Comprehensive sales training at no extra cost? Yes, you may have heard of the new Sales Apprenticeship scheme, launched last year, that allows companies to train their sales team to a high standard without touching their commercial training budget.
But what is it? Who is it for? How is it funded? And importantly… Is it for you?
In short, the Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship Standard is a comprehensive, accredited sales training qualification that helps salespeople to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours to excel in sales.
Plus, it is paid for out of your HMRC Apprenticeship Digital Account, meaning your sales team can receive expert training without you having to find a training budget to pay for it.
Sound too good to be true? Well, not every company will meet the criteria necessary to get the green light but its certainly worth investigating.
To help you identify if the sales apprenticeship is right for you and your team, we have put together this handy checklist. If you do meet the criteria and are interested to know more, you can apply for more info at the end of this blog and we will be happy to help.
YOUR COMPANY’S PAYROLL IS OVER £3 MILLION PER YEAR
If your company’s payroll is over £3 million per year you could be sitting on a huge pot of unallocated money that you could spend on sales apprenticeship training.
Why? All companies that have a payroll of over £3m are required by HMRC to pay the Apprenticeship Levy. This Levy amounts to 0.5% of their total payroll and sits in their digital apprenticeship account. The money in the digital account can only be spent on apprenticeship standard training. Over time this money accrues until companies can be sitting on hundreds of thousands of pounds of unspent training budget. If it is not used within 24 months then the funds expire on a monthly basis.
YOU HAVE A SALES TEAM (OF ANY SENIORITY)
Contrary to historic beliefs about apprenticeships, the Level 4 Sales Apprenticeship Standard is not just for 16 to 18-year-olds. Designed for all ages and suitable for people with 0-5 years sales experience, once completed, your team will hold a vocational qualification the same level as a foundation degree.
YOU WANT TO BOOST LONG TERM SALES PERFORMANCE
The Sales Executive Apprenticeship Standard is not a one hit wonder or a motivational away day. Instead, it is carefully designed and accredited training, delivered in-house, that provides ongoing blended learning to achieve long term results.
What does that look like? Over the course of 17 months your sales team will receive a blended programme of classroom workshops, e-learning, knowledge modules and 1-1 coaching, culminating in an End Point Assessment (EPA) to measure progress, achievement, final outcome and grade. They pass each module once they have demonstrated all the skills, knowledge and behaviours of a competent sales professional.
YOU WANT YOUR SALES TEAM TO RECEIVE A RECOGNISED CERTIFICATION IN SALES
The Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship gives each person an OFQUAL vocational qualification in professional selling. Plus, they receive an accreditation from the APS (Association of Professional Sales) which is a stamp of approval your team can display on their LinkedIn profiles to boost credibility.
YOU WANT TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN THE BEST SALESPEOPLE
Many companies find it challenging to attract and retain the best salespeople. With sales apprenticeship training in place it shows your team that you invest heavily in their development. This investment in people has been shown to significantly boost morale and motivation as well as sales performance. From new graduate recruits to senior salespeople, the nature of the Sales Executive Apprenticeship makes it accessible and appealing to all.
YOUR TEAM HAVE A COMMITMENT TO LEARNING
In order to achieve the qualification, your team must work hard to practice and refine their sales skills. To do this, they must put the time in. Each person taking part in any apprenticeship standard must commit 20% of their time to learning and development.
Although this may seem like a lot, much of this 20% can be done on the job. As well as the structured training delivered by your chosen RoATP approved Training Provider, other activities such as 1-1 reviews, being shadowed/ coached/ mentored, planning for a meeting, preparing a pitch, attending an exhibition, learning product knowledge or listening to a podcast all count towards the 20%.
The most important thing is that each salesperson becomes adept at recognising what counts as learning, and then becomes disciplined at recording it on their ePortfolio.
YOUR LEARNERS HAVE RELEVANT “MATHS AND ENGLISH FUNCTIONAL SKILLS”
To achieve the qualification, each learner must have attained the minimum requirement of grade C in Maths and English. If they don’t have these, they must be willing to work towards them, supported by Functional Skills tutors.
YOU ARE HAPPY TO COMPLY TO OFSTED POLICIES
Finally, as this is an OFSTED regulated and ESFA funded training programme, we need to make sure that 4 core OFSTED policies are embedded into each learner. These are: British values, Prevent strategy, Safeguarding and Health and Safety.
In summary, the Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship Standard is a great opportunity to get long term development for your team by using the funds accrued in your apprenticeship account. If you meet the criteria and want to know more, please apply by clicking here.
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