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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

20 December 2016: Scotland has a problem and it’s a financial one. There are over seven thousand1 unfilled sales jobs in Scotland and without skilled labour to fill all these roles, companies cannot grow and the Scottish economy loses out.

That is why the trade body for the sales industry - the Institute of Sales Management (ISM) – is today launching regional committees across Scotland - bringing businesses and sales professionals together - to help solve Scotland’s skill shortage and connect people to vital job opportunities.

The sales industry is worth billions to Scotland. Exports alone2 account for £76bn and every single deal – from the largest power generation firm to the smallest SME – was negotiated by a salesperson.

But filling these roles is a challenge. It’s no secret that the reputation of the sales industry has been tarnished in recent years by some high profile cases of misselling. And there is a perception that sales people are only interested in earning commission with little care for their customers.

But perception does not reflect reality and without sales people, business could not function.

Lowering Scotland’s Unemployment

There is also a second key objective: the local committees will reach out into local communities and help those in need, particularly the unemployed or those recently made redundant, providing guidance, advise and training to help people turn their lives around.

Scotland has an unemployment rate3 of 6.9% and in many parts of the country – especially Aberdeen, suffering from the crash in oil prices – a career in sales could help people get back on the employment ladder.

But sales give people important life skills: resilience, determination, endurance, optimism.  Traits that serve people well in all aspects of life: so the offer of help is open to all, not just those considering a career in sales.

Efforts in Scotland will be spearheaded by Iain Rose, a sales professional with 35 years’ experience under his belt, who joined the ISM in 1991.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed membership of the Institute spanning 25-years. It has allowed me to both be part of a nationally recognised body  and, at the same time, gain a tremendous amount of knowledge transfer through sales industry articles, networking events and regional meeting participation,” said Mr Rose.

“The introduction of the Regional ISM Branches – along with the Scottish national branch - can only enhance the growth, development and skill set of the Sales Professional and take the industry to greater heights. I am incredibly grateful to my fellow ISM members in Scotland for the work we’ve done to date. ”

City Committees

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness will all get their own regional committees - along with a committee for Scotland - which will report to the ISM in London. Together they will shape the direction of the ISM and, more importantly, help businesses fill vacant roles and provide career opportunities for those who need it.




No. of sales vacancies3



















*figures correct as of 28 November 2016


The ISM recently brought on board Jack Mizel as CEO, who brings a wealth of sales experience and knowledge with him and is the driving force behind the initiative.

We felt that there is a real need to raise the value of sales across Scotland and the regional committees will create an essential grassroots network to do just that," said Mr Mizel.

"A career in sales is like no other. Not only is it financially rewarding, but it gives people resilience, determination and drive. Attributes which are useful in all aspects of life."

"But if people don't view it as an attractive career - and firms cannot fill vacant roles - that's not just bad for business, it's bad for all of us. We intend to change that," he added.

As well as changing the perception of sales, the ISM wants to provide a proper career structure for people in the industry. It has developed Professional Sales Certification; a training and support journey, encompassing a programme of learning and development activities including the undertaking of accredited sales-related qualifications at levels 2 to 6. The ISM is the only leading body of its type approved by Ofqual to provide a range of bespoke sales oriented qualifications.

In order to deliver the accredited qualifications, the ISM is developing the network of Approved Training Providers across Scotland: companies partnering with them to provide branded and fully accredited sales qualifications that meet the exacting standards of the institute.

The Professional Sales Certification journey has been designed with input from key sales industry figures to address issues faced by companies ranging from initial talent attraction, attrition rates, long-term retention and revenue generation by sales staff.

Jack Mizel: “ISM certified salespeople will have access to our fantastic new website, containing a world-class library of sales literature, networking, and mentoring within our online forum. Additionally we offer a wide range of member benefits as well as our proprietary learning material,” he added.

The ISM will be the leading voice for the sales industry around the world. We will be its biggest and most proactive supporter at all levels and will continue to lobby for and work towards the professionalism of the industry itself and all those who work within it. We are, quite literally, raising the value of sales.


Notes to Editors

The ISM is the only professional body approved to deliver Ofqual regulated sales qualifications levels 2 – 6 and professional registration. The result is a competencies-rich framework for cultivating a salesperson’s skills, leading to a rewarding career path.

High calibre staff are in high demand – not just by sales forces – but business as a whole. And even if you recruit the right people, retention can be challenging.  . And with a salesperson changing a job, on average one every three years2, finding ways to make them feel like a valued and essential member of your team is a problem faced by every HR departments when it comes to retaining talented employees.


  1. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/Exports
  2. http://www.oascotland.org.uk/top-companies-in-scotland/



About the ISM

The Institute of Sales Management has been representing the interests of the sales profession for over 100 years providing practical support to sales people and their organisations.

First established in 1911 as the Sales Managers Association, the ISM exists to promote the prestige and integrity of selling by inspiring those employed in the industry to reach greater heights of achievement by providing education, guidance, information and encouragement. Any profits are re-invested in the pursuit of its purpose. ISM members are drawn from every sector of industry and commerce, from those just embarking upon a sales career through to senior and experienced sales managers and directors. These members share a commitment to upholding the standards of professionalism and integrity, ethics and best practice that are all hallmarks of sales success. The ISM is committed to developing sales talent and is the United Kingdom’s only professional sales qualifications awarding body recognised by the Government regulatory body, Ofqual.


About Jack Mizel
Jack Mizel is the CEO of the ISM, having joined the organisation in early 2016 and is widely acknowledged by the industry as an exponent of sales excellence and thought leadership. Jack is also a strong advocate that sales skills and life skills are synonymous.

His first foray into sales, aged 18, was selling double glazing door-to-door. Whilst he learnt a tremendous amount and enjoyed it, with a year’s worth of success under his belt he decided to take his enthusiasm and newly acquired skills into a corporate environment. He then moved into advertising sales and it was within this media, events and sponsorship sector, that - for the last 25 years - Jack has inspired, managed and led sales people, teams and companies. This included the building of Profile Pursuit Ltd, which he took from a small private company and built it into a transatlantic Plc contract publishing business, which was sold for £30 million.

Jack believes, with the right attitude and sales skills, if nurtured and developed in the right way, can genuinely be transformative and enable people from all walks of life to thrive and excel. He is now working tirelessly to raise the value of sales by helping change its perception to one that is desirable, one that is sought after, and one where sales people are given the recognition they and the profession deserves.

Images of Jack can be found here and here 

About Iain Rose

Iain Rose, a Companion of the ISM and a member for over 25-years is now chairing the Scottish Regional group.

Based in Central Scotland, Iain has over 35 years’ International Sales, Marketing & General Management experience of working with companies in a wide variety of industries, particularly Technology. Having studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering to Degree level, Iain originally worked in Broadcasting before moving into a Technical Sales role within the Military and Aerospace sectors.

This initial sales experience allowed Iain to gain greater Sales leadership positions including several start-up Operations for overseas investors, Creation of European Agent & Distribution networks and subsequently development of a multi-£M Global Manufacturing Operation. Country experience includes: UK, Ireland, Europe, Asia, China, North America & Canada.

For the last 5 years, Iain has run his own professional Sales Coaching & Business Development Consultancy allowing his broad and unique range of experience to be used towards the transformation and performance of Business Owners, Managers and their teams.

An Image of Iain can be found here