Professional Sales Apprenticeship

By Lisa Clark,

People Development Specialist

12th January 2017

It’s rare to find a business that doesn’t engage in some sort of selling. Employers are recognising that as their customers become more knowledgeable and sophisticated so the demand for higher level sales skills also grows. Another truism is the one about good sales people needing a range of skills.


Skills required by Sales Professionals

  • Key Skills: problem solving, communication and application.
  • Occupation specific skills: customer service, selling, negotiating and influencing, analysis and decision-making, and management skills.
  • Knowledge: of product, business and finance. 
  • Personal skills: creativity, determination, resilience and many more.

Good sales skills are vital to the success of any business yet training is mostly restricted to short courses. There doesn’t appear to be a nationally-recognised Apprenticeship for Professional Sales.

I believe we need to look at one under the Trailblazer initiative.


A Trailblazer is defined as a group of employers developing apprenticeships standards specific to job roles in their sector.

The standards created can be completely new (i.e. for job roles that have never had an apprenticeship programme before) or can evolve more gradually and replace existing apprenticeships frameworks for specific occupations. 

I would very much like to share first thoughts on this with informed local business people, initially as an informal sounding board which could eventually form the basis for strategic roundtable to shape a professional sales apprenticeship (at Levels 3 and 4).

This would be ground-breaking nationally and particularly pertinent in Hertfordshire, where data from Herts LEP suggests that 51% of local businesses aim to compete on service and value not price alone.

Working in partnership, a dynamic employer group can shape the skills agenda so that training providers deliver relevant skills that industry needs to grow their business.

In parallel, I’m pioneering the creation of a Hertfordshire-based professional sales training academy to deliver against these new frameworks. It will offer leading edge, hi-tech sales skills training with support of successful sales people and entrepreneurs, offering measureable ROI. More information regarding this exciting new provision will be discussed as part of this process.


Your involvement will be especially of importance if your business is considering:

  • How to achieve ROI from levy funds: hiring apprentices or using funds to up-skill your existing staff
  • Increasing sales capability: increasing revenue through developing professional selling capability
  • Improving customer loyalty: developing communication and internal sales skills across your business

To get involved please contact:

Lisa Clark

T: 07967176571