Just as businesses are never more reliant on high performing sales talent to make the most of the coming economic upturn, glaring gaps have been exposed in UK's pool of sales talent.
Latest research reveals a "shocking" lack of core sales skill sets among industry management where nearly three-quarters of survey respondents admitted they had little awareness of their direct competitors. A further 64% admitted they were not able to assess customer needs adequately.
The survey carried out among readers of Sales Initiative Magazine (SI), the UK's only periodical for sales managers and directors, has prompted the launch of a new manager assessment tool that can be used to accurately evaluate potential sales candidates within 45 minutes.
It will also allow sales management to focus and target sales training where it is most needed. This is available exclusively at www.si-store.com.
SI's study comes in the wake of research by the Aberdeen Group which reveals a surge in companies exploiting two-phase assessment of potential sales talent.
In a survey of organisations reliant on performing sales teams, it found that between 2010 and 2013, pre-hire assessment grew by 21% and post-hire by 6% as more companies realise the worth of quality assessment tools.
It also found that 'best-in-class' organisations were four-times more likely to link both pre- and post-hire assessment data to a candidate's on-going performance to enhance future assessment and management of that individual. The survey report suggests that without making this link, the organisation risks losing any credible method of quantifying the value of candidate assessment.
It's obvious from the SI reader survey data that exposed failings are standing in the way of many organisations seeking to maximise potential in the expected upturn of the UK's economy.
The 2014 UK Sales Skills Audit (USSA) designed by SalesAssessment.com revealed 73% of respondents fell down on “awareness of competitors”; 64% were not up to scratch when it came to “understanding the customer’s needs”; and 55% were below par in the categories “testing and challenging assumptions” and “keeping abreast of new products and services”.
“A shocking 73% of those surveyed did not have the skills to recognise the potential impact competitors could have on the likely outcome of their opportunities,” said Andrew Dugdale, managing director of SalesAssessment.com. “Even worse, 64% of people surveyed did not have the skills to effectively understand their customer’s needs – and there were no highly skilled people in this area.”
To download the complete whitepaper “Are Britain’s sales skills competitive in a global context?” visit: www.uksalesskillsaudit.com
Sales Initiative’s newly formed research body, USSA, has access to over 44,000 UK sales managers and directors and is available for contract research into the sales industry by appointment. Visit: www.UkSalesSkillsAudit.com