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Competency Model

Many larger organisations with dedicated Human Resource (HR) Departments will align Position Descriptions (PDs) for sales jobs with a set of core competencies.

A competency model is a description of skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to perform a specific job effectively. Competency models are important because PDs and performance expectations can become quickly outdated. With competency models, job expectations can stay aligned with current job requirements or adapted to meet any future demands.

The following explains specific sets of competencies that employers focus on:

Functional Competencies

[Definition of what a person actually knows] These competencies typically define one function from another and are often learned in school or on the job. They reflect the primary knowledge employers are looking for when hiring and developing sales people.

Leadership Competencies

[Definition of how a person behaves] These attributes or competencies typically define how a person applies their leadership skills and are a direct reflection of their personal leadership style.

Supervisory Competencies

[Definition of how a person behaves in a supervisory role] They outline the fundamental behaviours required to supervise and lead a group of people.

Do You Have The Right Competencies?

Competencies are gained through a multitude of ways with each contributing in their own way to job competence in a salesperson:

  • Life experience
  • Formal education
  • Trade apprenticeships
  • On the job experience
  • Self help programs
  • Training programs

Some sales competencies that might be considered include:

Functional Competencies

  • Communication skills
  • Business acumen
  • Time Management skills
  • Computer skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Product knowledge
  • Selling skills
  • Customer focused

Leadership Competencies / Attributes

  • Charts the course
  • Lives company values
  • Delivers results
  • Motivates & enspires others
  • Resourcefully innovates
  • Raises the bar

Supervisory Competencies

  • Business plan implementation
  • Developing people
  • Leading and influencing
  • Coaching and mentoring skills

How To Demonstrate Your Competencies …

You should list two or three key competencies relevant to the job that you have applied for in your Resume. 


In sales, some key sales competencies might be presentation skills, communication skills, and time management. 

The required competencies may vary between different sales jobs so you will need to adjust your resume to suit the specific job you are applying for each time.  What you need to do is explain how you have demonstrated each of the relevant competencies, providing clear evidence of how you have done so in the past. 

Be very specific, as this is the part of the resume where you are proving your value to your prospective employer. Remember to not only consider Functional competencies but also examples of Leadership & Supervision.

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