the hard skills (Product & Technical
knowledge), it is the soft skills
that makes the difference to the business.
the hard skills may get an initial entry
into the customer's organisation, it is
your people skill that will help to get
sustainable business. As most of your
competitors are becoming similar in Technology,
Performance & in many instances Pricing,
it is the soft skills of the front end
(Direct sales & Channel partners)
that will make the difference.
The work ethic, attitude, communication
skills, emotional intelligence and a whole
host of other personal attributes are
the soft skills that are crucial for a
sales person's success. Problem solving,
delegating, motivating, and team building
will be much easier if one has good soft
skills. Knowing how to get along with
people (especially with difficult colleagues
& customers) and displaying
a positive attitude are crucial
the right soft skills one can excel as
I have observed in many organisations,
the importance of these soft skills is
often undervalued. The focus is more on
imparting technical/product knowledge.
These organizations expect sales people
to know; how to behave on the job &
assume that everyone knows and understands
the importance of being on time, taking
initiative, being friendly, and getting
good quality orders. In many unfortunate
instances the sales person is expected
to learn the hard way, 'on the field'.
your organisation has a 'Soft Skills Gap'
you have one or more of the following
conditions, you are facing the soft skills
good at getting new customers, and not
so good retaining them.
have a high sales staff turnover and
have to keep retraining people.
you have lots of managers but no real
experienced sales people don't share
knowledge with the new recruits.
are in a situation where, the rich knowledge
& experience is rarely documented
& shared as a systemic process;
resulting in a condition where employees
learn but not the organisation.
fact, whenever you are unable to capitalize
on the wealth of knowledge, experience
and proficiency within your sales team,
its time to assess the level of communication
and interpersonal skills.
important for the senior management to
recognize the vital role soft skills play
within your team and not only work on
developing them within yourself, but encourage
their development throughout the organization.
the today's sales force, soft skills are
increasingly important & should be
given equal importace as the hard skills.
It's just not enough to be knowledgeable
only in technical skills. Interpersonal
and relationship-building skills that
help people to communicate and collaborate
effectively are equally important.
an increasingly interconnected world,
you cannot do everything by yourself !