UK SUFFERING SKILLS SHORTAGE: Following MP-led enquiry
An MP-led inquiry is warning that Britain is suffering from a shortage of salespeople and of sales skills.
Much more needs to be done to recruit and train people with strong business-to-business selling skills, to drive the economy out of the recession caused by the Covid-19 crisis, and to find new global trading opportunities outside the EU.
"Much more must be done to recruit skilled salespeople to drive the economy out of recession and to find new global trading opportunities"
The findings of the inquiry are published today by MPs on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Sales. Their report, reveals that job adverts for business-to-business salespeople increased in intensity by 25% during the last 12 months, with employers’ needs for advanced expertise in digital selling going unmet. Lack of capability to sell through digital channels is a barrier to British businesses selling abroad, and needs to be tackled with government support to promote recruitment and training.
- Trade between businesses is hugely valuable to the UK economy, worth an estimated £1.7 trillion annually.
- B2B companies pay nearly £22 billion in corporation tax, and employ more than 10 million people.
In January, B2B selling was recategorised by the Office for National Statistics as a professional occupation for the first time, putting it on a par with doctors and teachers, in recognition of the high level of skills and training required. Yet the B2B sector is routinely lumped in with retail sales in official statistics, although their needs are very different. As a result, opportunities are missed to put in place policies that could meet the growing demand of business for professional salespeople, and facilitate the UK’s B2B trade at home and abroad.
In its inquiry report, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Sales is calling on the government to:
1 Recognise the importance to the economy of B2B selling by SMEs, and its value as a career
2 Encourage more entrants into the B2B sales profession at SMEs through work-based training
3 Inspire more advanced skills in existing B2B salespeople and their managers at SMEs, and promote the uptake of digital sales technology.
Speaking in June 2020, the Prime Minister set out his vision for the UK as an economic powerhouse which depends on our ability to sell the best of British.
Boris Johnson MP said: “We need now a new dynamic commercial spirit to make the most of UK breakthroughs, so that British ideas produce new British industries and British jobs.”
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