I have worked within the sales arena for several years in several different roles.  It was only when I started to work with the ISM that I realised how powerful having a sales qualification was.

I work within the regulated environment of financial services and it is important that I work within the boundaries of the FCA, the governing body. What the ISM qualification enables me to do is demonstrate that I am also an accredited sales professional who is determined to act with integrity and use my skills to sell ethically.  How reassuring for customers and colleagues that the person they are working with has a recognised qualification in sales.

We all know that the sales industry has had some bad press in the past.  It’s an interesting time for sales especially with the introduction of the recently reviewed data protection act and GDPR.  It is ever more important that sales professionals keep up to date with changes in regulation and maintain a level of professionalism that can be demonstrated and checked with the relevant qualifications.

ISM is great at keeping members up to date with current trends but more importantly drives independent studies to help the sales industry evolve and become ever more responsible.

I became a member in 2013 and completed the Level 3 Sales Qualification.  The training was intense, insightful and thought provoking.  It helped me identify my own sales skills and enhance what I knew.  I also learnt new sales strategies that have since helped me in my sales career.  Having the opportunity to work with other members of the sales world and from different industries, it was great to share and discuss ideas whilst learning.

Following the gaining of my professional qualification, I was also nominated for a BESMA award.  What an experience that was!  I was shortlisted and invited to a judging day to present to the judges why I felt I should be the winner of the award.  The day was exceptional, and I absorbed so much from everyone I met.

I had a great panel of judges that put me through my paces and who I am still in contact with today.  They asked great questions, were involved in my presentation and gave me some great initial feedback.

Following the judging day, I was invited to the awards ceremony which was so professionally organised.  With guest speakers and a great atmosphere, I was lucky enough to win an award.  I know that award has helped me demonstrate my skills and expertise and has even helped me get a job.

I would encourage all sales professionals to nominate and get involved in BESMA, it will truly leave you inspired and give you a great experience.  If you are not yet a member of ISM I would recommend any of you within the sales industry to get involved.

Authored and Contributed by: ISM Leader Stella Round