CPD: Are salespeople selling themselves short?

 

Why CPD standards are positive for the sales profession.

The skills that exceptional salespeople learn, develop and nurture are priceless. So why doesn’t the UK’s sales profession, unlike other professions underpinned by a unique set of skills and qualifications, have a recognised professional standards body focused on serving salespeople throughout their career?

Why is selling – a profession with a particular skillset that is transferable across sectors, established from the competency of communication and which requires countless hours of practice to master – so undervalued? Could it be that we sales professionals have until now sold ourselves short by underplaying the learning experiences behind our practice?

Most other recognised professions use Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a system and measurement tool to ensure their members continue to be competent in their profession throughout their career. Indeed, in many cases, participating in the profession’s CPD programme is a condition of being able to practice.

Until now, sales hasn’t really been on board with CPD, but things are changing. Employers are seeing the advantages of offering learning programmes of a recognised standard to their sales team, which is something an accredited CPD programme can provide. Employers not only benefit from a more skilled, confident and motivated team, but also improve their attractiveness as a business to work for.

Similarly, salespeople are starting to appreciate how participation in an accredited learning programme is a means of differentiating themselves from their peers.

This increasing interest in learning is both aided and fuelled by the growth in online learning opportunities, which has been accelerated by the pandemic.

Sales training has typically always been delivered face to face, which doesn’t suit everyone’s style of learning or learning needs. Online learning offers greater flexibility, enabling people to study at their own pace and in a variety of ways, by reading articles, listening to podcasts or watching videos. By putting people in the driving seat and giving them control over their own learning, we are seeing a shift in attitude towards professional development among our sales peers.

A leader in sales learning, London School of Sales made a conscious decision to have all its courses independently assessed and accredited by The CPD Certification Service. We did this because we hold ourselves to exceptional standards and want to ensure sales professionals have access to high-quality learning resources that support their ongoing development.

We believe well-crafted, planned, consistent and recognised continued professional development delivers long-term benefit to the learner, employer, customer and our profession.

Vinit Shah

 

We have written a piece for The CPD Certification Service website on understanding your own unique learning style(s) and how you can get the best out of each learning experience.
Read the article.