Landmark initiative to tackle critical shortage of sales professionals

Landmark initiative to tackle critical shortage of sales professionals

The Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP) is launching a wide-ranging initiative to tackle a critical shortage of skilled business-to-business salespeople which has hit all sectors and markets and threatens to hold back the UK economy.

The initiative, called Pathways to Professional Sales, is focusing on three key areas under the following headings:

Inspiring and engaging -
Classroom workshops with school students to raise awareness of business-to-business selling, and to show what a skilled career in professional selling has to offer.

Enabling and developing -
Improving the skills and knowledge of those starting their careers or already working in sales jobs, increasing the number of salespeople joining the profession with degrees or sales qualifications so they have the proficiency, knowledge, and ethical behaviour to build strong customer relationships and successful businesses.

Professional advancement –
Supporting the continuous professional development of working salespeople and sales leaders. Like all good professionals, those working in sales need to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. On-the-job coaching and training can be used in real business situations, improving sales performance and results, and nurturing cohesive and highly effective sales teams.

Click here to read about the Pathways to Professional Sales in more detail.

Patrick Joiner, ISP managing director, said: “Our research – working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Sales in Westminster and the feedback we get from our membership – shows us that, despite the critical role that sales plays in the success of the economy, young people entering the workplace are not attracted to sales as a career and that the professional development offered to salespeople is too often sporadic, reactive and unstructured.

“Sales in general is also handicapped by a reputational legacy which is completely unrepresentative of the hard-working, highly skilled and professional salesmen and women who are the engine room of commercial activity across the economy.

“The ISP exists to promote and celebrate the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct in sales. We work with the best training and educational organisations to offer a structured framework for professional development in sales.

“This framework already encompasses apprenticeships and Ofqual-regulated qualifications as well as a wide range of accredited and endorsed training programmes delivered through our network of Approved Training Organisation partners.

“The development of our Pathways to Professional Sales initiative extends this framework into schools and colleges and supports the development of sales capabilities in the SME sector and in international trade. It enables salespeople to source high quality professional development relevant to their needs from school leavers starting their first job through to highly experienced professionals looking to develop their careers at post-graduate level.”

Sales expert Chris Whyatt, a fellow of the Institute who is leading the pathways project in schools, said: “This important initiative will build on the introduction of sales apprenticeships and degree courses, and the work of our approved training organisations.

“This is a complete series of pathways, from inspiring and engaging school students to become the next generation of sales professionals, through to delivering sales success in large and small businesses.

“Our initiative addresses the recognised shortage of professional sales skills and supports the government’s strategy to fuel economic growth because selling is vital to our economy and public services, creating wealth, and supporting millions of jobs.”


Click the link below to see the three Pathways to Professional Sales in more detail.

Pathways to Professional Sales


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