Sales certifications verify that a sales rep, manager, or someone in a supportive sales role thoroughly understands a sales-related topic, such as a selling technique, framework, software tool, or sales strategy. Obtaining a sales certification from an accredited institution, like a professional association or well-known software provider, enhances individual knowledge of sales skills for better performance. Plus, it helps set candidates apart for job openings, promotions, and pay raises.
Here are nine of the best sales certification courses you can obtain to accelerate your career, improve performance, and enhance the value you offer to your organization:
Best Sales Certification Programs at a Glance
Course Layout & Duration
Inbound Sales Certification
Sales reps wanting better lead qualification skills
Three hours of self-paced videos, courses, and quizzes
Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)
Sales managers aiming to boost their team’s performance
Six weeks of modules and sales courses online plus exam
Certified Sales Executive (CSE)
Sales leaders needing to improve revenue goal attainment
Self-paced videos for 15 chapters plus an exam
SPIN Selling Training Certification
B2B sales reps looking to improve deal-closing efficiency
Must contact for pricing
Seven weeks of virtual or in-person training, or self-paced modules
RISE Up Customer Service and Sales Specialist
Customer service and sales reps seeking communication skills
14 hours of self-guided videos, modules, and quizzes
Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL)
Executives and business owners who want to see revenue increases
Six weeks of online courses and modules plus exam
Salesforce Administrator Certification
Administrators needing to provide sales enablement solutions
Roughly 69 hours of self-guided, online modules
Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
Beginner inside sales reps seeking sales process knowledge
$875 for members, $1,020 for non-members
11 courses of self-guided modules and videos that take 8-12 weeks
Revenue Operations Certification
Revenue operations managers needing to create sales synergy
Six hours consisting of 32 videos and nine lessons
Pro tip: Sponsoring sales training certification programs is an excellent way to facilitate team training within your organization. For training tips to improve sales rep productivity and goal attainment, check out our nine sales team training tips to foster a high-performing team.
1. HubSpot Inbound Sales Certification
Best for: Sales reps who want to improve their sales prospecting and lead qualification techniques
Course structure: Five self-paced lessons and subsequent quizzes, along with 22 videos totaling three hours and 12 minutes
Main topics: Sales presentations, running sales calls, lead qualification and prioritization, and identifying top prospects
The inbound sales certification is one of the many HubSpot Academy certifications available on the customer relationship management (CRM) software provider’s website. The course primarily covers early sales pipeline management and how to properly prospect and qualify new leads. Like many other HubSpot certifications, the inbound sales certificate is free to obtain, and the modules can be completed in one sitting.
2. Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)
Best for: Sales reps and managers looking to improve individual or team sales performance.
Course structure: Six-week (45 days) certification online course modules plus a final exam
Main topics: Overcoming objections, creating solid sales habits, closing deals, and shortening sales cycles
Offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP), the CPSP sales certificate is an excellent option for anyone simply looking to enhance their own sales performance or an entire team’s. The courses dive into communication techniques, the stages of the buying process, and the habits of the top 1% of salespeople that can be employed to improve production. CPSP is designed to boost the confidence of reps and managers and implement proper behaviors that help top performers stand out.
3. Certified Sales Executive (CSE)
Best for: Sales leaders looking to boost team production, collaboration, and goal attainment
Course structure: 15 chapters of self-paced video training, reviews, and a final exam
Main topics: Sales and marketing strategies, goal management, team building, sales knowledge attainment, sales management responsibilities, and sales rep motivation
CSE is administered and verified by Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI). As the name suggests, they offer courses and sales certificates specifically for those in sales leadership roles. CSE participants can expect to learn all about overseeing the sales function of a business, as well as managing sales teams in terms of recruiting talent, fostering communication, motivating reps, and attaining sales goals. There are also chapters on leveraging technology and customer knowledge to improve performance.
4. SPIN Selling Certification
Best for: Business-to-business (B2B) sales reps and account managers who want to close more deals by better understanding customer needs to propose and provide the proper solutions
Cost: Must contact for pricing
Course structure: Flexible options including a seven-week class in a virtual or in-person environment or options for self-paced, online modules and content
Main topics: The SPIN selling technique and sales methodology and how it can be applied to real-life scenarios.
The Situation, Problem, Implication, and Needs (SPIN) selling technique was developed in the late 1980s and focuses on the customer’s buying process to help understand their needs before selling a solution. Huthwaite International, a sales, negotiation, and communication consulting firm, administers the SPIN selling certification after completing a seven-week course or self-paced modules. While all sales reps can gain value from the SPIN methodology, B2B roles, mainly account executives, can gain value from this sales certificate program to shorten the already long B2B sales cycle.
