When choosing a challenging career path, nothing comes close to the competitive nature of a career in sales. Although your team members might be your buddies, everyone in the pit wants to outperform one another. Most importantly, the top dog must practice continued learning through sales certification courses.
Whether you’re a first-timer beginning your career or a seasoned professional, there’s always room for growth, especially in sales. According to Jordan Wan, Founder & CEO of CloserIQ,
“Selling skills are often gained from experience, but candidates can stand out by including formal training or certification from a well-known sales philosophy on their resumes.”
Luckily, with the rise of online learning, there’s no shortage of classes to take for a certification in a particular trade or skill. To outperform the rest and take your expertise to the next level, we’ve tracked down some of the most reputable courses and programs for sales professionals.
Therefore, here are eight certifications to add to your sales portfolio:
1. Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
Firstly is the AA-ISP, which exists to promote excellence in the workplace. In order to advance inside sales, the AA-ISP offers several certifications to provide a framework for virtual salespeople. The CISP is one of the most extensive certifications available because it shows an employer you have a desire to keep learning. The web-based program includes a comprehensive, 10-module preparatory coursework, followed by a final “live sales call” role play exam.
As the world continues to change, so does the role of a sales professional, specifically. That’s why a refresher course for the certification is required every three years to stay up-to-date on industry advancements.
This eight-week course is legit and so is it’s pricing. AA-ISP members pay $875, while non-members pay $975.00.
2. Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)
Secondly is The National Association of Sales Professionals’ (NASP) Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) certification. This targets sales executives, CEOs, and sales professionals. The six-week online program transforms you into a top performer, helping salespeople:
- Shorten sales cycles
- Effectively overcome objections
- Create sales habits that set them apart
- Close more sales
Along with joining specific courses, the NASP allows anyone to become a member and access a wealth of networking, extended training, and career opportunities.
For $595.00, the CPSP produces seven key results to help sales professionals learn how to use different styles of communication to close more sales, and unveil areas within the sales process to be improved or re-evaluated.
3. Challenger Development Program
Next, the Challenger Development Program improves performance of sales experts and lift sales results. The two-day workshop is designed for sellers and managers to navigate the complexities of the modern sales landscape.
The course consists of adult learning blended with guided practice and application. The ultimate goal is to discover how to attract and retain prospective leads throughout the sales process and engage the most valuable customer stakeholders.
4. SPIN Selling
Looking to take your people skills to the next level? SPIN selling courses are essential for those working in sales, sales management, business development, or a customer-facing role. As a result, the ultimate goal of SPIN is to learn the best practices to demonstrate value to a prospect or customer.
International training provider and behavior specialist Huthwaite International created the program in an effort to help salespeople improve their emotional intelligence. For instance, the program dives into behavior principles underlying effective sales tactics. The seven-week expert training prepares teams to be well prepared, persuasive, and in-tune with customer needs.
5. Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP)
In addition to CPSP, the Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP) program is also offered by the NASP. CSLP transforms salespeople into leaders and makes a difference at the individual, team and company levels:
- Builds a self-directed and empowered sales team
- Aligns individual motivations with the company’s goals
- Supports your sales team with the tools they need for success
- Leads sales people past their own perceived limitations
- How to lead by example
- How to build consistent and sustainable habits for successful results
The six-week course provides strategy and daily proving conditioning to improve leadership skills and create positive habits that will benefit both your team and the organization. You can get started for $696.00.
6. Sandler Training
Likewise, Sandler offers a variety of weekly and monthly online training courses. The Sandler sales training program teaches how to engage prospects and exchange information with them in an honest, organized and non-manipulative manner. Sandler trains sales professionals to make sales in the best interest of both parties, too.
The program provides four different levels for sales professionals to enhance their sales skills with a specific focus for each course, including:
- Bronze Certification: Knowledge
- Silver Certification: Application of Knowledge
- Gold Certification: Skills
- Master Certification: Top-tier Performance
7. Certified Sales Executive (CSE)
Offered by Sales and Marketing Executives International, the Certified Sales Executive certification consists of self-study courses with a final exam. Interestingly, SMEI is the only global sales and marketing professional association. After registering, members can access to online forums, educational webinars, then connect with peers.
Equally important, the learning method includes personalized study plans, interactive elements, current events articles, and critical thinking challenge questions. The training raises the standard of management to continuously progress leadership qualities across sales teams. For instance, here are some key learning objectives:
- Learn how a firm’s sales and marketing strategies affect its overall strategy
- Identify issues today’s sales leaders face
- Comprehend how buyer-seller relationships are established and maintained
- Identify factors to determine trainings needed by salespeople and implement effective training programs to develop the salesforce.
- Learn to set goals and manage the salesforce’s performance
- Understand cultural forces and how a diverse sales team is important to the organization’s success.
It’s important to note, members receive a discounted rate of $899.00 while non-members are required to pay the full amount of $1049.00.
Lastly is Meddic, designed to add to your certifications, just learn, or both. Meddic is based off the sales mythology…
- Metrics: Quantification of the potential gain and ultimately the economic benefit
- Economic Buyer: Interaction with the person who has decision control over the funds
- Decision Process: Process defined by the company to reach the purchase decision
- Decision Criteria: Criteria used by the company to make the purchase decision and choose among options
- Identify Pain: Actual pains at the company which would require your product/service to be relieved
- Champion: Powerful & influential persons at the company, who are favorable to your solution
Furthermore, Meddic offers three different courses:
- Introductory to MEDDIC: This mini-course takes just 15 minutes because it doesn’t offer a certification at the end.
- Full MEDDIC: This program provides a series of 10 mini courses, totaling two hours and costs $497.00 per year. Yes, certification included.
- MEDDIC Certified: There is no course associated with this certificate, but participants are required to pass an exam controlled by MEDDIC Academy to receive full certification. This exam costs $697.00.
Bonus certifications (updated September 2020):
High Impact Selling: From the Kellogg School Of Management at Northwestern University, the High Impact Selling certification program offers a toolkit for sales success. Most importantly, this 10-week program is based on research from Kellogg Sales Institute and puts more than 30 different tools into practice. Assess your discipline, knowledge, and sales skills, then receive a clear roadmap to develop effective, lasting sales habits.
The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization: Finally, and also from Northwestern University, is the Art Of Sales course on Coursera. This 3-month course will help you close more deals and improve your daily sales performance because you will learn the art of prospecting effectively and retaining new customers.