needs are basic (must haves), attractor
(above the competitors), and satisfier (nice to have)
Determine what is of value to your customers customers

Determine value of customer to the organization


Determine lifetime value of customer
Acquisition cost
Revenue stream
Cost stream
Length of relationship
Identify the profitability of your products and services
Retain valuable customers

CPSA Sales Institute

44

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Customer Value Creation

TASKS
Create value for
every sales
opportunity

TASKS
Communicate
the value
proposition to
customers

TASKS
Leverage your
organizations
customer value
chain

SUB-TASKS

Create the value proposition


Validate your understanding of customers value drivers
Ask questions to further determine what customers value
(face-to-face, survey)
Link customer value drivers to your products/services value
propositions
Based on customer input, customize products and services
Differentiate solutions from competitive alternatives

SUB-TASKS

Communicate the value proposition for the specific opportunity

Explain any hidden capabilities of solutions

Clarify price vs. benefits of the value proposition

Gain input from the customers

Integrate customer feedback in value proposition

SUB-TASKS

Identify customer interface points

Identify potential for value creation in other areas of the


customer organization

Communicate customer value perception to appropriate areas of


the organization

Place customers at the centre of all activities

Co-ordinate with other sales channels to create and integrate


value

Leverage strategic partnerships, alliances to create additional


value

Act as a customer advocate within your organization

CPSA Sales Institute

45

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Customer Value Creation

TASKS
Create and
manage a
customer value
plan

TASKS
Measure the
value realized

SUB-TASKS

Create a customer plan to include:

Customer profile
Competitive intelligence
Customer value perceptions
Share of customers
Value opportunities
Strategies and action plans

Pinpoint value gaps and opportunities

Determine appropriate method to interface with the customer

Mobilize appropriate levels in the organization to meet with


customers

Update plan as customer information, needs, and value


perceptions evolve

Resolve all ongoing customer issues or escalate accordingly

SUB-TASKS

Monitor the value plan

Measure activities vs. results

Evaluate actual performance vs. plan

Use results as references

CPSA Sales Institute

46

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Local Area / Regional Marketing (At A Glance)

TASKS
Create your local area/regional
marketing plan
Network locally/regionally
Create and manage a direct mail
program
Create and manage educational and
promotional events
Organize trade shows
Enhance corporate marketing
programs (print media and broadcast)
Co-ordinate merchandising campaigns
Conduct informal market research
Conduct multi-media marketing
Create and manage telemarketing
programs
Plan promotions

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

47

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Create
your local
area/
regional
marketing
plan

SUB-TASKS
Establish a budget
Refer to your sales strategies and action plans
Identify all possible marketing activities (networking, direct mail, etc.)
Select appropriate activities (those that fit the budget, are linked to sales
strategies and action plans, etc.)

TASKS
Network
locally/
regionally

SUB-TASKS
Select market/industry segment that you will serve
Target the group(s) who provide the best potential return
Become a member of:

Chambers of commerce
Local business councils
Economic development groups
Trade councils/associations
Local business groups
Professional organizations
Local charity groups

Volunteer for active roles in the groups you join (join a committee, or
fill an executive position)
Work the network (collect clues and information from members)
Invite/involve your key customers in your relevant association events
Identify opportunities for association selling (benefit programs for
memberships, etc.)
Build breakfast clubs for reciprocally interested parties
Set objectives of objectives
Co-ordinate the meeting place
Arrange for guest speakers

CPSA Sales Institute

48

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Network
locally/
regionally
(contd.)

SUB-TASKS
Present information seminars
Help customers get additional business
Volunteer for customers' Board of Directors
Build your profile in the industry (be recognized as an expert in your
field)

TASKS
Create and
manage a
direct mail
program

SUB-TASKS
Plan your own program
Set strategies
Identify centres of influence - by sector and geographically
Segment the customer database by marketing sector
Build the database
Create or identify direct mail materials

Sales materials

Target letters

Newsletters

Product reviews

Association or trend updates/summaries

Corporate videos

New product teasers

Reminders for fill-in or repeat orders


Use effective business writing skills
Gain company approval of materials
Build a list of leads
Use all available sources (Dun and Bradstreet Report, city
directories)
Purchase lists of leads from broker
Implement strategies
Arrange the actual delivery and timing of material
Design your follow-up and critical pat
Follow-up
Analyze results
Measure return on investment of direct mail program
Market national programs
Use the applicable steps from building your own program

CPSA Sales Institute

49

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Create and
manage
educational
and
promotional
events

SUB-TASKS
Plan the events

Create product seminars/training sessions (possibly in concert


with affiliated suppliers)
Organize public relations sessions with customers, sales
associates
Arrange for guest speakers to talk at local schools
Take students on internships
Conduct local "open houses", plant tours, etc.
Arrange golf tournaments, baseball games, etc.

