By Daniel Hunter

The UK’s leading sales professionals have been revealed as finalists for the 2012 National Sales Awards in partnership with Huthwaite International. The shortlist includes some of Britain’s most high profile businesses including BSkyB, Virgin Media, LivingSocial and Royal Mail.

Finalists for the National Sales Awards were chosen from the hundreds of businesses and individuals that entered, to win the sought after titles. Entrants will now prepare to make presentations in September, to a panel of expert judges who will determine category winners which will be revealed at the awards ceremony on the 6th November in London.

Steve Lane, National Sales Awards Business Director said: “This year we have seen a much wider representation of British businesses entering the awards, showing that companies are recognising the importance of, and celebrating their sales functions. It’s great to see a diverse mix of companies entering and the entries becoming more innovative, as the industry becomes more sophisticated.”

Tony Hughes, CEO of Huthwaite International said: “These sales professionals are representing the very best in the industry, setting industry standards and leading the way to creating a more solid economy. Congratulations to all our finalists.”

For the first time ever, the Field Sales Executive award will be judged live at the National Sales Awards event. The six finalists in this category will be given two minutes to prove their superior selling skills, by delivering their most impressive sales pitch to the audience and the judging panel — who will then vote for the favourites to decide the ultimate winner.

Apprentice winner and Raw Talent Academy Founder Lee McQueen, a judge for the Field Sales Executive Award said: “It’s great to see such a high calibre of sales people entering these awards and getting behind the industry. I’m looking forward to the live judging at the event in November.”

All of the sales teams that have been announced as finalists will take part in short filmed interviews, with content from the winners in each category viewed at a special screening where judges will vote for the Sales Team of the Year. Selected as part of a nomination process, finalists for Sales Director of the Year will also be invited to participate in a filmed interview — with the winner determined by a secret ballot following a review of these interviews. All winners will be announced at the ceremony on 6th November.

The National Sales Awards has distinguished itself by its robust judging process, with around 50 directors and sales professionals participating as judges. This year the judging panel includes Lawrence Dallaglio Sales Director at Serco, Lee McQueen Founder of Raw Talent Academy, Maria Armstrong-Gimblett Director of London Sales at Marriott Hotels International and Kim Leitch Business Development Director at the Institute of Customer Service.

The quality of businesses entering also sets the awards apart, with Virgin Media, O2, RBS, Inter-Continental Hotel Group, Royal Mail and British Gas all having received awards in previous years. There are 17 award categories in total including Newcomer of the Year, Field Sales Executive of the Year and the Customer Collaboration Award.

Now in its 16th year, the National Sales Awards, in partnership with Huthwaite International recognise the outstanding collective contribution of the UK’s sales teams and individuals to the economic recovery with a focus on ethical, smart and professional selling.

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