5. RISE UP Customer Service & Sales Specialist Certification
Best for: Customer service and sales reps of retail businesses
Course structure: 14 total hours of self-paced videos, interactive online modules, and self-check quizzes
Main topics: Retail customer lifecycles, assessing customer needs, customer engagement, and constructing retail sales resumes
The National Retail Foundation (NRF) provides certifications and courses for numerous retail functions through their RISE Up program, including supply chain management, operations, and inventory. Additionally, they offer the retail sales certification titled Customer Service and Sales Certified Specialist. This online, low-cost sales certification is designed for retail business customer-facing positions. It covers concepts to understand your customer and products, as well as adequately communicating with them to satisfy their needs and close sales transactions.
6. Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL)
Best for: Sales executives and business owners seeking to increase organizational revenue
Course structure: Six-week (45 days) certification course of online modules, plus a final exam
Main topics: Building successful habits of a sales team, enabling sales reps with the proper tools and resources, and boosting performance through leading by example
Also administered by the NASP, sales leaders, including sales managers, vice presidents, directors, and even small business owners, can get value from the CPSL certification. The courses deeply cover how to reinforce positive behaviors of reps for better performance, improve internal communication, provide reps with the right resources to succeed, and avoid outdated leadership styles. Ultimately, CPSL is one of the best sales certification courses for growing leadership skills and increasing your organization’s revenue potential.
7. Certified Salesforce Administrator
Best for: Technology developers, CRM administrators, and sales enablement specialists
Course structure: Approximately 69 hours of self-paced course modules, an exam preparation course, and a final exam
Main topics: Salesforce CRM system configuration, user management, and Salesforce CRM features
This resume-boosting accreditation is both a top sales certification and one of our picks for best CRM certifications. It focuses on the technology side of a sales operation, specifically when using and managing Salesforce’s CRM platform. Certified Salesforce Administrator is one of the most sought-out certifications by recruiters for developers and system administrators because of its technical complexity. Participants learn everything they need to know about setting up Salesforce, overseeing users and access, and operating all the modules within the platform.
8. Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
Best for: Inside sales reps who want to better understand all the components of the sales process
Cost: $875 for America Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) members and $1,020 for non-members
Course structure: 11 chapters of self-paced, online modules and videos, plus an exam totaling roughly eight to 12 weeks
Main topics: Prospecting, lead qualification, handling objections, sales presentations, communication channels, and account management
The CISP courses offer an end-to-end curriculum that helps new and intermediate inside reps understand the entire sales process. It covers the beginning stages of a sales cycle, like researching and planning sales calls, as well as elements of the discovery, qualification, and sales presentation stages. Additionally, participants learn about handling objections, closing the deal, staying engaged with customers, and finally, territory and account management.
9. HubSpot Revenue Operations Certification
Best for: Revenue operations managers and reps
Course structure: Nine online modules and quizzes, along with 32 videos totaling six hours and 17 minutes.
Main topics: Understanding revenue operations, managing service level agreements (SLA), mapping the sales process, managing revenue operations systems and resources, hiring and structuring your team
This HubSpot certification is relatively new and meant to adhere to a new organizational trend where companies combine sales, marketing, and customer success teams into a revenue operations (RevOps) function. The online program covers everything from building the RevOps team and resources to managing the day-to-day and aligning strategies. Like other HubSpot Academy courses, users can obtain the revenue operations sales certificate online for free.
Pro tip: Understandably, it can be tricky to keep your team motivated to power through the sales courses, which can last months, to obtain that certification. Sales managers should consider using gamification software to keep reps engaged in their training programs. The Motivator tool in Zoho CRM is an excellent solution for motivating reps, teams, and an entire company.
Benefits of Sales Certification Programs (& Stats)
Taking learning courses and obtaining certifications for yourself and sponsoring company-wide training programs for your reps offers objective benefits to both employees and employers. Some of these include:
- Yields better individual performance and quota attainment: While multiple factors go into how a sales rep will perform, 58% of sales leaders believe sales industry knowledge can be obtained through training and certifications, which is a crucial indicator of a rep’s success. Forty-three percent also believe training is a significant factor in hitting sales targets.
- Improves employee retention: Sponsoring certification and training programs is a vital indicator of whether a rep stays with a company. Forty-seven percent of account executives have left an organization due to a lack of training opportunities.
- Faster career growth: Modern sales training and certifications offer better chances for promotions. One 2020 survey showed graduates of sales programs have a 50% faster career growth rate than non-graduates.
Enrolling in courses and training programs to obtain a sales certificate puts you in a better position to improve job performance, earn a promotion, and increase your compensation. Our picks for the best sales certifications serve as a guide to help employees within all sales functions. Many roles, including inside sales reps, account executives, customer success managers, and sales leaders, can use certifications to strengthen their skills and improve their qualifications for career growth.