Responsible Business Week – Employment and Enterprise

Posted By: Jacquie Sim - Wednesday, 20 April 2016  |  Comments: 0

Responsible Business Week – Employment and Enterprise


A responsible business is committed to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future, with Business In The Community breaking this down into five key areas.  Today we focus on Employment and Enterprise.



In March, in our most exciting investment yet, we launched an in-house sales training academy. This was the first of up to four fully funded four-week courses we will be running over the next 12 months. Recruiting in this way was a bold step and a huge project to invest in, but is an undertaking we feel immensely passionate about.


At Access Point we work with many of the UK’s major retailers including Argos, Homebase and the Co-Operative Group and we always have opportunities for a professional career in sales. For us, recruiting professional sales staff with experience within our field has always been difficult, partly due to our location and the competition for staff from Liverpool and Manchester. We have tried a variety of recruitment methods but there doesn’t appear to be the depth of trained, quality sales people available within our town. Some of our key sales personnel started with limited or no experience, so launching an academy to seek out potential rather than experience seemed like an innovative solution.


Access Point - Responsible Business Week - ISSM ApprovedThe course will teach at least six successful candidates per intake the basics of professional selling with integrity and has been approved and endorsed by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM).


On issuing the endorsement Frances McCabe, Head of Education at the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management said:


"Congratulations on Access Point being approved as an ISMM endorsed centre. I would like to reiterate that this course is of a very high standard. The design of the course - the structure, the content, training methodologies, practical sessions and coaching is an excellent learning model."



Although advertising for the entry level positions was very similar to our usual methods, our criteria has definitely been to seek out potential whether your previous experience is as a police officer, a sales assistant or a graduate. The emphasis was on getting to know the individuals rather than to focus on experience and ability.  The interview process included an assessment day where we looked for specific competencies that fit within our core values and academy needs as well as basic selling potential.


We are very proud of our Southport heritage and following on from major investment in the restoration of the towns redundant magistrates court into our lovely office building, ‘The Old Courthouse’, it is important to us to provide employment opportunities within the town.


We want to encourage and nurture potential.  As well as a basic salary and an opportunity to gain industry knowledge and sales experience; on completion of the course the successful candidates will receive a recognisable qualification from the ISMM and a full time opportunity to grow within the Access Point family. 


"We really feel the academy fits in with our company culture. We are continually looking to grow the business and are hopeful the academy will run alongside our usual recruitment methods as we strive to be the best employer in Merseyside. The plan is to integrate at least 10 full time academy staff into our sales team by the end of the year” Access Point Head of Sales, Dale Newman.



Successfully completing the Sales Academy course is just the first step on a long journey to becoming successful Account Managers; however we know we have already given them the best start we possibly could.


“My initial thoughts of having 4 weeks of training was 'That’s a bit excessive' for a sales job. But having lived the academy for 4 weeks, it is clear to see it is a totally different way of selling, using honesty and integrity to live the Access Point Core Values. Anyone who is lucky enough to get through to the academy, just take it all in, listen to Chris and the AP staff because their wealth of knowledge is invaluable and bring your personality to it, because people buy from people.”  Tom Wearing - Access Point Sales Academy Graduate.



Access Point - Sales Academy

Four new recruits celebrating their graduation from the sales academy. Tom Wearing, Phil Hunter, our sales trainer Chris Dawson from 6th Door Training, Adam Finlay and Marc Murray.


Join us every day this week to learn more about our responsible business commitment #RBWeek #apuk


Related Articles:

Responsible Business Week - Our pledges for 2016

Access Point Sales Academy - Rock climbing, rounders and a whole lot of learning


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