News: Report

Royal awards triumph for APS members

21 August 2020  
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Friday 21 August 2020

Two corporate members of the Association of Professional Sales (APS) have been named winners of the prestigious Princess Royal Training Awards 2020.

Royal Mail and Brother UK were among a select group of companies to receive the award, conferred by HRH the Princess Royal for training excellence.

Royal Mail was praised for its Business to Business Sales Professional (BSc degree) Apprenticeship Programme, based on the apprenticeship standard pioneered by the APS in 2018.

To win an award, organisations must demonstrate that training has had a measurable impact on business performance. Royal Mail were able to show this because their sales apprentices outperformed their sales targets whilst still spending time learning new skills.

Brother UK was commended for developing an employee appraisal toolkit that put learning and professional development at the centre of the company’s system of rewards. Brother has a 60-strong sales team based at their headquarters in Manchester. The whole team has completed professional registration with the APS to achieve our Investor in Sales award for their commitment to ethical selling.

In her citation, Princess Anne said Royal Mail had demonstrated that investing in their people through training and skills had delivered tangible benefits.

The Princess Royal commented: “The commitment of your organisation to the development of your employees, especially during these acutely difficult times and as we aspire to recovery post Covid-19, demonstrates that you will be prepared to play your part in the nation’s economic recovery.”

The degree apprenticeship in B2B sales was first conceived by the Association of Professional Sales. The Association set up and supported the trailblazer group of employers which created the apprenticeship standard in 2018.

Ben Turner, the chief operating officer at the APS, said: “This is great news. The degree level apprentices are a credit to Royal Mail and have proved their commercial importance to the organisation.

"Their sales apprenticeship programme is providing great career opportunities and increasing revenue at the same time, even though the apprentices are spending 20% of their time in off-the-job training.”

André Lahiff, the apprenticeship programme leader at Royal Mail, said: “This is great recognition of the approach we are taking in the continued professionalisation of sales.”

APS chairman Graham Davis, former group sales director at Royal Mail who led the trailblazer group, commented: “This is a huge achievement by the Royal Mail team. Credit should go to Consalia, and Middlesex University and all the others concerned with making the programme a success.

“When this left the trailblazer group it was a great concept. What André Lahiff has achieved in its execution in some very difficult times has been remarkable.”

Phil Jones MBE, managing director of Brother UK, said: “By ensuring the right people with the right skills are making the most of their talents, we have gained a competitive advantage that’s difficult to replicate.

"It gives me a lot of confidence that as a result, our business partners cite Brother UK as one of the best vendors they work with.”

Ben Turner added: “We are proud that membership of the APS is part of Brother UK’s learning and development strategy to increase employee engagement and sales performance. Brother has won this prestigious award three times, showing that CPD is central to their success.”

Click here to see full details of the Princess Royal Training Awards 2020