Aside from owning your own business, there are few professions that offer virtually unlimited earning potential. A career in sales is one of those rare few. And what often differentiates these kinds of careers from the proverbial used car salesman is a sales certification. Sales certification programs are a great way to specialize in a specific area. For example, if you’re looking to land a job in tech sales—which has some of the highest earning potential—then you should definitely consider a tech sales certification, which will help you become more knowledgeable about the products you’ll be selling and the competition.
But in the same way that not all sales jobs are equally lucrative, not all sales certifications are equally worthwhile. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 9 best sales certifications. And this list isn’t just for experienced salespeople looking to upskill. It’s also for anyone who is looking to get a foot in the door of this lucrative industry.
What Is a Sales Certification?
A sales certification demonstrates that you’re knowledgeable in a particular area, or that you have expertise with a particular sales tactic. Besides the knowledge that you gain, a certification proves to hiring managers that you’re competent in a particular specialty.
|Tech Sales Bootcamp
|Professional Certificate in Sales
|Inbound Sales Course
|The Art of Sales
|Certified Professional Sales Person
|Inside Sales Certification
|Spin Sales Training
|Sale Adminstrator Certification
Best Sales Certifications
Here are our top 9 sales certifications for individuals aiming to land a job in the sales industry.
Course Report: 4.63
The Springboard Tech Sales Career Track is a flexible program that requires attendance at just one live class per week with an expert instructor. All other modules and activities can be completed when it suits you, over an average of 3 months at 15 hours of study per week.
Although you’ll graduate in around 3 months, the program provides nine full months of career support, which includes 1-to-1 calls with your personal career coach, mock tech sales interviews, and resume reviews.
This 3-month course is perfect for those who are looking for a learning experience rather than just an exam. Both experienced professionals and total beginners are eligible for the program, and there are helpful payment plans to help you get the most value.
$7,000 upfront cost or $2,000 per month, with options for deferred tuition, and credit loans.
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Course Report: 5.0
The Kellogg Sales School offers a 5-month program that is aimed at entry-level and technical sales representatives, sales executives, job-seekers, career-switchers, entrepreneurs, and sales trainers. The course is fully flexible, offering only optional live sessions with program leaders and career coaches.
The core content of the course is delivered through 18 modules consisting of videos, assignments, quizzes, and discussions. Students will have access to a platform for flexible communications with both program leaders and peers.
Related Read: What Does a Sales Representative Do?
This certification is aimed at students who wish to learn a new set of skills or professionals who wish to expand their field of knowledge. While the program lasts 5 months, only 10-12 hours of study per week are recommended, meaning that even full-time professionals can fit the program comfortably into their schedule.
The certification comes with an upfront cost of $6,500.
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This short inbound sales course from HubSpot is completely free. Even if you decide to go with a different paid course, you can quickly add this certification to your resume, as it only takes 2-3 hours to complete.
The course covers guidance on identifying contacts, connecting and earning the attention of potential clients, and running sales calls and presentations. It’s given through 22 videos and 5 quizzes, and it can be completed at any pace.
This course is a solid pick for beginners who are still in the process of researching what a tech sales career path looks like. With no financial investment and very little time required, this program is a good taster for those who are interested in the world of sales.
HubSpot’s course is free.
Sandler approaches sales as a science, meaning that everyone can excel at it. The Sandler sales certifications focus on systems, guidelines, and sales habits that can be studied and perfected by any student willing to do the work.
The certifications can be taken in 12 languages in one of over 250 training centers worldwide, with coursework completed online. Duration can vary, with 12 months required for the bronze certification, and 12-24 months for the master certification.
This program is best for those willing to attend in-person training, and also for small businesses wishing to send their employees for some sales training.
The price is discussed individually upon application.
The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization From Northwestern University on Coursera
Course Report: 4.25
In contrast to Sandler, this Northwestern program on Coursera calls sales an “art.” Designed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of any sales team, this course is a good fit for beginners and is available in 9 languages.
The program is completely online, taken over the course of 4 months, with just 3 hours per week of study. The curriculum includes videos, readings, quizzes, and graded assignments.
The flexibility of this program is ideal for full-time workers with busy schedules. The recommended 3 hours a week could even be completed during lunch breaks.
This course is part of the Coursera subscription. Financial aid is available.
