Key Competencies of Financial Sales Professionals in the Digital Age - New Zealand
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The nature of selling has altered enormously in recent times due to automation, advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technological progression, permitting companies to automate various skilled positions, resulting in unemployment, substitution of humans and generating a demand for change in competencies. However, there has not been a review which identifies these much-required sales competencies in the digital age within the financial services market of New Zealand. Based on personal interviews of six professionals, this research recognizes 18 competencies, which are essential for entry-level graduates, as well as for an experienced financial sales professional (FSP). The results indicate that overall relationship-building skills, experience and knowledge competencies are the key factors that make an individual suitable for a financial sales role. However, there are other knowledge, skills and attributes (KSAs), like global skills, competencies to connect, initial selling competences and ethical sales behaviours, that are considered of great importance. The study mentions the new automation and technologies in the financial market that are likely to affect sales roles and thus KSAs of FSPs. The paper highlights the need to evaluate the current sales training programmes and illustrates that modifications in training modules for sales employees are vital. A significant contribution of the paper is to provide FSPs, their coaches, and sales managers with a checklist of 18 key competencies to aid in recruiting and developing talent to succeed in the complex digital marketplace of New Zealand.