The APS launches in Scotland with a conference in Aberdeen

Erik Nelander, President Industrial Sales Europe, Middle East & Africa, SKF addresses the APS event.

Monday 30 September, 2019:

As part of our campaign to bring salespeople together by building local sales hubs around the country, the Association of Professional Sales (APS) has officially launched in Scotland.

Thanks to our partners at SKF in Aberdeen for hosting the launch event which gave sales professionals the opportunity to meet, share ideas and strengthen their local networks by building contacts with like-minded sellers from other industries.

The half-day conference included five presentations from keynote speakers who addressed a wide range of sales challenges, from selling mindsets to football.

APS corporate partners, Schlumberger – the world’s largest oilfield services company – explained how they were empowering their sales teams by encouraging them to take full control of their career progression.

Their development programme, known as Schlumberger Eureka Professional Careers (SEPC) – Sales, is built on qualifications, competencies and business results and the company has seen an increased motivation to sell.

Erwins Castillo, Sales Lead at Schlumberger Drilling and Measurements, told the audience that the internal, Schlumberger qualifications were also being validated by the Association of Professional Sales. Erwins said: “In the effort, to make what we do – sales – a professional career, this is very important. It is something we can show the world. It is an external qualification that comes from our programme.”

Since Sven Wingquist invented the world’s first self-aligning ball bearing in 1907, SKF has developed a unique understanding of machine components and industrial processes. Now the company works to reduce friction by making things run faster, longer, cleaner and more safely. By doing this in the most effective, productive and sustainable way it contributes to SKF’s vision of a world of reliable rotation.

In his presentation, Erik Nelander, President, Industrial Sales EMEA at SKF, explained how a 112-year-old, traditional industrial company is using new technology and digitalisation to drive sales and market activities.

Erik described digitalisation as a “paradigm shift.” New technology helps SKF to be closely aligned to their customers’ needs. Instead of a drive to sell more, the focus is to keep customers’ machine plants running efficiently with a minimum of down time. That way, says Erik, “We have a joint interest. You need to work on the value-change, to help the customer to improve the performance.”

In a presentation about four selling mindsets, Philip Squire, CEO of Consalia – the sales transformation consultants – shared insight into “how customers want us to sell to them” with authenticity – being honest, credible and dependable; with client centricity – being interested, knowledgeable, and dedicated; with proactive creativity – being forward-thinking, strategic and reflective; and with tactful audacity – being daring, challenging and unconventional.

Victoria Withy, Director, The Clique Consultancy, explained how, when business development, and sales and marketing, and their teams work together, your business should see increases in profitability and repeat business and success.

And Anna Mackenzie, the Commercial Manager for Aberdeen Football Club, talked about maintaining sales in the world of football where a win, draw or loss can have a dramatic effect on buyers’ sentiments.

Graham Smith, APS Head of Corporate Success said: “The APS is campaigning to give salespeople a voice around the UK, so we are delighted to have had our official Scottish launch in Aberdeen. We believe that building networks and local sales hubs around the country will give salespeople a vibrant, supportive community.

“This event was a great opportunity to get insight from other professionals working across different sectors. The APS has many members in Scotland and thanks to our partners at SKF, this was our chance to invite them to meet without travelling long distances or taking time away from the office. Here’s to the next one!”

Donald Howieson, Business Manager, SKF, commented: “What an interesting event: a structured sales career programme; shared experience on selling chocolate and dog food in New Zealand; digitalisation and transparency in industrial sales; opening our minds to bias and personal values; and how we can all learn from sport, win lose or draw!

“The APS, inaugural Aberdeen event had it all. Five engaging speakers, on-topic, and thought provoking. Well worth taking a morning out to learn from sales professionals from other industries.”

About the APS:
The Association of Professional Sales is the leading authority for salespeople, a not-for-profit organisation reinvesting in the sales profession to build standards, trust and education. The APS is engaged with MPs to promote ethical, professional selling across UK businesses and has worked with the government, business leaders and academics to establish sales apprenticeships up to degree and master’s level. We are also campaigning for chartered status to give skilled, ethical salespeople the same recognition as other professions like accountants, architects, and engineers.

Click here to see the benefits of joining the APS.

Click here to see what APS members say about the Association.