Professional Sales Development

Issue 79

A simple search will highlight pages and pages of sales training tools, videos, tips, webinars and videos. So, in an unregulated industry with no entry criteria, how can you validate the quality and expertise? The adage of 'you get what you pay for' is still true today and is free ever truly free?

Professionalising the sales industry remains our key business philosophy over at our sister company Just Williams as does it at The Just Williams Sales Academy. To do this, we believe in setting an industry standard for entry into the profession of Sales. Creating a minimum standard, a base level of expertise, knowledge, ethical standing, and certification to suit.

For decades the sales profession has struggled to gain authority due to the negative connotations so many still perceive. Only this week I was providing training in-house to a range of business owners looking to scale, who when asked still felt uncomfortable using the word sales, all whilst acknowledging how vital a function it was. We have been championing this cause for almost a decade ourselves now and professionlising an industry essential to us all. For as I say time and time again, you can have the best product or service but if you can’t sell it, well it will remain exactly as it started – an idea.

As I launched Just Williams, I was keen to create a base line and industry standard for myself and so commenced an Executive MBA at Teesside University Business School, with my thesis specialising in the Psychology of Sales. During the extensive research into the subject, I came across the now-named Institute of Sales Professionals the national body for Sales. We subsequently, as a business, launched the Northeast network for sales professionals and were unsurprisingly overwhelmed by the positive response. A number of iterations later, the ISP based in central London is the official national body for Sales and like Just Williams – their ethos is centered around Professionalising the Sales Industry. To join the organisation, individuals are required to pass an ethics exam and agree to a code of conduct to ensure a consistent and applied approach. With thousands of members nationally, we are proud at The Just Williams Sales Academy to be an endorsed training provider through the ISP with all our online modules achieving this important standard.

Sales, like any other profession requires continuous development in both the individual and organisation, to provide a consistent approach, an ethical standard and a base line skill set. Once a base line is achieved, individual professional development utilising a range of resources, both free and paid is essential to ensure knowledge, skill and techniques remain relevant and up to date.

The last year has seen sales professionals stretched and challenged well outside of their comfort zones with new skill sets picked up and selftaught. Now as I hope we all start to acknowledge the importance of the sales function; we can start to change to culture and perception of it for our own salespeople and indeed for our businesses reputation. We can all do this by ensuring our sales teams operate at a national standard (I am yet to hear anyone that doesn’t want this!) and invest in their development. Joining the ISP as a member, attending the numerous webinars, seminars and ensuring your training is accredited and endorsed; connect with a network of likeminded sales professionals and share best practices – these are all great ways of growing, developing and helping professionalise what we do.

On 7th September we will be partnering with Teesside University Business School and the ISP to bring together Sales Professionals from across the North to share, learn, challenge and inspire growth – personal and professional. We will be revealing more information on this very soon but if you want to get involved or if you’d like to find out more about our online and inhouse training in all the areas discussed, contact JWSA@

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