Discover the benefits of professional development and find out which qualifications could fast-track your career

Do I need to do postgraduate study?

Further study is not necessary in this sector but could be beneficial later on in your career.

Promotion in sales is often based on meeting and exceeding your targets; a good sales record is often the best way to progress your career. You may have to be mobile and be prepared to change companies in search of better salaries and prospects.

Employers may fund professional qualifications a couple of years into a job, so before you invest in postgraduate study research any companies that you may be interested in working for and check whether they support higher education.

For more information on entry requirements and career development in the sales sector, see job profiles.

Should I join a professional body?

Membership of a related professional association can help you be recognition as a sales professional and could contribute to your success in a sales career. It can also be valuable for:

  • developing networks;
  • continuing professional development (CPD);
  • information and advice;
  • seminars and training;
  • keeping up to date with the latest sales trends.

Which professional qualifications are recognised in the sector?

The following professional bodies give members the opportunity to obtain professional qualifications:

  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) - a global professional marketing body that offers sales courses as well as marketing training. This includes the intensive diploma in strategic sales practice.
  • Institute of Customer Service (ICS) - an independent, professional membership body for customer service. The not-for-profit body offers a range of professional and management qualifications in customer service.
  • Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) - the worldwide representative body for salespeople at all levels. The organisation is approved by the government and offers a full range of qualifications in marketing and sales management, which includes the level six certificate and diploma courses in strategic sales management.