Organize the materials

Select the right speaker for the right audience


Create a "subject matter" document as a promotional piece for the
target market (if appropriate)
Create/source customer sales literature, brochures, etc.
Arrange event offerings and "leave behinds" for participants
Test materials for event purposes

Organize administrative details for the event

Hire contract staff, caterers, etc.


Arrange for space (contact hotels, schools, recreation centres)
Get licenses (if required)
Select prizes
Co-ordinate staff to participate
Organize the clean-up
Send out promotional information, mail-outs

Hold the event

Co-ordinate a 1 (800) number fax reply confirmation of


attendance
Use effective presentation and communication skills

Follow up

CPSA Sales Institute

Create and send a follow-up letter thanking attendees

50

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Organize
trade shows

SUB-TASKS
Plan for and/or participate in the show

Select the right sow (evaluate the benefit of attending vis a vis
your goals
Identify participants most likely to benefit
Establish sales objectives for show
Select the theme of the booth
Select a prime location for the booth
Design the booth/trade show set-up
Use collapsible technology
Organize shipment of booth and supplies
Link your trade show involvement to your other pro-active
communication with customers/prospects
Use the show to launch new products/services

Organize materials and resources

Prepare something which will create attraction and excitement at


the booth
Prepare trade show related print/video/computer materials
Organize and schedule staff for show
Train sales people how to manage t manage the booth
Choose and implement appropriate presentation technology for
booth

Organize and implement pre-show, show, and post-show activities

Contact prospects and customers ahead of time and invite visitors


to the booth
Make appointments with customers to be held at the booth
Invite local press/media
Take videos/pictures of booth and show
Keep an attendance list
Work the floor

Follow-up

CPSA Sales Institute

Prepare fulfillment packages for delivery to prospects post-show


Understand financials and payback

51

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Enhance
corporate
marketing
programs
(print
media and
broadcast)

SUB-TASKS
Contribute to corporate marketing program development

Participate in internal focus groups to determine content of


marketing program
Provide feedback to marketing regarding what is/is not working

Design ad layouts

Prepare camera ready copy for newspaper


Determine objective for "ad" - know who your target audience is

Develop your own marketing materials/initiatives

Publish a regular customer newsletter


Publish a customer specific manual
Personalize corporate ads for the local level
Reprint corporate newsletter after editing in an introduction from
yourself
Write an information column for local community paper on topics
relating to your business but slanted towards general interest for
consumers
Contact local charities that the company supports nationally to
develop local programs
Sponsor local area sporting events
Ensure that local initiatives link with national marketing programs

Implement marketing programs/initiatives

Sell or distribute company display material, ad programs


Distribute mailings/faxes/e-mail to branch offices
Become acquainted with editors of local magazines/newspapers
Work with the local media (print, broadcast) for time exposure:
interviews, phone ins, etc.

Co-ordinate

CPSA Sales Institute

52

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Co-ordinate
merchandising
campaigns

SUB-TASKS
Co-ordinate point of purchase (POP) material with national
campaigns
Co-ordinate point of purchase materials with print ads
Draft product packaging graphics
Create visual displays, focal areas, concept areas
Plan store shelf assortment/layout
Identify profitability per square foot
Organize and set up showrooms and displays
Work closely with retailers, designers and manufacturers
Educate customers on "best way" to present and sell merchandise
Test market products
Organize and distribute hand-out materials
Supplement supplier marketing programs with additional local
activities (personal appearances, talk show, contests)
Organize 'gift with purchase' programs

TASKS
Conduct
informal
market
research

SUB-TASKS
Block time per week for informal research
Conduct customer surveys (on new products, services, etc.)
Conduct customer advisory councils
Co-ordinate small focus group sessions to gain opinions on existing
service or desired service enhancements
Monitor performance of products
Focus on your research objective (do not sell)
Publish results of findings for customers and prospects

CPSA Sales Institute

53

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Conduct
multi-media
marketing

SUB-TASKS
Keep current

Participate in forums to gain new information


Read the business media for up-to-date ideas, information,
usefulness, etc.

