Sales professionals in UAE lag behind in 'social selling'

Data from LinkedIn suggests that UAE sales professionals should focus on developing strategic and leadership skills to be employable locally
According to the LinkedIn data, the most in demand sales skills on LinkedIn in the last six months of 2017 were strategy, contract negotiation, and business planning, forecasting and budgeting.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Mon 26 Mar 2018 08:59 AM

There is a strong mismatch between the skills listed by UAE sales professionals on LinkedIn and those being sought by potential employers, according to new data from the professional social networking site.

According to the LinkedIn data, the most in demand sales skills on LinkedIn in the last six months of 2017 were strategy, contract negotiation, and business planning, forecasting and budgeting.

The most listed skills on LinkedIn profiles of sales professionals in the country, however, were business development (32 percent), customer service (32 percent), team management (26 percent), negotiation (26 percent) and sales management (25 percent).

“Our analysis showed that not one of the top skills that UAE sales professionals listed matched the most in demand skills for UAE salespeople on LinkedIn,” said Stefanie Fernandez, head of sales solutions, LinkedIn Middle East and North Africa.

To ensure that UAE salespeople are employable locally, Fernandez added that “they need to focus on further developing strategic skills as well as advanced leadership skills to ensure they are able to be found by potential employers and connect to the right opportunity for them.”

Fernandez also noted that because of the increasing popularity of “social selling” as a sales technique, it is important for UAE sales to have “solid” social media skills in today’s current climate.

Of UAE sales professionals, 32 percent of them are at least manager or above in their company. The LinkedIn data indicated that these senior sales professionals adopt more social selling on LinkedIn, with an average of 43 percent higher Social Selling Index (SSI) – which measures the level of social selling on a 0-100 scale - than average sales professionals.

Compared to sales professionals in the European Union, sales professionals in the UAE do not list ‘social media’ in their skills, compared to 11 percent of sales professionals in Europe who do so.

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Last Updated: Mon 26 Mar 2018 09:52 AM GST

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