Sales industry united: APS merges with ISM

Sales industry united: APS merges with ISM
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The Association of Professional Sales (APS) is merging with the Institute of Sales Management (ISM) to form a single, unified membership body for the sales profession.

In a momentous development for UK sales, the two bodies which have represented salespeople in the UK concluded negotiations this week. The merger will result in a new organisation, which is to be called the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP).

Andrew Hough, the chief executive officer of the APS, said: "This merger is fantastic news for the sales profession. Together we are stronger and can achieve great things.

"The ISP will be able to speak with one clear voice for all salespeople and sales businesses across the UK in the work we do with industry and government.

"We are delighted to welcome ISM members to join us on our campaign to transform professional sales."

The development comes after the ISM went into liquidation. Founded in 1911, and with an illustrious history that included a close association with the future Edward VIII, the ISM hosted the annual British Excellence in Sales Management Awards (Besma), and ran a digital magazine called Winning Edge.

Patrick Joiner, former director of the ISM, said: "I am convinced that this decision is in the best interests of the membership of the ISM, the former shareholders and the sales profession as a whole.

"The new body will be a dynamic, influential, and effective voice. It will more effectively represent the sales profession at a time when we will be on the front line in generating the commercial activity that will lead our economy out of the post-covid recession."

Mr Hough said: "APS and the ISM have always shared the same values. We are both committed to professionalising sales by building skills and knowledge. We both want salespeople to be respected by other professions and by wider society, and we want to recruit the brightest and best to an exciting and well-rewarded career.

"As a unified voice, our campaign for chartership and our advice to government and business organisations will carry even greater authority, helping to ensure that our profession continues to grow in stature and respect."

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