The CPSP (Certified Professional Sales Person) is a well-known certification within the sales industry, and it’s aimed at both individuals and teams. The goal of the 6-week course is to teach students how to develop their emotional intelligence and communication skills by applying sales strategies utilized by Fortune 500 sales teams.
Courses require students to log in daily to complete the day’s modules. This can be done from any computing device, including a smartphone, and should take no longer than 30 minutes on a weekday and much less on the weekend.
This is a certification with great recognition and reputation within the industry, so it’s a good addition to any resume, though is most beneficial once you’ve completed a foundational course aimed at beginners.
The certification costs $695, paid upfront.
The CISP (Certified Inside Sales Professional) accreditation is a 10-module online program that requires students to pass a role play exam in order to graduate. The online coursework covers all the skills and strategies needed to pass the exam and should take between 8-12 weeks to complete.
Coursework includes practice simulations, audio recordings, and end-of-module tests. The exam will take place after all coursework is completed, and will simulate a real sales call based on one of several sales scenarios that candidates can choose from.
Like the CPSP, the certification has high recognition and a good reputation, making it perfect to take after attending a longer, beginner course. In addition, if you take a course with a lesser-known school, the fact that you were able to pass the CISP after graduation will help improve your standing.
Upfront cost: $875 for those with AA-ISP membership, and $1,020 for those without.
Huthwaite International is the creator of “SPIN Selling,” a sales approach made up of the following elements: situation, problem, implication, and need payoff questions. The technique was developed through research using 40,000 B2B (business-to-business) sales interactions made by 10,000 salespeople in 23 countries over the course of 12 years.
By taking the 7-week SPIN Selling course, students can experience an online, hands-on learning environment that will both teach the fundamentals and allow for personal development and practice.
This program is great for individuals as well as business owners and trainers wishing to increase the business knowledge, customer service, and sales expertise of their employees.
Discussed upon application.
Salesforce is a cloud-based software and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) service used to help businesses with multiple elements of the sales cycle. It’s a popular service used by over 150,000 businesses, including Spotify, U.S. Bank, Toyota, and T-Mobile.
This is why certification in Salesforce is a useful addition to your resume: it shows that you are an expert in sales management software that has high demand amongst sales companies.
The full course can take up to 68 hours, which would take about 7 weeks at 10 hours of study per week. This is a certification for sales professionals or job seekers who have already completed a foundational or general sales course.
The certification exam costs $200.
How Do You Choose a Sales Certification?
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best professional certification:
Type of Certification (With or Without a Course)
Whether you want to take a course or just an exam is mostly dependent on your current industry knowledge. You may have already taken a course, college program, or bootcamp in tech sales. In this case, the sales certificate is all you need.
Good instructors have real industry experience, so make sure courses are taught by people who know the sales process and are skilled in sales management.
There are many different job opportunities within the sales industry, so if you already have something in mind, you should pick a relevant certification. If you’re still uncertain, then make sure not to pick anything too niche.
Certifications with courses unsurprisingly cost more than those without. Make sure to consider value as well as price, as simply choosing the cheapest option is not always the best way to avoid wasting time and money.
Schedule and Time Commitment
If you are and intend to continue full-time employment, one of the most important things for you to consider is the flexibility of your course. You’ll need to be able to work on your own terms and not be expected to put in 20 hours of study per week.
Reputation and Reviews
Many online learning courses are still new or up-and-coming, so you may not be able to find thousands of reviews. However, you should be able to find something, and we recommend that you always check reviews before committing to a course.
Value of Certificate
The value of your certificate is the number of people who recognize it. Many courses will offer certificates with “worldwide recognition,” and this is exactly what you want.
FAQs About Sales Certifications
Below, you’ll find a little bit more information on sales certification courses.
Are Sales Certifications Worth It?
Yes, they can be worth it, especially at the beginning of your career. They can teach you the basics, like sales terms you should know, in addition to valuable strategies that are extremely advantageous to have on your resume.
Are There Any Prerequisites for a Sales Certification?
This depends on the certification, but many sales organizations are teaching their own unique sales process methods and so do not require any prior experience.
Can You Land a Job With a Sales Certification?
It is best to have some sales education as well as a certification. Some schools and organizations offer both, in the form of long courses ending in certification to help you get into sales without experience.
Since you’re here…
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