News: Report

MPs and sales leaders discuss next steps to develop profession

11 June 2018  
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There has been more important progress in developing the future of the UK’s sales industry at the second meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sales.

The cross-party group of MPs was joined by members of the Association of Professional Sales (APS) to set out the group’s objectives. The parliamentary group was founded by Stephen Kerr MP, a Fellow of the APS.

Stephen, who chairs the group, plans to run its meetings on a similar model to parliamentary select committees, with evidence and enquiries from sales and industry. This will involve having panels of MPs and hearing evidence.

It was made clear that contributions from sales people across the industry would be welcome to help develop the government’s industrial policy and build an export strategy to support small and and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Brexit ready

Stephen said: “The APPG on Sales can become a pulpit for us to broadcast informed debate about which way the sales profession should be going, what the government should be planning, and what SMEs should be doing to prepare for trading after Brexit.”

During the meeting, the following areas were considered:
:: The recognition and promotion of sales as a first-class profession
:: Obtaining chartered status for professional salespeople
:: Improving sales skills in SMEs and start-ups to promote stronger growth in this community
:: Sales apprenticeships and building sales skills and education across the industry

And Andrew Hough, the co-CEO of the APS, commented: “We want to give out a message that all MPs can take to their constituencies, to talk to small businesses about how to help them increase their revenues and their sales skills.”

Following the meeting, Graham Smith, APS relationship director, said: “We discussed how the APS as the secretariat can engage our members, MPs, civil servants and other guests to provide evidence on the key themes where we want to affect change to elevate the sales profession.”

APS work is noticed

“Lots of new ideas were discussed including the possibility of off-site visits by MPs in the group to understand current sales challenges that businesses are facing.

“Our work via our sponsor and APS Fellow Stephen Kerr MP is really getting noticed and there is a great will to elevate the sales profession by improving skills and education provision, reviewing procurement practice and supporting SMEs, in particular with their export strategy.”

And Graham invited sales professionals to have their say at future events: “It is time to get on board and support us to help shape the future of the sales profession for everyone’s benefit.”

The officers of the parliamentary group on sales are as follows:

Chair – Stephen Kerr MP
Vice-chair – Martyn Day MP
Vice-chair – Andrea Jenkyns MP
Secretary – Hugh Gaffney MP
Treasurer – Mark Pawsey MP