Use the Internet

Experiment with a placement on an Internet bulletin board


Search Internet for prospects/contacts
Be aware of your customers on/using the Internet and keep a list
of them for reference
Use the proper "Netiquette" when using the Internet

Use the latest technologies

Convert marketing letters/documents to digital format


List information on company systems for distribution internally
and externally (codes, standards, policies)
Use e-mail to keep customers informed of industry news
Use the fax to broadcast information
Co-ordinate telephone conferencing (video or phone)
Produce multi-media marketing materials (CD ROM)
Produce video materials
Use multi-media effectively in presentations

Involve other departments in multi-media marketing campaigns

CPSA Sales Institute

54

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Create and
manage
telemarketing
programs

SUB-TASKS
Plan the telemarketing program

Visit successful sites


Automate wherever possible
Investigative hardware and software
Identify your objectives

To conduct informal marketing

To increase sales

To generate leads

To process orders

To provide customer service, etc.


Align the objectives with overall sales strategies and goals
Prepare a business case to include:

Type of client you want to attract

Cost

Probable response rate/conversion rate

Potential income to be generated


Develop the approach
Develop a script for use in telemarketing

Use effective communication skills

follow the consultative selling process


Prepare for success - have follow-up support mechanisms in
place (to fulfill telephone requests, process orders, etc.)
Prepare test pilot and evaluate
Adapt the approach if necessary

Implement your telemarketing plans

CPSA Sales Institute

Prospect previously untried distribution avenues


Enter telephone lists into your client database
Create customer history files to track calls and follow up
activities
Make weekly/biweekly fill in calls

55

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Local Area/Regional Marketing

TASKS
Create and
manage
telemarketing
programs
(cont'd.)

SUB-TASKS
Follow up

Distribute data gathered (customer requests, complaints, etc.)


Respond to customers and advance the sales cycle
Measure results and evaluate the program
Generate new target opportunities and develop new objectives

TASKS
Plan
promotions

SUB-TASKS
Establish sales objectives (promote new product/services)
Set budgets
Know media channels and costs
Establish timing (consider season ability of product/service usage)
Link to other events
Look for co-op opportunities
Know competition's programs
Design delivery seminars
Design brochures and marketing letters
Create demand before launching product through merchandising
Use broadcast faxing to reach targeted segments
Manage the allowance policy

CPSA Sales Institute

56

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Product & Technical Knowledge (At A Glance)

TASKS
Acquire up to date product/service
knowledge
Acquire up to date technical
knowledge

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

57

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Product & Technical Knowledge

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Gather information about your products and services


Acquire up to
date product/ Identify the components of your products and services
service
knowledge
Know the essential selling features of your products and services
Translate all essential features into customer benefits
Identify the advantages of your products and services

Know your price per product


Analyze profit per product/service
Be aware of price fluctuations
Identify product strengths
Be aware of product weaknesses
Know your lead times
Know how products are manufactured or sourced
Learn the warranty/guarantee policies
Know your product success evolution/history
Know your packaging facilities and potential
Identify distinguishing awards for product/success

Analyze product success

Identify your market position


State your value added
Compare your success per product and compare to position of
competition
Analyze brand loyalty
Discover who is using product outside your current customers

Understand how your product/service fits into your customer's


overall operation, business plan, sales success, operation costs, etc.
Spend time in field with technical specialists
Become familiar with all product promotions, sales manuals and
product literature
Know how the product/service is used by different customers

CPSA Sales Institute

58

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Product & Technical Knowledge

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Know the competitors' products and services (obtain brochures, etc.)


