Institute of Sales Management (ISM)

Institute of Sales Management (ISM)

Institute of Sales Management (ISM) is the UK’s only professional membership body for salespeople representing over 70,000 individual and 400 corporate members. It is the authoritative voice of selling and the custodian of sales standards, ethics and best practices. ISM is recognized by the UK government regulatory body Ofqual as an awarding organization to offer fully accredited and recognized qualifications in Sales, Marketing and Sales Management.

The ISM programs, compiled and designed by leading figures from the world of sales, represent the pinnacle of expert knowledge and skills requirements for employment within sales.

Qualifications Structure

There are three sizes of qualifications: Awards, Certificates and Diplomas. These do not describe qualification levels but are determined by the total number of credits for the units that make up the qualification.

  • An AWARD is between 1 and 12 credits
  • A CERTIFICATE is between 13 and 36 credits
  • A DIPLOMA is 37 credits or more.

The ISM suite of qualifications provide opportunities for progression to other qualifications at the same or higher levels. For example, a number of level 3 Awards can be built up over time to progress to the level 3 Certificate in Sales and Marketing or the larger level 3 Diploma in Sales and Marketing.

Click on a qualification level title for more information.

Summary Knowledge and understanding Application and Action Autonomy and Acccountability
Achievement at Level 2 reflects the ability to use relevant knowledge, skills and procedures to complete routine tasks. It includes responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance. Use knowledge of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined, routine tasks. Be aware of information relevant to the area of study or work. Complete well-defined routine tasks. Use relevant skills and procedures. Select and use relevant information. Identify whether actions have been effective. Take responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance as needed.

Key Areas of Understanding

Level 2 qualification contains units that are designed to ensure that the learner has a greater level of understanding of key areas including:

  • Buyer behavior
  • Sales process
  • Sales ethics
  • Sales targets

 

Target Audience

Designed for those seeking or just embarking on a career in sales or even those considering it as part of a vocational program.

 

Units Overview

Code Title Credit Qualification Code
U201 Understanding laws and ethics of selling 3 A201
U202 Understanding marketing 4 A202
U203 Understanding buyer behaviour 3 A203
U204 Sales targets 2 A204
U205 Selling to customers 5 A205
U206 Understanding selling to customers 5 A206
U207 Telesales 5 A207
LEVEL 2 CERTIFICATE in sales and Marketing 17 C201
  1. For the AWARD, every unit will grant you an award.
  2. For the CERTIFICATE, units to complete: U201-U202-U203 and U204 plus one of either U205-U206 or U207.
Summary Knowledge and understanding Application and Action Autonomy and Acccountability
Achievement at Level 3 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, have a measure of complexity. It includes taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures as well as exercising autonomy and judgment within limited parameters. It also reflects awareness of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work. Use factual, procedural and theoretical understanding to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, may be complex and non-routine. Interpret and valuate relevant information and ideas. Be aware of the nature of the area of study or work. Have awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work. Address problems that, while well defined, may not be complex and non-routine. Identify, select and use appropriate skills, methods and procedures. Use appropriate investigation to inform actions. Review how effective methods and actions have been. Take responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures, including, where relevant, responsibility for supervising or guiding others. Exercise autonomy and judgment within limited parameters.

Key Areas of Understanding

Level 3 qualification will provide a more in-depth understanding of areas including:

  • Preparing and delivering a sales presentation
  • Understanding influences on buyer behavior
  • Customer segmentation
  • Handling objections
  • Negotiating and closing sales deals.

 

Target Audience

Designed for sales professionals with at least one or two years’ experience of working within a sales environment, particularly aimed at those wishing to enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills in sales, and who are possibly aspiring to progress towards a management position.

 

Units Overview

Code Title Credit Qualification Code
U201 Understanding laws and ethics of selling 3 A201
U301 Preparing and delivering a sales presentation 5 A301
U302 Handling objections, negotiating and closing sales 6 A302
U303 Understanding influences on buyer behaviour 3 A303
U304 Understanding customer segmentation and profiling 4 A304
U305 Understanding sales and marketing in organisations 4 A305
U306 Using market information for sales 5 A306
U307 Time and territory management for sales people 6 A307
U308 Planning for professional development 2 A308
U309 Prospecting for new business 4 A309
U310 Sales pipeline management 6 A310
LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATE in sales and Marketing 17 C301
LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA in sales and Marketing 37 D301
  1. For the AWARD, every unit will grant you an award.
  2. For the CERTIFICATE, units to complete: U201-U301-U302 and U303.
  3. For the DIPLOMA, units to complete: U201-U301-U302 and U303 plus any four from units U304 to U310 giving a minimum of another 20 credits, to a total of at least 37 credits.
Summary Knowledge and understanding Application and Action Autonomy and Accountability
Achievement at Level 4 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address problems that are well defined but complex and routine. It includes taking responsibility for overall courses of action as well as exercising autonomy and judgment within fairly broad parameters. It also reflects understanding of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work. Use practical, theoretical or technological understanding to address problems that are well defined but complex and non routine. Analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas. Be aware of the nature and approximate scope of the area of study or work. Have an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work. Address problems that are complex and non-routine while normally fairly well defined. Identify, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills. Initiate and use appropriate investigation to inform actions. Review the effectiveness and appropriateness of methods, actions and results. Take responsibility for course of action, including where relevant, responsibility for the work of others. Exercise autonomy and judgment within broad but generally well-defined parameters.

