Professional selling is focus of new Parliamentary report

Stephen Kerr MP, APS Fellow, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Sales

Monday 30 September, 2019:

A fresh approach to professional selling could unlock one of the UK economy’s most intractable problems, a report to parliament is expected to reveal.

The report, which is being launched by Stephen Kerr MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Professional Sales, will look at ways of increasing the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by developing sales expertise across the sector.

If every SME in Britain increased their productivity by just a few percent, it would transform the UK economy and lift the living standards of British workers. According to the Bank of England, closing that SME productivity gap could boost the economy by around £270bn.

But one of the many challenges faced by SMEs is in hiring salespeople with the right skills and developing and retaining their services.

“Large enterprises have the infrastructure to develop talent within their companies such as HR. This resource simply isn’t affordable for SMEs who can waste valuable time and resource trying and quite often failing to manage sales in an appropriate way,” said David Griffiths, an SME director who gave evidence to the APPG inquiry.

“Whilst SMEs can still have highly effective teams, sales education would greatly assist in making these teams more successful. Speaking from experience with my master’s [degree], the awareness that I developed for myself, and the benefits it has brought to my sales team and the business as a whole are numerous,” said David, director of Sharples Group, print management services in the North West.

The report will be launched in Parliament on Wednesday, October 16.

Guy Lloyd, chair of the APS Advisory Board and liaison to the APPG for Professional Sales, commented: “We are looking forward to launching the report and working with government to focus on developing professional sales across the economy. A strong sales function is the lifeblood of a company – without income there is no business, no employment, no economy. Small and Medium Enterprises are particularly challenged to build and maintain high performing sales functions.

“SMEs are the bedrock of the UK economy, employing 60% of private sector workers and creating 51% of the GDP. SMEs tend to be more innovative than larger companies, creating new products and services, disrupting the status quo enjoyed by larger enterprises

“If we can help SMEs become better at sales, then UK PLC will see a huge uplift in productivity and prosperity.”

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.

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