Acquire up to
date product/ Know how to use computers, faxes, and other hardware
service
knowledge
Understand software products and their potential application to sales
(cont'd.)
Keep informed of latest technology advances and seek ways to use
these technologies in your work

CPSA Sales Institute

59

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Relationship Building (At A Glance)


TASKS
Create a customer care process
Develop the account
Collaborate with customers to create
service standards, warranties and
guarantees
Educate customers
Link customers with other
service/product providers within your
network
Support customer initiatives
Appreciate your customers

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

60

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Relationship Building

TASKS
Create a
customer
care process

SUB-TASKS
Identify the components of an effective customer care process
Identify the best practices of existing suppliers
Determine your customer care budget (time and money)
Create and maintain a comprehensive, up to date customer database
(including all personal and business information about customers)
Profile the customer database (A, B, C)
Tailor your key customer care process with the A customers

Record personal data


Discuss personal likes and dislikes
Clarify expectations about products and services
Determine the call plan (method and frequency)
Identify preferred value added
Agree to the vest way to get feedback from the customer

Create a different strategy for serving non-key customers (B, C) less concentrated, less individualized
Identify future business potential

CPSA Sales Institute

61

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Relationship Building

TASKS
Develop the
account

SUB-TASKS
Learn everything you can about the customer and the business

Do some fact-finding, research


Take a tour, walk the hallways
Ask to be placed on customer's mailing list
Make regular visits, hand deliver items
Let the customer educate you on all aspects of their business
Determine the customer's budget for your products/services

Meet new decision makers


Ensure that you are listed to receive proposal bids, quotes, RFPs, etc.
Identify all potential for future business
Probe about add-on sales
Ask about other sales/lines
Ask for the business

TASKS
Collaborate
with
customers to
create service
standards,
warranties
and
guarantees

SUB-TASKS
Collect overall customer feedback to identify expectations

Identify customers to participate in councils


Conduct customer focus groups

Survey customers specifically for feedback on standards, warranties


and guarantees
Develop standards, warranties, and guarantees based on feedback
Communicate standards, warranties and guarantees to the customer
and internally to all departments
Measure against the standards, warranties and guarantees
Review results with customers and internally with all departments
Reevaluate standards, warranties and guarantees
Celebrate successes with customers

CPSA Sales Institute

62

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Relationship Building

TASKS
Educate
customers

SUB-TASKS
Create communication links using latest compatible technology
Check for understanding on all relevant systems and processes
Share your company's expertise
Invite customers to seminars, conferences, fun events. Be more
creative
Introduce customers to experts in your organization
Provide relevant information, keep customers current on products,
services, applications, etc.
Conduct training sessions
Extend the training to include your customer's clients and/or
anybody in the selling process with customer
Make presentations
Prepare manuals, support materials
Provide ongoing support

TASKS
Link
customers
with other
service/
product
providers
within your
network

SUB-TASKS
Externally and internally
Refer partners to each other
Co-ordinate joint meetings
Arrange introductions
Co-ordinate public events for circle of customers
Grow your network

CPSA Sales Institute

63

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Relationship Building

TASKS
Support
customer
initiatives

SUB-TASKS
Support the same charities
Share corporate expertise
Participate in co-op advertising
Buy their products
Use their services
Attend their annual meetings

TASKS
Appreciate
your
customers
internal and
external

SUB-TASKS
Understand and respect corporate and ethical guidelines regarding
gifts, dinners, etc.
Highlight customers in your corporate newsletter
Publish joint articles
Invite customers to visit your organization
Invite customers on company tours
Hold customer appreciation days/events
Tell others in the network when something newsworthy happens to
a customer
Celebrate the "anniversary" of doing business together
Paying for performance
Mutuality of interest
Develop relationships internally / Influencing

CPSA Sales Institute

64

COMPETENCY BLOCK:
Sales and Technology (At A Glance)

TASKS
Understand how to use basic
technology
Leverage the Internet as a valuable
resource
Understand your organizations
security policies
Understand the implications of
technology on your customers
Leverage technology in your role

*Information is based on the input of sales professionals


from a one-day session.

65

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Sales & Technology

TASKS
Understand
how to use
basic
technology

SUB-TASKS
Know how to use office software

Calendar/schedule
E-mail
Word processing
Databases
Presentation software
Spreadsheets
Web browser
Integrated collaborative software

Understand the basics of office hardware

PC's
PDA's (Personal digital assistant)
Cell phone/wireless
Pager
Fax
Printer
Copier
Telephony

Know how to use Web capabilities

Internet
Intranet
Extranet

Understand use and capabilities of office multimedia

CPSA Sales Institute

Satellite
Video conferencing
Webcast
CD ROM
Audio conferencing

66

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Sales & Technology

TASKS
Understand
your
organizations
security
policies

SUB-TASKS
Follow your organizations security procedures with regard to:

TASKS
Leverage the
Internet as a
valuable
resource

Logging in and out


Storage
Hardware security
Commerce security
Customer data
Confidential e-mail
Password protection

SUB-TASKS
Know sources and reliability of information

Client/industry/competitor research
New competitors (visibility of price and cost)

Bookmark useful sites (trade publications, reports, etc.)


