The results of our first reader survey on customer relations are in with one shocking revelation – UK sales leaders admit they are poor communicators!
For despite 60.25% of respondents being at or above average in customer contact skills, the majority of sales leaders confessed to being below average ability (51.3%) and some 21.6% marked themselves very low in communicating.
Customer contact is defined as the skills required to effectively engage the customer in conversation and start the process of qualification, with the objective of gaining an understanding of the customer's needs.
We broke this down into four sub-skill areas:
1. Using probing questions: the ability to maintain a clear picture of what information you have and what information you are missing, such that you can formulate and ask appropriate probing questions that plug the knowledge gap. This requires a combination of understanding, analysing and interpreting information in real time. This was the best sub-skill area with 62.1% of people being at or above average.
2. Advising the customer: the ability to guide the customer through the use of consulting techniques. It covers a range of approaches from offering information through to making recommendations. This requires knowledge of the customer's requirements or challenge. It also requires understanding, communication, using judgement, selecting approaches, using empathy creating rapport and influencing. This area was also good with 56.7% of people being at or above average in this area.
3. Spotting opportunities: are the skills required to effectively identify good opportunities and position the value to the customer. This was also a good area with also 56.7% of people being at or above average in this sub-skill.
3. Communicating: is the ability to convey information and ideas so that customers and others understand the message. This involves the ability to express the message clearly, using a range of techniques to help others understand the information. It involves skills of 'active listening', summarising information and using language which is familiar and acceptable to the audience who may have a variety of cultural and knowledge backgrounds.
This was the weakest sub-skill area with the majority of people being below average (51.3%) with 21.6% marking themselves as very low in communication skills.
Now you can help us all understand the strengths and weaknesses that exist in modern UK sales leadership by getting involved with our latest survey on customer engagement by using our confidential free assessment tool at: http://www.sales-initiative.com/training/Assessment