Being ‘competent’ used to mean ‘good enough’. But in the world of business, it has become much, much more

„As customers are getting better informed, and products and services are perceived as increasingly similar, it is no longer enough to just deliver high-quality products and services”

The 24th November saw leading executives from around the world gather for this year’s Sales Conference. And as always, there was one big theme. And this year that theme was ‘trust’. But how do we build trust? In the ‘Future State of Trust’ report we identified 6 key dimensions critical to the process – and one of those was…’Competency’

Why ‘Competency?

If someone hires you to do a job, they don’t only want a good product or solution, they want to be assured you know what you’re doing and that you can create value beyond the product. This is competency – believing the other party has the skills and experience to fulfil their part of the contract. 

It’s built upon the ability to understand and listen to the customer, the quality of educating and inspiring the customer to change, the understanding of the customer’s industry and the creation of customer unique solutions. Competency isn’t just about having the minimum skills to meet obligations – it goes way beyond that, being able to actively demonstrate that you have the specific abilities which will add genuine value to the product or service you deliver.

“A sales representative must be considerably better informed, be aware of things that the customer is not aware of, challenge the customer, and be more of a consultant or business developer than a sales rep. For most respondents in our survey, this is critical for future success”

The Future State of Sales Report

So how do you build it?

If sales previously focused on identifying problems, confirming problems, and then communicating value, the focus today is more aptly on anticipating the customer’s problem and creating value (beyond the product) through interaction with the customer. From our research, we have identified 4 main building blocks critical to establishing this sense of competency in the eyes of the customer:

  • 75% of respondents said “Be proactive and listen to the customer”
  • 66% of respondents said “Educate, inspire, and challenge the customer to change”
  • 65% of respondents said “Demonstrate deep understanding of the customer’s industry”
  • 64% of respondents said “Create customer unique solutions

It’s clear that sales are becoming increasingly more customer value oriented. Seller-centric organizations do not build trust. Customer-centric ones do. And when you build trust, sales increase.

What next?

This year, Mercuri Research presented their annual report based on a global survey of over 1,000 business leaders. It dissected what we actually mean by trust, breaking it down into its component dimensions and pointing out the real world impact of building trust from a business perspective. It offers guidance and suggestions as to how business leaders can find new opportunities, create better, longer lasting client relationships and find new ways to establish long term growth. The report looks at the topic of ‘trust’ as a whole and also examines dimensions such as ‘competency’ in granular detail.

“Only 43% of respondents say their organization is excellent at demonstrating competence e.g. delivering the right expertise and solutions to fulfill their part of the contract”

Henrik Larsson Broman

And with 99% of business leaders surveyed saying that “trust is critical to building long term relationships with clients”, how we get to that point is more important than ever. So, if you’d like to learn how to let your customers trust you – and build meaningful relationships with you – why not download the report or get in touch today?