Know your browser capability and accessibility (band width)
Understand E-commerce sites (buying and selling)
Understand search engine capabilities (expert, refined, and metasearch engines)

CPSA Sales Institute

67

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Sales & Technology

TASKS
Understand
the
implications
of technology
on your
customers

SUB-TASKS
Follow your customers security procedures
Know your customers capability:

Compatibility of systems (i.e. ability to open attachments, etc.)

Understand your customers expectations with regard to:

Troubleshooting technology products or attachments sent


Response times

Know and follow your customers interaction preferences (method


and frequency of communication)
Be aware of the tonality when communicating electronically

TASKS
Leverage
technology in
your role

SUB-TASKS
Understand how technology can assist you personally in your role

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems


Account planning
Call planning
Databases for prospecting

Understand how technology can be leveraged throughout your


organization with respect to:

CPSA Sales Institute

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)


Financial systems
Human Resources tracking
Purchasing

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COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Sales Administration (At A Glance)


TASKS
Generate sales
administration/operations reports
Provide feedback
Analyze, read and interpret sales
information
Track orders
Maintain support systems

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

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Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Sales Administration

TASKS
Generate sales
administration/
operations
reports

SUB-TASKS
Complete call reports:

Monthlies
Weeklies
Quarterlies

Update/revise the business plan


Complete monthly, quarterly or annual business reviews for
customers
Complete expense reports
Complete credit applications
Update customer profile (database)

TASKS
Provide
feedback

SUB-TASKS
Share relevant customer feedback internally with other members of
the team including sales management
Report sales situations to team members for the purpose of building
additional sales approaches and strategies
Speak to appropriate departments about:

Product ideas
Market opportunities
Customer satisfaction levels

Sell-through by:

CPSA Sales Institute

Providing statistics from accounts/retailers


Submitting customer satisfaction information with both retailer
and supplier

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Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Sales Administration

TASKS
Analyze, read
and interpret
sales
information

SUB-TASKS
Set aside time to read sales information (reports, audits, articles)
Read and understand management information (company statement,
strategic goals, etc.)
Provide customers regular progress reports on customers' sales
performance

TASKS
Track
fulfillment
of the order

SUB-TASKS
Set up new customer accounts
Complete order entry
Check inventory
Co-ordinate interdependent department/functions and/or processes
Co-ordinate outside resources
Conduct interdepartmental meetings
Reporting status of order to client
Customize work/job when necessary
Take accountability/responsibility for work being completed to
customer's satisfaction
Handle complaints, returns promptly and professionally

CPSA Sales Institute

71

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Sales Administration

TASKS
Maintain
support
systems

SUB-TASKS
Gather and organize all sales information
Read all memos, updates, faxes (company and customer vendor
product) and files
Maintain customer database files
Maintain current data files (hard copy files and the electronic
database)
Organize and update:

CPSA Sales Institute

Sample price lists


Brochures
Internal process forms - credit applications, order forms, etc.
Catalogues
Point of sale materials
Other business tools

72

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Self Development (At A Glance)


TASKS

Create a personal vision/mission


Balance your life
Manage your attitude
Practice self-discipline
Manage your time and activities
Manage your professional
development
Manage your career
Manage stress
Focus on knowledge management

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

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Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS
Create a
personal
vision/
mission

SUB-TASKS
Clarify/prioritize self values and consider the value of others
Ask yourself key questions about what is important in your life, what
you want to do and be
Clarify expectations of yourself and expectations others have of you
Identify what you need to do to be successful (personal standards,
targets, goals, principles)
Review how your personal vision aligns with/supports the
corporate/functional/department mission
Set specific short and long-term goals (a five-year plan) - ensure
measurability
Translate the vision into actionable steps
Spend your time according to the priorities that emerge from your vision
Integrate the vision into daily practice
Reconnect frequently with your vision and change accordingly

CPSA Sales Institute

74

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS
Balance
your life

SUB-TASKS
Clarify roles and responsibilities with respect to:

