LinkedIn Data Reveals Skills Mismatch for Sales Professionals in the UAE

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  • UAE sales professionals list more relationship-based sales skills in their LinkedIn profiles
  • Data reveals Skills Mismatch between sales skills UAE employers are seeking and skills being listed on LinkedIn
  • In addition, data shows an increase in social selling through the platform

An in-depth analysis by LinkedIn about sales professionals in the UAE has revealed key supply and demand issues within the UAE sales job market, stressing the need for UAE sales professionals to develop more ‘hard skills’. Comparing the top skills listed on LinkedIn profiles for sales professionals in the UAE with professionals in Europe, UAE sales professionals list more ‘relationship-based sales’ skills in their profiles. The data reveals a clear mismatch between skills listed and in demand skills that employers are seeking from candidates.

According to the data, sales professionals in the UAE should focus on developing skills in strategy, contract negotiation, business planning, forecasting and budgeting which were the most in demand sales skills in the UAE in the last 6 months in 2017. In comparison, the most listed skills on LinkedIn profiles in the UAE are business development (32%), customer service (32%), team management (26%), negotiation (26%) and sales management (25%).

Commenting on the research, Stefanie Fernandez, Head of  Sales Solutions, LinkedIn Middle East and North Africa, LinkedIn, said: “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. With over 137,000 sales professionals listed on LinkedIn in the UAE, it is vital that they ensure they are employable locally. To do so, 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. In addition with social selling becoming an increasingly popular sales technique, it’s vital that sales professionals have solid social media skills in today’s current climate.”

Of the UAE sales professionals, 32% of them are at least manager or above in their company. The data showed that these senior sales professionals adopt more social selling on LinkedIn – they have on average 43% higher Social Selling Index (SSI) than average sales professionals. (37.4 vs. 26.1). SSI measures the level of social selling on LinkedIn platform, ranging from 0 to 100. Comparing the distribution of SSI in January 2017 compared with 2018, there is an increasing trend in SSI – 16% more sales professionals have SSI of 40 or higher.

Comparing with EU, sales professionals in UAE do not list ‘social media’ as their skills whereas 11% of sales professionals in Europe do so. There is still room for grow in the realms of digital selling.


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