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Grow customer sales teams through apprenticeships

31st Jan 2017
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With university courses becoming increasingly expensive, youngsters are looking towards gaining qualifications through other means. One popular and effective way of becoming qualified and embarking on the career ladder is through apprenticeship programmes.

Apprenticeships are not just advantageous to youngsters by offering them work experience, a qualification and ultimately employment, but they are also beneficial to employers, and none more so than customer sales teams.

Good sales teams are always in demand, as a strong sales force typically equates to business prosperity and profitable company growth.

If selling is the lifeblood of your organisation, growing your customer sales team might be high on your agenda in 2017. Hiring apprentices can be an effective way to develop existing customer sales teams and help nurture company growth.

Benefits of apprenticeships to customer sales teams

One of the key benefits of taking on an apprentice is that is provides a cost-effective way to train employees. Being trained in-house by existing members of a sales team, apprentices can be trained and shaped to meet the requirements of the specific sales team.

AS CMS VOC wrote in a blog about the employer benefits of apprenticeships, apprenticeships can also increase staff loyalty and improve retention rates, as a qualified apprentice can generally feel more loyal to the employer that has trained them.

Furthermore, taking on an apprentice to deal with everyday tasks within a sales team, will free up the time of other members of a sales department, who can then focus on different duties. Enabling more experienced members of staff to channel their energies elsewhere, can lead to the better allocation of work and ultimately a more productive customer sales team.

For an apprentice, sales apprenticeships can be highly lucrative and rewarding. By giving the apprentice the necessary skills and knowledge in the highly competitive world of customer sales, the individual will be well-equipped to embark on a fulfilling career in customer sales.

Not only are apprentices given the necessary skills to be successful in their chosen career path, but unlike many university and college courses which leave students saddled with debt, with apprenticeships, individuals, as All About Career writes, “earn while they learn.”

What customer sales apprenticeships are available?

There are numerous customer sales apprenticeships and courses available. Two examples of this type of qualification are the Assessment for the Certificate in Sales and Certificate in Sales Principles. The course teaches learners about different aspects of a sales environment, including knowledge of the vocational area, and personal learning and thinking skills.

The Government website defines two types of sales and telesales apprenticeships. One is the intermediate level apprenticeship which trains the apprentice in roles such as trainee sales advisor, telesales operator and junior sales executive. The other is the advanced level apprenticeship, which trains individuals in roles like sales consultant/supervisor, sales manager, telesales professional and salesperson.

Apprenticeships forecasts for 2017

If you are an employer that operates a sales team and you are thinking about taking on an apprentice this year, you may be interested in what is being forecast for apprenticeships in 2017.

One apprenticeship component you should be aware of is the apprenticeship levy, which will come into play from April 6, 2017. The apprenticeship levy is an initiative by the government, to fund three million apprenticeship places by 2020, paid for by larger employers.

As of April 6, all employers with a wage bill of above £3 million will have to pay the apprenticeship levy, charged at 0.5% of the company’s annual bill.

You should also be aware that the government accepted the new minimum wage recommendations, which affect workers under 25 and apprentices. The new minimum wage rate has seen an increase in the Apprentice Rate of 3% to £3.40 an hour.

Hiring apprentices comes with many advantages both to the employee and the employer, and sales teams everywhere would be wise to think about embarking on apprenticeships in order to develop sales team and improve the business’s bottom line. However, it is important to be up-to-date with current legislation surrounding apprenticeships before committing to a scheme.

This blog post was written by Hadyn Luke, Director of CMS Vocational Training (CMSVOC). CMSVOC offers a vast range of courses and training programmes across diverse sectors. CMSVOC is committed to helping people of all ages, backgrounds and industries, find the right course and training programme so they can progress in their chosen career or embark on a new career. CMSVOC’s professional and talented staff have specialist knowledge in a wide range of industries and work with learners to help them achieve their career dreams.

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