Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Education & Training – Sales Survey 2014

Aaron Wallis has recently undertaken the largest sales survey of its type which explores changing trends within the industry as well as a powerful insight into the minds of sales professionals.

With 62 questions answered by 726 completely anonymous sales professionals we have captured some impressive results helping us promote professional sales, raise awareness and gain a firmer understanding on how to succeed in sales teams.

Here we look at results regarding Education & Training. To receive a full free copy of the 2014 UK Sales Survey please follow this link – 2014 UK Sales Survey Report

Gaining a qualification to show your expertise is important and significant as it increases your chances of becoming more marketable and is a prerequisite in many industry sectors, such as engineering, to gain credibility with target clients. 

Unsurprisingly there was a correlation between education and higher earnings which we will cover in the remuneration section.

This survey demonstrated that the majority of sales workers had some form of qualifications to state their expertise in their chosen field with 71% staying in education beyond secondary school.
The participants who took this survey were various ages; in today’s society, the minimum age for leaving school is 16 whereas in the 1950s, the minimum age was 15.
In 1950, merely 30% of 15 year olds, 14% of 16 year olds and only 7% of 17 year olds were still in full-time education whereas;

In 2010, 88% of 16 year olds and 17% of 17 year olds were still studying full-time.

This survey indicated:      

  • 29% of workers had some form of qualifications from their Secondary school.
  • 27% of workers had received a HND or HNC qualification
  • 25% had earned a Bachelor's Degree.
  • 10% has a Master's Degree.
  • 1% had a Doctorate.
  • 8% had professional qualifications.
Few  people went to universities in the 1950s, in fact, a measly 2% attended, while others left their full-time education to work in offices, factories and other laborious jobs. In modern day’s society, education is more crucial as employers as looking for outstanding degrees that will turn their heads and let’s face it; job positions are becoming more competitive so the better the qualification, the better chance of employment.

Unlike elephants, people forget things. Even if you have an outstanding degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll remember everything about the subject; it is very much like a job, if you don’t practice your skills, you’re more likely to neglect your potential performance.

Training days are mental aerobic sessions for your mind; the courses are designed to keep your brain healthy, focused and active, inevitably enhancing your work’s performance. They say ignorance is bliss, which is why in sales, you rarely see a happy worker!

  • However, a quite staggering 36% of workers do not get any training days in their current role.
  • 18% had a maximum of 2 days training.
  • 9% received 3 days of training.
  • 11% were given 4-5 days for training.
  • 6% received between 6-7 training days per annum, and;
  • 20% received more than eight training days in the last year.
From this, only 341 people (47%) felt they received enough training for their job while a staggering 385 people (53%) disagreed and felt more training was needed.

This and previous surveys showed that the greater the worker’s training, the higher the performance and the longer length of service within their employer.  So, it could  be argued from this data that training retains staff and they then perform to a greater level than those that do not receive the training.

Interestingly though, the UK has more opportunity training compared to workers in Ireland. Only 10% in Ireland compared to a larger 14% of the professionals in UK received more than eight days of training per annum. The more training that is taken, the higher the probability of reaching those frustrating targets. Additionally, those who do not get the training privilege, it is the DIY approach as it’s the only way forward. Although it is putting those employees in the deep end, they either keep referring to what they know without learning anything new and either ‘sink’ or take the initiative to better themselves and ‘swim’. The best self-help method is always the one that’s been going for donkey’s years, which is reading. Good old-fashioned reading about how to improve your sales ability will, in fact, benefit some people; it’s the whole rigmarole of being bothered in the first place!

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

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