Royal Mail sales boss elected new APS chair

21st March 2019 |   Journal Of Sales Transformation

Former head of sales at Royal Mail, Graham Davis has been elected the new chair of the Association of Professional Sales’ executive board, the Association announced on 4 March.

“I’m very excited to be working with the APS on the next phase of our growth as we steer the industry towards professional chartered status,” he tells the Journal.

Davis was sales director at Royal Mail for 12 years, responsible for an income target of £4.3bn, delivered through direct and indirect sales teams.

Voted in unopposed, Davis takes over the role from Nick Porter, an APS founding Fellow, who will continue to work with the association on its executive board.

Graham Davis

Graham Davis: Excited to work on next phase of APS growth.

APS Fellow Davis has been pivotal in helping to revolutionise the sales profession. In 2016 he took on the role as chair of the APS trailblazer group to develop the first B2B degree level apprenticeship in professional sales. He then led from the front to become the first director to take on a new generation of sales apprentices at Royal Mail.

Graham adds: “Developing professional salespeople who can act as trusted partners is so important for the prosperity of the UK economy.”

Andy Hough, APS Co-CEO, comments: “I am delighted Graham has been elected the new chairman of our executive board. He is committed to developing a strong, ethical sales force across all sectors of UK industry and is working with us to achieve chartered status for our profession.

“Graham’s support for the next generation of sales professionals has also been exemplary. He led the way by creating an impressive apprenticeship academy at Royal Mail, taking the bold decision to hire the first cohort of degree-level sales apprentices even before the ink was dry on the agreement with the government’s Institute of Apprentices.”

Graham Davis Q&A

Q: Name a couple of sales career highlights.
A: Creating a new business team and culture from scratch in response to the then emerging need in e-commerce; delivered £400m in three years. Also, leading the negotiation that secured John Lewis as a key account for Royal Mail.

Q: What’s the best thing about working in sales?
A: It’s fun and you feel you’re making a real difference. Companies that don’t have a great sales ethos fail!

Q: What are you looking forward to achieving or helping to develop as APS chair?
A: To continue to grow the APS to enable further investment in areas that really add value to the sales profession and to develop tools and techniques that members use so our value is widely recognised as a sales enabler.

Q: Looking back on your career what advice would you give to your 19-year-old self?
A: Recognise earlier that your people are your greatest asset and treat them as such

Q: What three tips would you offer to other sales leaders?
A: 1) Empower your people, you’ll be surprised what they can achieve; invest in personal development to help your people be the best they can be every day – this should be as much about the softer skills as the technical ones. 2) Recognise that salespeople of today and tomorrow have different values, priorities and goals. Understand and respect these changes. 3) A diverse sales team is so much more effective.