Ridgefield, Conn.--Top business-to-business salespeople differ from their less successful peers in seven ``competencies,'' according to a study conducted by Mohr Development, a research-oriented consulting company. The study compared the practices of the top 50% of salespeople with the bottom 50% in 20 companies and uncovered results that challenged traditional notions of effective selling. The seven competencies were: aligning strategic objectives, understanding financial impact, consultative problem solving, establishing a vision, engaging in self-appraisal, listening beyond product needs and orchestrating internal resources. Of the seven, the largest gap between the top and bottom groups was in ``listening beyond product needs.'' Less effective salespeople, the study found, stop after determining expressed client needs, while the others press toward discovering strategic needs and assess client impact.