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Business Secretary welcomes sales leaders to Westminster

24 April 2018  
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Sales leaders from the Association of Professional Sales (APS) have been welcomed at Parliament by the Business Secretary who spoke passionately about the sales profession and invited them to contribute to the government’s strategy on the future of British business and industry.

Greg Clark MP was speaking at the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sales.

At the landmark event, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said he wanted to engage the sales profession with the work his department was doing to help strengthen British business and industry.

Greg Clark explained that innovation, skills and infrastructure were all key to make sure the UK was competitive in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and he spoke with enthusiasm about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data. The Cabinet Minister said he was “keen to make sure Sales links in with all the work we’re doing on data analytics”.  On skills, he commented that the right skills and training were essential to be productive and he praised the drive for best practice in the sales profession as promoted by the APS.

Andrew Hough, CEO of the Association of Professional Sales told Greg Clark, and other MPs present, that he wanted the APS to be a global beacon for the sales community and he explained how the Association was campaigning for chartered status.

The cross-party group of MPs was set up by Stephen Kerr MP, a Fellow of the APS.  See more pictures from the meeting.

MPs at this evening’s meeting also heard from APS Fellow Mike Gibson the Head of Account Management at Royal Mail who explained how his organisation’s degree-level sales apprenticeship programme was energising their approach to sales.

Ed Fotheringham, APS Fellow and sales leader at Premier Inn/Whitbread spoke about recruitment and developing a skilled workforce that was proud to be in sales. Rowan Jameson, O2 Telefonica, focused on ethical behaviour in sales which she said was driven by a good attitude and the desire to deliver true value by “putting the customer at the heart of what we do.” Robert Racine, VP of Global Sales Enablement at Wipro and APS Fellow, explained that  competition in the sales industry was ferocious, that good sales skills were essential and that the “APS was the foundation for future success”.

Among the MPs to join this historic first session was Andrea Jenkyns MP who worked in retail sales and is now co-Vice Chair of the sales group. Other MPs spoke of their support for the sales profession, including Maggie Throup the MP for Erewash who worked in sales and marketing in a pharmaceutical company.

Stephen Kerr, who says he is proud to have spent the last 30 years of his life working in the sales industry, believes the profession has been unappreciated at Westminster and the wider world. Establishing the first parliamentary group dedicated to sales is part of Mr Kerr’s campaign to gain recognition for the vital work of the sales industry and to promote and advance the profession.