Key Areas of Understanding

Level 4 qualification covers the theoretical and practical sales knowledge as well as the range of skills required by aspiring and practicing sales managers to enable them to succeed in the workplace:

  • Managing a sales team
  • Operational sales planning
  • Finance for sales managers

 

Target Audience

Designed for sales professionals in an operational sales role, often involved in managing a team as well as allocating resources.

 

Units Overview

Code Title Credit Qualification Code
U401 Managing responsible selling 4 A 401
U402 Understanding segmentation, targeting and positioning 5 A402
U403 Managing a sales team 6 A403
U404 Operational sales planning 5 A404
U405 Sales negotiations 5 A405
U406 Analysing the marketing environment 5 A406
U407 Finance for sales managers 7 A407
U408 Writing and delivering a sales proposal 4 A408
LEVEL 4 CERTIFICATE in Sales and Marketing Management 18 C401
LEVEL 4 DIPLOMA in Sales and Marketing Management 41 D401
  1. For the AWARD, every unit will grant you an award.
  2. For the CERTIFICATE, units to complete: U201-U301-U302 and U303.
  3. For the DIPLOMA, units to complete: U201-U301-U302 and U303 plus any four from units U304 to U310 giving a minimum of another 20 credits, to a total of at least 37 credits.
Summary Knowledge and understanding Application and Action Autonomy and Acccountability
Achievement at Level 5 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address problems that are broadly defined but complex and routine. It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action as well exercising autonomy and judgment within broad parameters. It also reflects understanding of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the reasoning behind them. Use practical, theoretical or technological understanding find ways forward in broadly-defined, complex contexts. Analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information, concepts and ideas. Be aware of the nature and scope of the area of study or work. Understand different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the reasoning behind them. Address broadly-defined complex problems. Determine, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills. Use relevant research or development to inform actions. Evaluate actions, methods results. Take responsibility for planning and developing courses of action, including, where relevant, responsibility for the work of others. Exercise autonomy and judgment within broad parameters.

Key Areas of Understanding

Level 5 qualification incorporate a wide range of elements dealing with both team and one-to-one management – key to the success of any sales operation:

  • Understanding and developing customer accounts
  • Sales forecasts and target setting
  • Leading a team, Motivation and compensation for sales teams
  • Coaching
  • Designing planning and managing sales territories

 

Target Audience

Designed specifically for established or aspiring sales managers, account managers, regional sales managers or regional account.

 

Unit Overview

Code Title Credit Qualification Code
U401 Managing responsible selling 4 A401
U501 Understanding and developing customer accounts 8 A501
U502 Understanding the integrated functions of sales and marketing 8 A502
U503 Sales forecasts and target setting 6 A503
U504 Leading a team 6 A504/td>
U505 Motivation and compensation for sales teams 6 A505
U506 Coaching and mentoring 6 A506
U507 Designing, planning and managing sales territories 6 A507
U508 Analysing the financial potential and performance of customer accounts 6 A508
U509 Relationship management for account managers 6 A509
U510 Bid and tender management for account managers 6 A510
U511 Developing a product portfolio 6 A511
LEVEL 5 CERTIFICATE in Sales and Account Management 26 C501
LEVEL 5 DIPLOMA in Sales and Account Management 44 D501
  1. For the Award, every unit will grant you an award.
  2. For the CERTIFICATE, units to complete: U401-U501-U502 and U503.
  3. For the DIPLOMA, units to complete: U401-U501 and U502 plus any four from units U503 to U511 giving a minimum of another 24 credits, to a total of at least 44 credits.
Summary Knowledge and understanding Application and Action Autonomy and Acccountability
Achievement at Level 6 reflects the ability to refine and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address complex problems that have limited definition. It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that are able to underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy and judgment. It also reflects an understanding of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the theories that underpin them. Refine and use practical, conceptual or technological understanding to create ways forward in contexts where there are many interacting factors. Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and ideas. Understand the context in which the area of study or work is located. Be aware of current developments in the area of study or work. Understand different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the theories that underpin them. Address problems that have limited definition and involve many interacting factors. Determine, refine, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills. Use and, where appropriate, design relevant research and development to inform actions. Evaluate actions, methods and results and their implications. Take responsibility for planning and developing courses of action, that are capable of underpinning substantial changes or developments. Initiate and lead tasks and processes, taking responsibility, where relevant, for the work and role of others. Exercise broad autonomy and judgement.

Key Areas of Understanding

Level 6 will benefit individuals with sales management experience who wish to continue their professional development by enhancing their knowledge of the range of specific sales management attributes in order to encourage and maintain an environment of success:

  • Leading a culture for responsible selling
  • Leadership and management in sales
  • Planning and implementing sales and marketing strategy
  • Sales force organization

 

Target Audience

Designed specifically for senior sales managers or sales directors.

 

Units Overview

Code Title Credit Qualification Code
U601 Leading a culture for responsible selling 7 A601
U602 Leadership and management in sales 7 A602
U603 Planning and implementing sales and marketing strategy 7 A603
U604 Sales force organisation 7 A604
U605 Sales forecasting and budgeting 7 A605/td>
U606 Developing strategic relationships with major customers 7 A606
U607 Managing sales-related change 7 A607
U608 Developing and using customer insight 6 A608
LEVEL 6 CERTIFICATE in Strategic Sales Management 28 C601
LEVEL 6 DIPLOMA in Strategic Sales Management 56 D601
  1. For the Award, every unit will grant you an award.
  2. For the CERTIFICATE, units to complete: U601 plus any three from units U602 to U608 giving a total of 28 credits.
  3. For the DIPLOMA, units to complete: each of the units U601 to U608 giving a total of 56 credits
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