Family
Career
Community
Self

Set personal goals in each area of your life


Build time for different roles into your day/week
Record your goals in writing
Establish success criteria for balance
Act on your plans
Reflect and evaluate how you are doing

Review your roles and responsibilities regularly

Recognize that there will be moments when you must choose to change
or reevaluate your plans

Explore new areas/opportunities or interests

CPSA Sales Institute

75

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS
Manage
your
attitude

SUB-TASKS
Know your personal and professional motivators and focus on
activities to accomplish your goals
Identify your positive attitude attributes and build on them
Challenge yourself break old habits, move out of your comfort zone
Practice innovative techniques for out of the box creative thinking
Establish stretch, but SMART goals for yourself
Seek out support and feedback from others on the team, in the
organization/community etc.
Surround yourself with positive people
Eliminate self criticism
Identify daily/weekly accomplishments
Engage in positive "self talk"
Visualize positive performance
Recognize and document your success and failure patterns and know
how to pick yourself up
Consider success patterns of others and mirror them
Keep and refer to evidence of past successes (awards, trophies, letters
of praise, etc.)
Read inspirational material, audiotapes, etc.
Get in the right frame of mind for constructive feedback and do
something positive with the information

CPSA Sales Institute

76

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS
Practice self
discipline

SUB-TASKS
Be accountable for your performance
Identify what you need to do to be successful
Communicate your priorities to others
Make and honour appointments with yourself and others
Protect the time you scheduled for yourself from distractions - people
and events
Practice relaxation and energizing techniques
Guard against personal procrastination or rationalization
Plan your work and work your plan
Continue on in spite of adversity or difficulty
Reward yourself

TASKS
Manage
your time
and
activities to
increase
return on
investment

SUB-TASKS
Isolate key success activities and prioritize them
Break down large tasks down into manageable action steps (set time
frames)
Create daily/weekly action plans and implement them
Create or adopt a time management system and follow it
Set aside appropriate blocks of time for goal-related activities
Make the best possible use of support people/resources to accomplish
tasks
Continuously look for ways to improve - effectiveness, efficiency and
productivity

CPSA Sales Institute

77

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS
Manage
your
professional
development

SUB-TASKS
Take inventory of your personal interests, abilities, skills, knowledge,
etc.
Identify and priortize the strengths and gaps
Investigate all aspects of your current job to identify new
opportunities for development
Assess your level of competency in your current job and identify
opportunities for development
Use available assessment tools (self-assessment, feedback from
relevant people)
Identify your desired next steps for your career path
Identify the competency requirements for your career path
Create a personal growth strategy/career path
Set personal goals and timeframes for achieving them
Invest in your own development (take courses, attend seminars, etc.)
Identify coaches or mentors that can provide career development
support
Serve as a mentor
Practice self-directed learning (read books and association
publications, listen to tapes, watch videos, etc.)
Schedule regular practice sessions for key skills
Learn from your mistakes
Learn and invest in sales tools (e.g. hardware and software)
Become knowledgeable and actively involved in professional
associations (CPSA, customer-affiliated associations, industry
specific associations, etc.)
Maintain your personal health and wellness

CPSA Sales Institute

78

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS
Manage
your career

SUB-TASKS
Create and work your career plan
Link the career plan to your professional development plan
Create a list of desirable positions, companies, product lines, etc.
Talk to people who are currently in the job/field you wish to move to
(or who have done it in the past)
Identify what you are prepared to do to get the next job
Keep you resume current (consider what to do with it)
Interview to learn more about opportunities of interest to you
Review, revise your plan regularly

TASKS
Manage
stress

SUB-TASKS
Identify types of stress

Recognize good sources and negative sources of stress


Learn to deal with stress effectively in order to improve efficiency
and sales performance

Monitor your stress


Manage your stress

CPSA Sales Institute

Recognize that a salespersons job is naturally stressful


Teach yourself not to take things personally
Develop an optimistic attitude and view problems as temporary
Take a break if you need to refocus yourself and approach the
situation in a more positive way
Keep yourself healthy, and exercise regularly

79

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Self Development

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Know more about yourself and clients


Focus on
knowledge
Increase efficiency, speed at which you work
management
Facilitate the transfer of knowledge
Distinguish the key difference between information and knowledge
Know how to analyze information

CPSA Sales Institute

80

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Strategic Sales Planning (At A Glance)


