18 Feb Sharples Group MD at Westminster
David Griffiths, Sharples Group Joint MD, attended the 4th All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sales held at Portcullis House, Westminster on 11th February 2019.
16th October 2019 Update:
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Sales has just published its report on the role of sales in increasing the productivity of SMEs.
Our MD David Griffiths MSc who contributed to the Report says:
“All business starts from the sale of a product or service. With SME’s in the UK providing 51% of GDP, can you imagine the effect it would have on entrepreneurs if they had access to resources that support their sales and leadership function, plus the recruitment and development of sales professionals?
“Launched under the watchful eye of Stephen Kerr MP who himself comes from a background in sales, we also heard from Kelly Tolhurst MP who is the minister for small business, consumer and corporate responsibility, who also ‘fell’ into sales early in her career and embraced formal training later on.
“This report together with the Association of Professional Sales aims to lobby government to provide formal training programmes from grass roots level so that individuals can make a clear choice for sales as a career, and one which is represented by 10% of the working population.
“Let’s Get Britain Selling!”
This is first APPG dedicated to recognising professionalism in sales and was set up by Stephen Kerr MP in 2018 to advance the sales industry within the UK. Stephen Kerr, a Fellow of the Association of Professional Sales (APS), spent 30 years of his working life in sales before becoming an MP.
The introduction of the APPG marks an important landmark for the profession.
David, who has a Masters in Transformational Sales Leadership and is also a Fellow of the APS, was invited to share his opinion and offer his first-hand experience of sales and SMEs.
SMEs make a huge contribution to the UK economy and with over 10% of the UK total workforce being engaged in sales. Like Stephen Kerr, David believes the entire industry can benefit from access to professional qualifications and bodies like the APS.
David completed his Masters Degree in 2016, but with so few Universities not fully recognising sales as a profession and offering professional qualifications, the UK is missing a trick.
Many entrepreneurs run successful businesses through hard work, common sense and dedication, but don’t know where to go to improve their sales performance. David would like to see this backed up with a series of professional qualifications and continuous professional development in much the same way as professions such as Accountancy, Marketing or Law.
Having worked at Sharples Group since he was 19, David successfully completed a multi-million buy-out along with fellow Director Mark Brocklehurst in 2005 and the company continues to go from strength to strength. This is down to the business and ethical acumen of both directors. The company lives by the ethos of Principle Before Profit and recognises that education, training and people development is the most effective way of producing sustainable results in business and developing professionalism.
David said, “The opportunity to speak at the APPG meeting has enabled me to voice the concerns, challenges and also the triumphs of being at the forefront of sales within an SME. We regard the advancement of our team’s professionalism and expertise as critical to our success. And if we can play a wider role in advancing that ethos, we are more than happy to do so.”
As part of Sharples’ ongoing development of its team, the group infrastructure has been strengthened with the recent announcement of the appointment of Steve Lowndes as Sales Director.