Demonstrate your commercial sense and talent for selling by doing a sales apprenticeship and earning while you learn
With sales roles evolving and demanding skills from other disciplines, such as marketing and customer service, it's important to get the most up-to-date training. Doing an apprenticeship is a great way of getting this training and developing your practical sales skills.
What sales apprenticeships are available?
Sales apprenticeships are available at different levels:
- Level 2 - Intermediate, equivalent to five good GCSEs.
- Level 3 - Advanced, equivalent to two passes at A-level.
- Levels 4 and 5 - Higher, equivalent to a foundation degree.
- Levels 6 and 7 - Degree, comparable to a Bachelors or Masters.
However, most apprenticeships in the sales industry fall between Level 2 and Level 5. Visit GOV.UK for information on sales, marketing and procurement apprenticeships.
To find out more, see what is an apprenticeship?
Which companies offer sales apprenticeships?
- BMW - the one-year sales trainee programme focuses on all the core skills that a sales executive needs including customer relationship management and extensive product knowledge.
- Jaguar Land Rover - the vehicle sales apprenticeship is a one-year programme where greeting customers, arranging test drives and negotiating prices are just some of the tasks you can expect. Completion of the apprenticeship will lead to Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Standard.
- Nestle - it's Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship includes a six-month placement in sales as well as rotations in supply chain, marketing and category development. This higher apprenticeship is based in either York or Gatwick.
- Vodafone - the Level 4 digital sales apprenticeship is an 18-month programme that’s accredited by the Institute of Sales Professionals.
What do sales apprenticeships involve?
You could work in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or Business-to-Business (B2B) sales. Then the range of things you could be selling is huge and varies from demoing software and selling cars to helping customers choose jewellery or filling advertising space on a website.
While the nature of the apprenticeship depends on the role, you can expect sales-focused programmes to have some common traits.
For example, if you're working in car sales, you'll likely be supporting the sales team. You could be producing sales performance reports, negotiating sales and trade-in prices and advising customers on the best vehicle for them.
Some roles will see you identifying and qualifying sales opportunities. You'll also need to manage customer requirements to ensure field sales can follow up and close. All the while you'll need a constant eye on revenue targets to ensure that they are being delivered.
A significant proportion of your apprenticeship (usually about one-fifth) will typically include 'off-the-job' training, such as regular visits by experienced assessors, plus opportunities to study through virtual classroom sessions and e-learning modules.
Take a look at the top 5 skills for a career in sales.
How much will I be paid?
While employers can choose to pay more, the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices aged under 19 and an apprentice, or 19 or over and still in your first apprenticeship year, is £5.28. To find out more, see what is an apprenticeship?
How do I become a sales apprentice?
You should apply for an apprenticeship in the same way as you would a job. This involves doing some thorough research to make sure that you're aware of what the apprenticeship involves and tailoring your application to match it.
It will likely be an online application that requires you to submit your CV and a cover letter, but methods can vary so check before applying. To get you started, take a look at our example apprenticeship cover letter.
You may also need to sit situational judgement, numerical and psychometric tests as well as attend an assessment centre or insight day. Some companies also use video interviews as part of their recruitment process.
Read more about applying for an apprenticeship.
Find out more
- Take a look at the sales sector.
- Read all about apprenticeships.