of the UK’s top salespeople explore the sales profession at the
Ricoh Arena, in
The conference was organised by the Institute
of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM), the UK’s professional
body for salespeople. Michael Portillo, the former
Conservative Cabinet Minister, started with ‘The Importance of
Selling in Today’s Economy’. He said "The British and other western
economies are in crisis because the current recession is unusual.
This recession is like the Depression of some 80 years ago which,
like this crisis, was born of financial - notably banks' -
"Of course, 'recession' and 'boom' are generalised expressions," he
said. "For example, despite this country currently experiencing a
'debt crisis', there are people in the UK who are not in debt.
These people are currently not spending - not because they don't
have the money but because they don't have the confidence to
"But even in an economy that’s not growing, you can still battle
for market share - especially via brand differentiation,"
Sales has taken a shift from the usual way of
operating: telephone, visit, discuss and decide, to customers
researching online and creating shortlists of sales training and
recruitment providers. The importance of developing a brand online
has become more imperative due to the fact that prospective clients
make more use of information online before making an inquiry.
Businesses have to engage with the customer earlier with social
media, search engine optimisation, or Pay per click
Stephen Wright, the ISSM's Commercial
Director, commented: "In the current economic climate, successful
selling is more
important than ever. With the sales profession in the UK
becoming increasingly 'knowledge driven', it's important to
recognise the profession's growing status.”