In a dynamic marketplace, the myth surrounding ‘core competencies’ needs to be constantly challenged.
Conventional thinking over the past two or three decades has been that a business’s core competencies should not be outsourced. And by and large the sales function is seen as a core competence.
The frequent claim that ‘sales is core’ speaks more to a lack of clarity about what the business’s true core competence is in the complex and often confusing modern environment, than it does about any validity to that claim.
The starting point for analysing core competencies is recognising that competition between businesses is as much a race for competence mastery as it is for market position and market power. Senior management cannot focus on all activities of a business and the competencies required to undertake them. So the goal is for management to focus attention on competencies that genuinely affect competitive advantage.
Core competencies can become restrictive to growth and development if they are thought of as permanently fixed. Modification may be needed in order to meet changing market and business conditions. Internal business models, processes, cost structures and skill availabilities need to be balanced against what might be achieved with external parties.
The real issue is to look past ‘the way we do things around here’ and to have a willingness to question everything. The reality is that inside a firm it can be difficult, if not impossible, to gain the sort of broad perspective that an external organisation can offer. Outsource organisations like CPM Australia can call on experience across similar and different sectors for inspiration. They also have well developed (because this is a core competence) processes for analysing a current situation and mapping out a better way forward.
Death of the Salesman – reinvent your sales function to create competitive advantage
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