New sales qualification heralds upgrade of skills across the profession

New sales qualification heralds upgrade of skills across the profession

The Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP) is launching a new sales qualification that promises a fresh approach to learning and development for salespeople across the profession.

Step one has been a revamp of our Level 4 qualification for established salespeople. There will be more changes to other qualifications supporting sales assistants through to sales leaders over the coming months.

The first Level 4 changes will give frontline sellers, who already work in business-to-business selling, the option to pick and mix from a wide range of training units. These modules are designed to support and enhance the work they do now, and to give them valuable new skills for the future. For employers, the new Level 4 qualification is an opportunity to focus on specific skills which will benefit their business, as well as offering career progression for their salespeople who will receive an externally verified and independently recognised qualification.

Over recent months, the ISP has reviewed and updated its complete suite of Level 4 learning units. There are now more than 30 different modules for salespeople to choose from giving them the chance to learn new skills across the full sales lifecycle. Previously there were eight units and two qualifications at Level 4.

The variety now on offer will let salespeople choose where they want to focus their professional development without committing to long training programmes in areas which might not be appropriate for their job.

The new-look qualification includes:

:: Developing commercial and financial acumen
:: Building and maintaining sales relationships
:: Pipeline management and forecasting
:: Negotiating and closing sales

The Level 4 qualification is one level higher than an A level and is equivalent to a certificate of higher education. A degree qualification is Level 6.

The new qualification also sets up a career path to leadership and management, through to a master’s degree at Level 7. Step by step, with the guidance of ISP qualifications, sales leaders and managers will be able to obtain the skills and qualifications they need as their career progresses.

Sales leaders are often promoted because they are good salespeople, not necessarily because they have the knowledge and skills to lead a team. Our Level 4 qualification starts this process for new sales leaders so they can develop leadership and management skills before progressing to Levels 5 and 6.

Over the next six months we are reviewing our Level 2 and 3 qualifications. Then in January 2024 we will update Levels 5 and 6 – all with the same vision to improve skills across the profession, build strong relationships with customers and boost business revenues.

Dan Hodgetts, head of education at the ISP, said: “We know that acquiring recognised sales qualifications is increasingly important for professional salespeople and their employers. Investing in professional development is good for staff and business success so it is important for us to make sure we offer qualifications that are relevant for salespeople and their organisations.

“Our new Level 4 has more than 30 subject-areas on offer so salespeople can work on the skills they need to support their day-to-day sales role.”

“More changes are to come from Level 2 through to Level 6 and we are confident that our new-look qualifications will help build expert sales teams with educated, knowledgeable sellers at all levels from sales reps to sales leaders.”

Patrick Joiner, ISP managing director, said: “Thanks to Dan and the rest of our talented education team we are confident of delivering a targeted suite of qualifications that will benefit salespeople, employers and their customers.”

“Our driving force is to improve skills, knowledge and ethical behaviour across the sales profession, helping salespeople improve the way they work and build strong, trusting business relationships.”

“Our qualifications are built on these essential foundations of good selling, and our revised modules will focus on a wider range of specific skills to make sure they are even more appropriate. These new qualifications will allow salespeople and their employers to choose which subject areas to study to support their customers and their businesses.”

For more information on our sales qualifications, please contact

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