Current Inquiry:  Increasing productivity [in UK PLC] by improving sales effectiveness in SMEs.

This Inquiry will characterise the challenges that SMEs have in hiring, developing and retaining the best sales talent for optimising their commercial success.  What are the inhibitors to this?  Is the culture of the founder/CEO a factor?  Do larger companies crowd smaller ones out?  Do SMEs look for the wrong types of commercial leadership?  Do they struggle to make themselves attractive as an employer?  As SMEs are over 50% of the private sector, helping them to be more successful through improving their sales capabilities will have a direct impact on the UK economy.  Please support by completing this survey:

  • Past sittings  (date and witnesses):
    • November 5th –  APS and Warwick Business School (Prof Nick Lee)
    • November 14th – IoD (Tej Parikh) and  Napier University (Dr Tony Douglas)
    • January 28th  – Alison Edgar and Ian Moyse
    • February 11th – Aston Business School (Mark Hart) and Sharples Group (David Griffiths)

The evidence sessions have now concluded.  We will continue to collect insights and data while the report is produced. The release date is estimated to be September.

Future Inquiries:

  • “Selling value for public sector procurement – buying on price drives out innovation and productivity improvements”.
    • When the selection criteria is weighted more than 35% on price, the low price offer will invariably win the bid.  Innovation and quality is then driven out in favour of the lowest price. This can lead to poor lifetime value of the service or product as well as limiting innovation and the ability of smaller companies to compete for business.
  • “The professionalism of sales”.
    • Getting sales to be seen as a positive and aspirational career destination, that attracts ethical and high calibre people.  How AI and technology will impact the profession.  Good selling delivers value for the buyer – they acquire something of benefit to themselves or their employer.  If sales had a better reputation then more business could be transacted, increasing the collective value gained by the buying community.