Every organization needs a high-calibre sales team – a team that drives growth and success, exceeds monthly targets, and earns goodwill from customers.

The key to building a well-performing team is hiring the right candidates – How do we identify individuals who can generate more sales? The first step is to pin down the key competencies, skills and abilities needed for sales hiring.

Ennis (1998) stated that “Sales competencies are based upon the salesperson’s performance on a task or in the sales job or role”. Identifying and investing in these competencies proves as an anchor to intellectual capital and makes room for the growth of the organization.

While organizational competencies may differ based on goals and success metrics, there are core competencies common across sales teams. PerspectAI highlights some sales competencies recruiters could look for in a potential applicant.

Top 5 Sales Competencies for Better Sales

Sales Competencies in Hiring
Sales Competencies in Hiring

Critical Thinking

Dealing with individuals in a real-life scenario is complex, and keeps evolving. An ideal salesperson can apply appropriate logic to facts, take in a wide range of information, come up with alternatives, and make the right judgment. A salesperson who fails to grasp the complexities of a situation and act immediately might end up losing their prospects even before they realize it.

To successfully perform in more demanding and complex roles, sales personnel today need critical thinking abilities. Studies state that it is also essential to integrate sales and service. Such integration necessitates that the salesperson act as a “strategic orchestrator,” assisting the client in achieving strategic goals by locating client-specific opportunities and resolving their issues. Salespeople quite often evaluate options when comparing proposals, suggesting strategies, and assessing market offerings. Critical thinking here is important to determine the actions that will resolve client issues and strengthen their consultative relationship.


To be able to execute a task or a goal, the first step is to plan how to carry out the task. When planning, an individual –

  • Mentally anticipates the reach of a specific goal
  • Establishes a plan of action for self and/or others
  • Ensures the accomplishment of that specific objective by optimum use of resources.
  • Faulty planning often affects the execution and effectiveness of sales, resulting in nothing but a bootless errand.

Decision Making

We make decisions in almost every situation in our daily lives – going shopping or ordering online, trying out something new, or applying for a job. In all the tasks, individuals evaluate alternatives and choose the one with minimal risk and high rewards.

In practice, salespeople frequently make choices based on their analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of information. Good decision-making is an outcome of strong critical thinking skills. This stands important, especially in terms of understanding and application of key sales concepts.

An ideal sales hire would know when to opt for brownie points from an existing client and when to chase a potential customer. Effective decision-making skills can not only improve sales but also help save time and effort for an organization.

Result Orientation

While communication skills, maintaining good relationships with clients, and having knowledge of sales contribute to building a good sales team, the success of a brand or a product shows through the numbers. The results of sales drive growth and provide incentives to the individual as well as the organization. The main competencies associated with being result-oriented in Sales Roles are –

1. Achieving Targets 

For someone who has a daily walking score, nothing feels better than looking at the stats at the end of the day and realizing they’ve successfully completed their daily goal.
The drive to work on a goal often goes parallel with the level of productivity and consistency to achieve it. Goal achievement can be measured by answering questions like – how inclined is an individual to complete a task? How much effort is a candidate willing to put in to achieve the goal using optimal resources?

2. Customer Satisfaction 

You go to your local clothing store, inform them of your needs, and are recommended a set of clothes that fit best with the occasion. You walk out of the store happy with your selection. The salesperson gains another happy customer.
How well can an individual bridge the gap between the product and what the customer needs? An ideal sales rep can gauge customer requirements and pitch the product in a way that fits best with their needs. Organizations need candidates who can understand customer and market requirements, and pitch their services accordingly.

Assessing Sales Competencies with PerspectAI

Sales hires are faced with constant changes in their environment. Yet, they are required to possess certain characteristics to be effective and drive sales regardless.

Your Sales team will perform best when you identify and measure the right skills and abilities. At PerspectAI, we measure these specific competencies with the help of an interactive game-based assessment. Our Sales Simulation allows candidates to practice situations for closing deals and building relationships with customers. These scenarios involve role-playing, with the candidate playing the part of a salesperson faced with various clients. Our simulation is designed to measure a range of sales competencies, including planning, result orientation, and customer satisfaction.

PerspectAI believes in measuring these key sales competencies that draw the line between a sales applicant and a potential sales hire. Schedule a Demo with us today to see if our assessment aligns with your sales needs!

Author PerspectAI

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