Royal Mail’s Graham Davis heads APS executive board

4 March, 2019

Congratulations to Graham Davis, the former head of sales at Royal Mail, who has become the new chair of the Association of Professional Sales, executive board.

Graham was Sales Director at Royal Mail for 12 years, responsible for an income target of £4.3bn, delivered through direct and indirect sales teams.

He is also a Fellow of the Association of Professional Sales (APS) and has been pivotal in helping us to revolutionise the sales industry.

In 2016 Graham took on the role as chair of the APS trailblazer group to develop the first B2B degree level apprenticeship in professional sales. He then led from the front to become the first director to take on a new generation of sales apprentices at Royal Mail.

Graham was voted in unopposed and is taking over the role from Nick Porter, one of the founding Fellows of the APS, who will continue to work with us on our executive board.

Graham commented: “I’m very excited to be working with the APS on the next phase of our growth as we steer the industry towards professional chartered status.

“Our aim is to add value to the profession at all levels and across all sectors. Chartered status is key to this, but as the sales process continues its rapid change, we need to stay ahead by providing the tools and the environment to make sure salespeople are valued by their own businesses and their clients.

“Developing professional salespeople who can act as trusted partners is so important for the prosperity of the UK economy.”

Andy Hough, APS Co-CEO, said: “I am delighted Graham has been elected the new chairman of our executive board. Since the very early days of creating our professional sales organisation, Graham’s support for the APS has been outstanding. He is committed to developing a strong, ethical sales force across all sectors of UK industry and is working with us to achieve chartered status for our profession.

“Graham’s support for the next generation of sales professionals has also been exemplary. He led the way by creating an impressive apprenticeship academy at Royal Mail, taking the bold decision to hire the first cohort of degree-level sales apprentices even before the ink was dry on the agreement with the government’s Institute of Apprentices.

“I know he will continue to be a huge asset to the APS as we work together to build a profession that focuses on standards, trust and education across our industry.

“I would also like to thank our outgoing chair, Nick Porter, for his dedicated service to the APS. We look forward to his continuing input as a Fellow of our organisation.”

Graham Davis – Questions and Answers

Q: Name a couple of sales career highlights.
Graham: Creating a new business team and culture from scratch in response to the then emerging need in e-commerce, delivered £400m in three years. Also, leading the negotiation that secured John Lewis as a key account for Royal Mail.

Q: What’s the best thing about working in sales?
Graham: It’s fun and you feel you’re making a real difference. Companies that don’t have a great sales ethos fail!

Q: What does the APS bring to the sales profession?
Graham: Too many positives to list, but the key elements are: professionalism through creating standards and ethics; helping salespeople and leaders develop their skills and careers; sharing thought leadership

Q: What are you looking forward to achieving or helping to develop as APS chair?
Graham: To continue to grow the APS to enable further investment in areas that really add value to the sales profession and to develop tools and techniques that members use so our value is widely recognised as a sales enabler.

Q: What are the opportunities that lie ahead for the sales profession and the APS?
Graham: Chartered status. As the sales process continues to change we need to find different ways to ensure salespeople are valued by their own businesses and clients

Q: Looking back on your career what advice would you give to your 19-year-old self?
Graham: Recognise earlier that your people are your greatest asset and treat them as such

Q: What three tips would you offer to other sales leaders?
Graham:
1) Empower your people, you’ll be surprised what they can achieve; invest in personal development to help your people be the best they can be every day, this should be as much about the softer skills as the technical ones

2) Recognise that salespeople of today and tomorrow have different values, priorities and goals. Understand and respect these changes.

3) A diverse sales team is so much more effective.

Other articles featuring Graham Davis:

The sales revolution at Royal Mail
March 2018
Read article

First sales apprentices start work at Royal Mail:
October 2017
Read article

Graham Davis explains Royal Mail’s partnership with the Association of Professional Sales and looks ahead to the APS conference.
March, 2016
Watch video