TASKS
Understand the corporate business
plan/department objectives
Analyse and segment the market
Research the competition
Analyse individual existing
customers
Analyse products/services
Negotiate your sales target
Create your sales strategies
Set objectives to achieve your
sales targets

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

81

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Strategic Sales Planning

TASKS
Understand
the corporate
business plan
/department
objectives

SUB-TASKS
Read the business plan understand corporate strategies and
objectives
Clarify the plan with your manager/coach
Ask questions to check understanding
Understand your role and your goals as part of the overall plan
Document your role and goals as part of your sales plan

TASKS
Analyse and
segment the
market

SUB-TASKS
Identify the boundaries of the market
Know your territory (i.e. physical/geographic terms)
Identify important market segments
Research and identify information about potential business, existing
business and centres of influence
Analyse your current customer base

Key contacts
Business/products
Level of satisfaction
Demographics
Existing and future picture (who will stay the same, who will
grow, etc.)
Your customer's customers
Your percentage of market share
Total sales ($) versus number of customers

Analyse a similar market


Check overall profitability and expenses
Identify the top 20% of your customers base
Develop A, B, C . . . lists of customers
Identify customers for new business development, cross-sell and
upsell opportunities
Document your market analysis as part of your sales plan
CPSA Sales Institute

82

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Strategic Sales Planning

TASKS
Research
the
competition

SUB-TASKS
List your competitors
Develop strategies to learn about the competition

Read annual reports, trade magazines, Internet site


Network with the competition
Mystery shop the competition
Ask customers about the competition
Visit competitor's booths at trade show, etc.

Analyse their business

Size of company
Experience within the industry
Financial picture
Market share
Marketing strategy and value proposition
Products/services
Pricing
Service guarantees/warrantees
Packaging and delivery
Distribution systems
Sales processes
Skill level, expertise, and effectiveness of the sales force

Identify best practices


Identify your advantages over the competition (competitive
positioning)
Document your competitive research as part of your sales plan

CPSA Sales Institute

83

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Strategic Sales Planning

TASKS
Analyse
individual
existing
customers

SUB-TASKS
Review your sales history
Research your customer's business

Know your customer's products/services/business


Know the organizational structure and political climate
Identify critical business needs/drivers
Know the financial viability of the business
Identify your customer's buying habits and patterns (the buying
cycle)
Identify decision makers and the decision making process
Discover and understand your customer's major initiatives/changes

Evaluate your customer's buying potential and your potential share


Predict usage
Predict customer profitability
Know the competition's share of business in each account
Classify each customer (A, B, C lists)
Identify the greatest benefit for that customer to do business with you
Document your individual customer analysis as part of your sales plan

CPSA Sales Institute

84

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Strategic Sales Planning

TASKS
Analyse
products/
services

SUB-TASKS
Develop technical knowledge about products and services

Know your price per product/service


Analyse profit per product/service
Identify strengths, features and benefits
Be aware of weaknesses
Know your lead times
Know how products are manufactured or sourced
Learn the warranty/guarantee policies
Know your product/service success evolution/history
Know your packaging facilities and potential
Identify distinguishing awards for product

Analyse product success

Identify your market position


State your value added
Compare your success per product and compare to position of
competition
Analyse brand loyalty

Know application from customer standpoint - know what needs or


business drivers your product/service addresses. (i.e. helps your
customer increase sales, lower costs, etc.)

CPSA Sales Institute

85

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Strategic Sales Planning

TASKS
Negotiate
your sales
target

SUB-TASKS
Talk to your manager to understand what targets have been set (top
down)
Assess potential from existing business, new business, repeat business
Consider business you may lose
Review the variance (both positive and negative) between previous
year's results and targets
Establish sales targets by

Product line
Customer
Market segments

Negotiate agreement on annual sales targets


Ensure that the targets are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable,
results focussed, time framed)
Document your sales targets as part of your sales plan

CPSA Sales Institute

86

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Strategic Sales Planning

TASKS
Create
your sales
strategies

SUB-TASKS
Review previous year's results for key learning (actual results against
plan, won business as well as, lost or terminated business, etc.)
Conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats)

Analyse strengths and weaknesses (of the product, company, sales


process and/or service
Identify major opportunities (new sales options or channels, new
prospects or needs)
Identify threats (areas where your company/product/service is
failing to meet identified customer needs, not staying competitive,
or not keeping up with industry or legislated standards)

