The 21 New Core Sales Competencies for Modern Selling

by Dave Kurlan – CEO Objective Management Group

Can you name 10 Core Competencies of a great salesperson?  Let’s see, there’s prospecting, qualifying and closing, and then there’s….wow, this is difficult!


For the past 20 years, every Objective Management Group (OMG) sales force evaluation and sales candidate assessment has been tied to 21 Sales Core Competencies.  We constantly improve, update, enhance and perfect the science of evaluating sales forces and candidates.  For all that we do though, I found it disheartening that we had not updated the Core Competencies to reflect the changes that have taken place in selling over the past 8 years.

Today, I’m relieved to report that this summer, for the first time in 20 years, OMG will integrate my revised and updated, new and improved, better than ever, much more relevant, 21 Sales Core Competencies.

Shut up, Dave, and just show us the list already!

Okay, jeez, you don’t have to be so impatient…

Here you go:



Each competency is populated by several or more attributes.  The biggest changes, since our original set of 21 Core Competencies in 1994, are the addition of categories that complement our dashboards as well as the inclusion of Sales Posturing and Social Selling.

It’s worth noting that social selling skills are one of the attributes of Hunting – the ability to find new opportunities – but mastery of the various social selling tools themselves is now a competency.  I’m sure this will cause outrage and debate from those who so strongly promote social selling, but when you look at an entire sales cycle, social selling takes place PRIOR to a first call or meeting, before we can consider whether to enter an opportunity into the funnel or pipeline.

My next statement will cause even more outrage.  In its essence, social selling is really a component of marketing for which many more salespeople are now taking individual responsibility.  They are marketing themselves.


Dave Kurlan is a Thought Leader in Sales, Sales Leadership & Sales-force Evaluations. He is the founder of Objective Management Group (OMG), The pioneers in Sales Force Evaluations & Sales Candidate Assessments. Think Grow Lead (TGL) is the Caribbean & Central America  partner for OMG

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