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Core Competencies of Successful Sellers

blog author
Written by Mike Schultz
President, RAIN Group

There are common competencies every organization needs to build a truly successful sales organization.

At RAIN Group, we organize these competencies around the Sales Competency WheelSM.

The Sales Competency WheelSM


At the center of the Sales Competency WheelSM is value. According to our Value-Driving Sales Organization research, sellers who drive value have a higher win rate, are more likely to grow revenue, and retain top sales talent.

Everything sellers do should drive value for a buyer. Note, however, sellers can't drive much value unless a buyer buys something. This is where the sales cycle comes into play.

Sales Cycle

Successful sellers guide buyers through the sales cycle, providing value at every step. Everything connects to value. You must:

As you can see, the entire sales cycle is designed to drive value. Selling, however, is not done in a vacuum, and isn't a purely academic exercise. If you want to put opportunities into the sales cycle—and do well with them—you need to succeed with people.

The next layer of the wheel deals with people. 


Many sales pundits have said that technology will soon replace sales people.

We don't think so.

To the extent that sellers can succeed with people, they will succeed as sellers. To make this happen, sellers must be great at:

  • Developing and deepening relationships with buyers
  • Influencing buyers and driving decisions down certain paths
  • Leading conversations to run the sales cycle well, be influential, and develop relationships


For anything in the Sales Competency WheelSM to happen consistently—and happen consistently well—sellers must succeed with three processes:

  1. Driving account growth: Sellers need to be able to uncover where the biggest opportunities are, how they're going to put them in the pipeline, and how they'll win them (hint: it all comes back to value). Account growth begins with the value you can bring to your account over and above what you're currently doing with them.
  2. Driving opportunities: If you have a big opportunity, you need a process to win the opportunity on the big stage.
  3. Driving self: You need to focus on being the most productive and performance-oriented person you can be.

Making this all happen with energy, enthusiasm, and passion over time comes down to culture, which is the next layer of the wheel.


Your sales culture is the tide that raises (or lowers) all boats. Three key factors that drive culture are:

  1. Sales leadership
  2. Sales management
  3. Sales performance environment

These influencers of culture bring our Sales Competency WheelSM full circle. When sales leadership, sales managers, and your sales environment work together to prioritize value for buyers, results improve.

At RAIN Group, our mission is to help clients unleash the sales potential of their teams as it relates to The Sales Competency WheelSM. If you can build a sales organization that attends to each of these competencies, you'll truly have a sales organization to be envied.

Interested in how RAIN Group can help unleash the sales potential of your team? We'd love to hear from you.
Click here to request a consultation. >>


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Topics: Sales Management