Sales people don’t know how to sell

Most sales people struggle to close a deal, research shows

Salespeople in the UK are bad at selling and this is largely due to poor training, a new survey suggests.

Research, conducted by Silent Edge, suggests that while most sales people have good soft skills and presentation techniques, they struggle when it comes to actually closing a deal.

Silent Edge evaluated the skills and attributes of 1000 sales people and marked them out of 100.

The researchers found that UK salespeople look good and have great personalities and are quite capable of establishing a rapport with prospective customers.

They also have a good knowledge of the products and services they are offering.

In fact, in all of the above categories they scored 80% and above.

However, in areas such as closing skills they scored just 46% on average, and when it comes to all essential skills such as objection handling they scored just 30%.

Russell Ward, chief executive officer of Silent Edge, said: “Only one in five deals ever gets closed in the UK today, so vast tracts of the average blue-chip firm’s sales and marketing resource is being wasted.

“In most of the cases we’ve seen, it’s actually more the fault of the training process than incompetence.

“We seem to labour under the delusion that great salespeople are born not made, and as a result, most sales training takes the ‘throw mud against the wall and hope some of it sticks’ format.

“It is often not relevant to the individual, does not take into account individual competency level or motivate them to want to change their behaviour.”

© Crimson Business Ltd 2006

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