Trump the Salesman

14 October 2016: To gauge the size of the image problem facing the sales profession, we only need glance across the Atlantic. Is this what they think of us? asks Andrew Hough, CEO of the Association of Professional Sales. “Donald Trump is the consummate salesman. Rules, tradition, even the truth are only relevant in so much […]

How sales are won on a battleground of emotions

6 October 2016: Five times Olympic rowing champion Steve Redgrave was once asked how he would react if a competitor was a length up on him at the half way stage in a heat. Redgrave, notorious for rowing every single round of a tournament as if it was the final, even when he only needed to […]

The Association of Professional Sales joins forces with Huthwaite International to focus on skills and training

October 11, 2016: The Association of Professional Sales (APS) is delighted to announce a new partnership with one of the sales world’s leading training, consultancy and research groups, Huthwaite International. Together, the APS and Huthwaite – as our skills partner – will bring fresh insight and research to the profession, as well as working hard […]

APS Webinar: masterclass on territory planning and execution

September 28, 2016: The pressure on sales leaders to achieve profits and growth targets every year is relentless. The chief executive of the Association of Professional Sales today offered a masterclass in how to plan and manage resources to keep hitting your number. From the minutiae of which type of sales person you put into […]

Flying start for APS campaign to drive up standards

September 21, 2016: The autumn campaign by the Association of Professional Sales to drive up ethics and standards in the sales industry has got off to a flying start. The association announced three world-first initiatives at its annual conference earlier this summer, with a system of Professional Registration for sellers, a Code of Conduct, and a […]

How to gain winning habits when bidding

September 19, 2016: Few things are more important than winning new business. The latest research by the Association of Professional Sales shows that some sales organisations perform better than others at the vital process of bidding for work. With average win ratios around the 40% mark, some of the organisations surveyed by the APS were […]

Major milestone as APS apprenticeships get government approval

September 16, 2016: The Association of Professional Sales is delighted to announce that the Department for Education has approved its bid to design an apprenticeship for B2B sales managers. “I am pleased to confirm that you have been given approval to develop an apprenticeship standard covering the following occupation: Business To Business Sales Manager,” said […]

Roll of Honour: The APS Awards 2015-16

September 2, 2016: A young organisation relies on its early supporters to help it get off the ground. The Association of Professional Sales has been blessed with the backing of numerous organisations and individuals, and at the 2016 annual conference CEO Andrew Hough presented awards to some of those who have given their faith, their time […]

Autumn events: learn how to win, to change – and to find the time

September 2 2016: How do you improve your win ratio while keeping in the vanguard of change – and still find time for a personal life? This autumn’s season of talks and seminars by the Association of Professional Sales goes to the heart of the practical challenges facing sales executives every day. After the summer […]

Global shortage of sales expertise, warns APS patron

September 2, 2016: Sales is in the grip of a global shortage of sales people with the right professional expertise, Professor Neil Rackham, the patron of the Association of Professional Sales, has warned. Prof Rackham pointed to the trend towards increasingly complex sales, which require a shift away from the old skills of persuasion towards […]

Opinion: Why ‘talent’ is an unhelpful way to talk about sales people

September 2, 2016: An article in a 1998 McKinsey quarterly titled The War for Talent changed thinking in the corporate world. The human resources community had, for a while, been looking for euphemisms for “recruitment”, after the word had become tarnished. McKinsey’s unleashing of the word “talent” – previously limited to the entertainment business – […]

Your views on Brexit: what sales leaders told our survey

Tuesday, July 5 2016:  Loss of competitiveness, visa restrictions, the risk of HQs relocating to mainland Europe – UK sales leaders have a wide range of concerns in the wake of the Brexit vote, a survey by the Association of Professional Sales has found. Questioned four days after the result of the referendum was announced, two sales executives said they […]

Interview: McKinsey on the power and potential of sales analytics

Monday, July 4 2016:  Bob Apollo, APS Fellow and Managing director of Inflexion-Point, interviewed Homayoun Hatami and Holger Hürtgen of McKinsey about the ground-breaking thinking contained in the extensively revised second edition of Sales Growth – Five Proven Strategies From the World’s Sales Leaders. Featuring an introduction from Mark Benoiff of Salesforce, the book offers a fascinating […]

Comment: SPIN® selling remains highly relevant for the 21st Century

Monday, July 4, 2016:   Professor Neil Rackham, the patron of the Association of Professional Sales, has updated his definition of what makes a top salesperson, but his main insights are as true today as ever, writes Bob Apollo I was intrigued to hear Neil Rackham’s update on SPIN® selling, in which he showed how what is probably […]

Analysis: inside the mind of today’s sales leaders

Monday, July 4 2016:  Sales leaders want to do the right thing by their customers and to leave a legacy to the next generation by professionalising their industry, according to the surprising and heartening findings of instant polls taken at the Association of Professional Sales’s annual conference. The poll results endorse the APS’s moves towards […]