Identify any other issues facing your company and/or product line or
service
Look at global conditions (economic factors, social factors, political
factors, technological factors, environmental factors)
Know and understand industry trends and your company's response to
these future needs
Develop strategies based on the analysis
Align strategies with your company's strategies and corporate values
Anticipate competitor's responses to your strategy
Document your sales strategies as part of your sales plan

TASKS
Set objectives
to achieve
your sales
targets

SUB-TASKS
Align objectives with sales strategies, targets, and prior analysis
Ensure that the objectives are SMART (specific, measurable,
achievable, results focussed, time framed)
Incorporate checkpoints to review progress
Gain approval from your manager
Document your objectives as part of your sales plan

CPSA Sales Institute

87

COMPETENCY BLOCK:

Time & Territory Management (At A Glance)

TASKS

Priority time management


Forecast sales results
Analyze customer segments
Manage sales funnel
Manage territory/customer
Manage your sales activities

*Information is based on the input of participants from a one-day


session.

88

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Time & Territory Management

TASKS

SUB-TASKS

Use scheduling technology (e.g. MS Outlook)


Priority time
management Create daily/weekly/monthly schedules
Determine percentage of time spend on key activities
Prioritize activities according to importance and urgency
Delegate, delay or eliminate activities that are not important or urgent
Schedule blocks of time

On days
Off days
Customer urgent days (schedule critical/customer urgent time)
E-mail and voice mail
personal development

Know your peak performance times and schedule work accordingly


Know what your client's peak times are, buying cycles/year ends
Set a separate time period to address less important items (non-urgent
messages, ordering supplies, etc.)
Check regularly to ensure that you are spending time on the activities
that will help you achieve your objectives
Identify your personal time wasters (disorganization, long coffee
breaks, drop in visitors, etc.) and determine ways to eliminate these
End of day, review day's activities and schedule next day
Balance your work time with time for family, friends, physical
activity, etc.

CPSA Sales Institute

89

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Time & Territory Management

TASKS
Forecast
sales results

SUB-TASKS
Forecast annually/quarterly/monthly/weekly
Analyze sales reports
Predict sales volume per customer/prospect:

Dollar
Unit
Product mix
Penetration
Repeat business
Quarter/year/monthly numbers

Analyze existing and lost customers


Identify variances and reasons for them
Set new goals and objectives
Refocus activities based on analysis
Communicate new forecasts

TASKS
Analyze
Customer
segments

SUB-TASKS
Identify high-value customers using the following as criteria

Cost to serve
Potential share of customer
Lifetime value of customer

Conduct customer/market analysis

CPSA Sales Institute

Determine relationship profile - strategic, preferred, c-level (CEO,


CFO, CTO, etc.), procurement, managerial level)
Identify mutual value for the customer and your organization
Determine whether or not the customer is a top tier client and is a
good referral source.

90

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Time & Territory Management

TASKS
Manage
sales funnel

SUB-TASKS
Determine your sales funnel and ratios
Move customer from one stage within funnel to next (suspect,
prospect, hot or critical one)
Link sales activities to the stage in the funnel
Use the funnel for both self-management and with your sales manager

TASKS
Manage
territory /
customer

SUB-TASKS
Identify the territory (e.g. industry, channel, customer, geography)
Identify value of current accounts and potential
Identify potential within your territory (prospects, suspects)
Monitor cost per call (what's profitable)
Plan your route, current and prospective
Use your waiting time effectively (read, answer mail, write memos,
etc.)
Schedule time for follow-up

CPSA Sales Institute

91

Sales Representatives' Competencies


Competency Block: Time & Territory Management

TASKS
Manage
your sales
activities

SUB-TASKS
Plan your activities

Breakdown your quarterly targets into monthly/weekly targets


Set SMART objectives
Determine high payback activities which ensure that the sales
objectives will be met

Prioritize and do more of them

Determine sales activities for:

Acquisition

Retention

Expansion

Establish call frequency by classification of customer


Determine the contact method (phone, letter, visit, e-mail)

Work your plan

Contact customers and prospects (telephone, send direct mail, email, faxes, etc.)
Set appointments
Keep appointments
Continually reference and update your plan
Follow up your plan

Evaluate sales results and activities

CPSA Sales Institute

Measure the actual payback of your activities


Modify your plan as appropriate

92