Competency Framework

The Skills You Need to Succeed

In a rapidly changing sales environment, what sets top performers apart isn’t luck or timing. It’s a solid understanding of what success in sales looks like today, and the skills, knowledge, tools and resources to make it happen.

Essential sales skills – identified and refined by industry leaders – are the foundation of all CPSA designations, from Certified Sales Associates to established Certified Sales Professionals and Certified Sales Leaders who are stepping into the future of sales.

Ongoing development and competencies in these key areas are essential to success in today’s complex, competitive marketplace:

• Prospecting

Gathering and synthesizing client and market intelligence, aligning strengths and weaknesses towards creating solutions, and developing, implementing and following an action plan based on strengths, weaknesses, competition and trends.

• Client Relationships

Creating lasting relationships from new or existing clients by establishing rapport, communicating effectively, and conducting successful meetings.

• Client-Focused Solutions

Providing solutions that meet the needs and expectations of clients by understanding their challenges. Being adaptable, understanding trends, handling objections and thinking on the spot.

• Negotiate and Close

Working with unforeseen changes and situations, understanding financial and legal essentials, and being clear on the terms of sale to support success in consolidating a sale.

• Follow Up

Managing client expectations, milestones and timelines, strengthening client relationships, and building a foundation for future sales by being adaptable and flexible in unforeseen circumstances.

• Business Acumen

Possessing the general business skills to be effective and stay nimble throughout the sales cycle, including financial and legal basics and product knowledge.

• Process Technology

Being familiar with sales technologies, staying current with industry trends, and learning and implementing new skills.

• Professional Conduct

Professionalism, ongoing development, and adaptability of one’s personal brand and selling style to ensure continued relevance in fast-evolving markets.


To learn more, download the Sales Competency Framework.