Brexit survey: sales leaders voice concern and look for opportunity

Thursday, June 30 2016:   A majority of sales leaders in the UK believe that they will suffer a decline in business following the decision to leave the European Union. Just under two thirds of those who took part (63%) in a survey for the Association of Professional Sales (APS) said they believed Brexit will have a negative […]

Statement to APS members on the UK leaving the European Union

Friday, June 24 2016: Today’s vote to leave the European Union has left British business facing a period of uncertainty while new trade deals and contracts are negotiated. Organisations often react to uncertainty with an abundance of caution, delaying important investment decisions and putting development on hold while they wait to see what will happen. […]

The Association of Professional Sales launches continuous professional development

  Monday, June 20 2016: The Association of Professional Sales has launched the first ever system of continuous professional development in sales. Industry executives and thought-leaders hailed the news as ground-breaking and the route to true professionalisation. The programme has been led by Ian Helps, the chairman of the APS Sales Professionalism Group. Helps is a […]

Conference 2016 in quotes

On professionalism We have delivered today a continuous professional development framework, the first one that has ever been delivered in sales. Andrew Hough, chief executive officer, Association of Professional Sales There needs to be another level of professionalism, not brought in by outside consultants but from within the profession. That is truly novel. We are […]

Conference 2016 in pictures

See the key moments from conference, attended by 550 delegates and watched live by viewers in 16 countries. “I really felt that the speakers were addressing the issues that mattered to me – it was like they were talking to me personally,” said one delegate.

Conference 2016: Day Two blog

1225: “What a day and a half! My head is spinning,” said the Association of Professional Sales chairman Nick Porter as he closed the 2016 conference. “It has been a day and a half full of content, and hopefully you have all taken things away you can take back to your jobs and start using […]

The Association of Professional Sales makes four announcements

Tuesday, June 7, 2016:   The Association of Professional Sales is leading the agenda of professionalising selling by announcing four key initiatives focused on ethics, standards and development. The plans, unveiled on day one of the APS annual conference, include: 1.     An ethical code of conduct and professional registration of individual sellers 2.     […]

Conference 2016: Day One blog

    1630: Andrew Hough, chief executive of the APS, presents 19 awards to member organisations and APS stalwarts for their support and loyalty. Joe Terry of Corporate Visions concludes the proceedings of day one by inviting delegates to drinks and canapés in the Mermaid Theatre’s Upper River Room. The conference live blog will return […]

APS annual conference: why sales is entering a new era of differentiation

Wednesday, May 18 2016: There is so much information around for the customer these days that it is has become hard for the sales professional to stand out from the herd. Equivalent cars look and perform alike; business software packages make similar promises of function and advantage. And sales people are often viewed with uniform […]

Sales transformation: one manager’s success against all odds

Tuesday, May 10 2016 You can’t help but admire SAP sales manager Paul Devlin’s guts. Out in Dubai facing the most desperate challenge of his career, against all odds and with his team complaining that the job was impossible, the genial Glaswegian pulled off one of the most stellar examples of sales transformation of recent […]

Challenger™: the sales method where the customer isn’t always right

Friday May 7, 2016: When business development software company SAP decided to retrain its 6,000 account executives and sales managers in the techniques of Challenger™ selling, it meant unlearning centuries of sales tradition based round agreeing with the customer. The Challenger model starts from the premise that the most successful salespeople are those agile and responsive enough to teach their clients something […]

Sales transformation: bitesize views from the academic, the professional and the marketeer

Wednesday, May 11 2016: New technology and the internet are accelerating change in the sales industry and the need to transform has never been more urgent. But what is the direction of travel and how can sales businesses stay in control of the process of change, rather than end up in the wrong place? Are […]

How diverse and inclusive sales teams are seizing competitive advantage

Wednesday April 27, 2016:  Mounting research suggests that the wider the range of ages and backgrounds in a sales team, the more buyers they attract and the more sales they make. The latest multinational to prove the truth of this is the London-based services company EY, in a huge study that compared the performance of […]

Countdown to the APS annual conference

Wednesday, May 18 2016: Our annual conference is bringing together influential business voices from across the globe to tackle one of the key challenges facing the sales profession – how to stand out, when the products on sale and the companies that offer them are starting to look increasingly similar. Join us to hear a fresh perspective on […]

How sales culture turned one company’s weakness into its greatest strength

Tuesday April 26, 2016:  It was the penalty of success. When software firm Ideagen started buying smaller rivals it found itself repeatedly having to absorb their motley and often demotivated sales teams. The calibre of their work varied alarmingly as many had been over-managed and under-led, chief customer officer Ben Dorks told the APS at […]