The importance of knowledge and skills in meeting new challenges in production and distribution is particularly evident in today's market, which is characterized by a saturation of products and strong competition. To be successful in the market, companies must stand out and be creative and communicative. The leading factor in providing these features is the human potential, which represents both opportunities and threats to the operation and development of the companies. For companies involved in sales, especially direct sales, this factor is expressed in the specific competencies of individual employees. The importance of individual competence in direct sales is reflected in the demand for research in this field. This article presents the results of research the author conducted on a group of 455 direct sales vendors that operate in the form of direct sales known as multilevel marketing (MLM). The respondents represented three groups: group I - inexperienced sellers that are starting work; group II - sellers who reach significant sales results; and group III - the leaders that achieve the highest sales results. The article presents the results of two analyses, namely discriminant and correlation analysis. The purpose of the discriminant analysis was to identify the set of competencies that particularly distinguish each group. The analysis was performed to indicate the factors that differentiate the surveyed groups. The purpose of the correlation analysis was to identify the correlation between particular competencies in the surveyed groups. Intercorrelations between the individual competencies were analyzed. The results identified the competences that best differentiate the surveyed sellers groups and also showed that most competencies strongly correlate with one another. The results indicate that by influencing the development of one competency, another set of competencies can be developed. This is an important aspect of the development of training programs for sellers.
individual competencies direct sales multilevel marketing discriminant analysis correlation analysis