Are Britain's Sales Skills Competitive in a Global Context?


A shocking 73 per cent of the UK salesforce have below average awareness of competitors. The 2014 UK Sales Skills Audit (USSA) has probed how well the UK compares to other developed economies. The results highlight that when it comes to driving the economy back to health through increased levels of business and sales, the UK could be doing much more.

Chester, UK, May 20th, 2014: A white paper published jointly today by Sales Initiative and identifies some critical areas for skills improvement across the UK salesforce.

Designed by and conducted in collaboration with Sales Initiative, the confidential USSA covers groups of key sales skills including customer contact, engaging the customer, negotiating and closing, information and activity management, and business skills.

The 2014 USSA surveyed readers of Sales Initiative magazine and investigated just how UK salespeople's skills compare to their international counterparts, contrasting results with professionals in the US, Australia and South Africa.

Andrew Dugdale, Managing Director of, stated: "A shocking 73 per cent of those surveyed didn't have the skills to recognise the potential impact competitors could have on the likely outcome of their opportunities. Even worse, 64 per cent of people surveyed did not have the skills to effectively understand their customers' needs - and there were no highly skilled people in this area.

"What was surprising was just how little training our salespeople are getting in the critical area of 'Engaging the Customer'. This is the key area related to accuracy of sales forecasts, yet it would appear that the least development is put into this area."

UK sales professionals did shine in other areas such as 'Problem Solving', with 74 per cent of respondents recording an above average score, while 65 per cent achieved better-than-average for 'Self Management and Professionalism' but the results overall highlight the requirement for ongoing assessment and targeted training in the area of sales skills.

The USSA is built on an easy-to-use online assessment system and Dugdale believes it could change how skilled sales people are recruited, helping to confirm key skills before interview stage. Additionally, the audit maps to relevant NVQs and is endorsed by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, which will see an increasing number of individuals participating in the USSA independently, utilising their results as a form of personal certification.

To download the full white paper visit

The August 2014 edition of the UK Sales Skills Audit is now open at

About Sales Initiative
Sales Initiative (Si) is the only magazine in the UK dedicated to the professional management of sales. Launched in September 2012, Si now reaches over 12,500 sales leaders and is widely respected as the industry journal for the sales community. In addition to a bi-monthly magazine, Si offers its readers a twice monthly e-zine news roundup, daily news on, and the popular "Sales Resource Superstore" where sales professionals can find hundreds of sales books, training course, DVDs, software, and the newly launched UK Sales Skills Audit (USSA).

About is a ground-breaking business focused on providing highly predictive online sales talent assessments together with the associated talent performance reporting and analytics. In 2011 IDC said "The offering may indeed be the 'Silver Bullet' [for sales effectiveness]"