APS launches expert panel to lobby government on B2B sales
A new parliamentary advisory committee launched by the Association of Professional Sales has its first working meeting today.
The expert panel of leading academics, businesspeople and consultants was set up by the APS to help the Association engage with the government and devolved assemblies to promote the importance of business-to-business (B2B) selling on the UK economy.
The group, known as the Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Sales (Pacs), is supporting the APS mission to:
- Convince the government that sales needs to be regulated by a chartered institute
- Persuade ministers and civil servants to work with industry and academia to provide young people with training pathways into sales careers
- Support British sellers in acquiring world-class sales skills that will help us build new markets overseas
This afternoon's meeting will be addressed by Mark Pawsey MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Professional Sales.
The committee will also hear a presentation from Mark Hart, professor of small business and entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, who was instrumental in developing the government's flagship "Help To Grow" scheme, announced in the February 2021 budget.
Mark Hart is the Deputy Director of the national Enterprise Research Centre and advises a number of UK government departments and devolved administrations on enterprise issues. Mark is also the programme director and academic lead for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme in the UK.
Stephen Kerr, a fellow of the APS, co-chair of the advisory committee and newly elected member of the Scottish parliament said: "We hope this important committee of business experts can do for sales what the Sage advisory committee has done for the government. It will provide a bedrock of informed advice and support, to enable good decision-making and push forward the agenda of the sales profession."
The recent APPG Sales report, Supercharging Sales, published in March, found that good business-to-business selling was the motor that will pull the UK economy out of recession. However, the needs of the B2B sales profession are too often overlooked by the government.
Professional selling - especially at small businesses - needs more recruits, better recognition and wider availability of high-quality, work-based training. Compared to other sectors of business it is widely misunderstood and under-supported by policymakers.
The parliamentary report is calling for action on a number of fronts to support the sales profession and help the UK to do business across the world as an independent trading nation.