Vital role of B2B selling is recognised at Westminster
The importance of business-to-business (B2B) selling for jobs and growth in the UK has been highlighted today at Westminster.
In a debate at Westminster Hall, Mark Pawsey MP called for government support and recognition for the professional B2B sales sector.
The MP, who leads the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Professional Sales, explained that the UK has struggled to recruit and train the B2B salespeople the economy needs, and he urged the government to help.
He said: “As the government’s priorities shift away from job retention and towards retraining people for the skilled jobs of the future, B2B sales must be one of the UK’s top priorities.”
Mark Pawsey also highlighted the selling challenges faced by Britain’s small businesses (SMEs). He said improving sales skills in SMEs, and encouraging more young people to retrain in B2B selling, would speed economic recovery and job creation, help Britain to commercialise its innovations in research and development, and facilitate overseas trade.
In reply, business and industry minister Lee Rowley MP congratulated the work done by the APPG to raise awareness of “this important issue”.
He said his work in business, before becoming an MP brought home to him the value of capable, competent salespeople who he admitted were not easy to find. He understood they needed to master an incredibly difficult skillset, and he commented: “I am in awe of those people who can walk into a room and can sell… It demonstrates that as a skill, it is one that takes many years to hone… It’s hugely important.”
The minister said his department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy “absolutely recognises the importance and the value of business to business selling within the UK.”
And he was encouraging about the campaign by the Institute of Sales Professionals to become a chartered body. He said: “There is huge value in chartered status, and huge value in the accreditation that that gives.” But he urged the profession to make sure that chartered recognition would not create barriers to membership.
In conclusion, the minister offered to meet MPs and sales leaders at a future meeting of the APPG for professional sales to discuss how they can work together.