By Gus Prestera, Ph.D.
I’m not a gambling man, but I enjoy taking bets at the start of manager or field trainer workshops on the number of hands that will be raised when I ask, “Who here has thought about or referenced the sales competency model in their work or in a conversation over the last two weeks?”
I only enjoy it because I always win the bet; in 20 years, I have never seen more than two hands go up.
Competency models are often maligned for being useless, abstract and disconnected from the day-to-day work of producing results. Yet, in organizations where we see competency models being used consistently and effectively, they enable managers to have productive field rides, coach for performance, discuss short- and long-term career development, interview and select top talent and continually grow the capabilities of their sales team.
But competencies can’t help with any of that if they are poorly designed and implemented.
To help you diagnose what’s undermining the effectiveness of your competencies, here are seven questions and common ailments to consider:
If after reviewing these questions, you find your competency model wanting in some areas, know that you’re not alone and that addressing those shortfalls can have a big impact.
A well-designed competency model that is observable and measurable – that is well-socialized and integrated into the whole talent management system – is one that promotes a culture of growth through better coaching conversations and self-improvement efforts. It pays out for years to come, yielding stronger performance, higher employee engagement and longer retention of top performers.
You can bet on that.
Gus Prestera, Ph.D., is president of Prestera FX. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.