Top 11 Sales Agent Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications available to sales agents to enhance their skills and increase their success.
Published 18 min read
Certifications are important for a sales agent in the job market because they demonstrate to potential employers that the agent has expertise, knowledge, and skills in a particular area. Having certifications can give a sales agent an edge over other applicants who may not have them. Certifications also provide credibility and show employers that the applicant is committed to their professional development. Additionally, certifications help agents stay up to date on industry trends and best practices, which can help them be more successful in their role.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Sales Agents and explain how they can benefit a sales agent's career.
What are Sales Agent Certifications?
Sales agent certification is a type of training program designed to help sales professionals gain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. It typically focuses on areas such as customer service, sales techniques, marketing strategies, and product knowledge. The goal of this type of certification is to give sales agents the tools they need to effectively represent their company and close more deals.
Sales agent certification can be extremely beneficial in helping sales agents become more knowledgeable, confident, and successful in their roles. It provides them with the necessary skills and strategies for engaging customers, understanding their needs, and closing deals. It also helps them stay up-to-date on industry trends so that they can tailor their approach accordingly. Lastly, certifications can also help boost an individual’s credibility among peers and potential employers. This can be especially beneficial for those looking to advance within their current company or switch to a different one.
Pro Tip: Always make sure that the sales agent certification program you are considering is accredited by a recognized authority in the field. This will ensure that the program meets industry standards and provides you with the best possible education and training. Additionally, it is important to check that the certification is transferable across different organizations, so you can prove your qualifications no matter where you work.
Related: What does a Sales Agent do?
Top 11 Sales Agent Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Sales Agents today.
1. Certified Professional Salesperson (CPS)
Certified Professional Salesperson (CPS) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of sales. The CPS certification is administered by the American Sales Association (ASA).
The CPS certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in sales through both written and practical exams. The written exam covers topics such as customer service, sales strategy, product knowledge, marketing, and communication. The practical exam tests the applicant’s ability to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios.
To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements including having at least two years of sales experience or completing an approved training program. Applicants must also pass both the written and practical exams with a score of at least 70%.
The CPS certification process typically takes about four months to complete. It costs $395 for ASA members and $495 for non-members.
2. Certified Sales Manager (CSM)
Certified Sales Manager (CSM) is a professional certification program designed to help sales professionals develop the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to become successful sales managers. The CSM designation is awarded by the American Association of Professional Salespeople (AAPSP).
The CSM program consists of three courses: Introduction to Sales Management, Advanced Sales Management, and Professional Selling. Each course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of sales management principles and practices. In addition, each course includes practical exercises and case studies that allow participants to apply their learning in real-world scenarios.
The program takes approximately six months to complete. Participants must complete all three courses within this time frame in order to receive the CSM designation.
To get the CSM designation, you must first register for the program through the AAPSP website. Once registered, you will be assigned a mentor who will guide you through each course and help you prepare for your final exam.
The cost of the CSM program varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs between $1,500 and $2,500 USD for all three courses plus exam fees.
3. Certified Sales Executive (CSE)
Certified Sales Executive (CSE) is a professional certification program offered by the Sales Management Association. The CSE certification is designed to recognize sales professionals who have demonstrated a mastery of core sales principles and best practices. It is an industry-recognized credential that validates an individual’s expertise in sales management, customer service, and communication.
The CSE program consists of three parts: an online exam, an online course, and a final project. The online exam tests an individual’s knowledge of sales fundamentals, while the online course covers more advanced topics such as customer relationship management and marketing strategies. The final project requires individuals to demonstrate their understanding of the material by creating a comprehensive business plan.
It typically takes around three months to complete the CSE program. Individuals must pass the online exam with a score of at least 80% in order to move on to the next part of the program. After completing all three parts, individuals will receive their official CSE certificate from the Sales Management Association.
The cost for the CSE program varies depending on which package you choose. The basic package costs $1,495 and includes access to all three parts of the program as well as lifetime access to additional resources such as webinars and e-books. The premium package costs $2,495 and includes everything in the basic package plus one-on-one coaching sessions with experienced sales professionals.
4. Professional Selling Skills Certification (PSSC)
Professional Selling Skills Certification (PSSC) is a certification program offered by the Professional Selling Association (PSA). It is designed to provide sales professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their roles. The certification is based on PSA’s Core Competency Model, which covers topics such as customer service, communication, problem solving, negotiation, and sales process management.
The certification consists of an online course and a final exam. The online course takes approximately 8 hours to complete, depending on the individual's learning style. The course covers topics such as customer needs assessment, product knowledge and presentation techniques. After completing the online course, students must pass a final exam to receive their PSSC certification.
The cost of the PSSC certification varies depending on the country where it is taken. In the United States, it typically costs around $400 USD for the entire program. This includes access to all course materials and resources as well as one year of membership in the Professional Selling Association.
Overall, Professional Selling Skills Certification provides sales professionals with an opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge that will help them succeed in their roles. It also provides employers with assurance that their employees have been trained according to industry standards.
5. Certified Salesforce Consultant (CSC)
A Certified Salesforce Consultant (CSC) is an individual who has achieved a level of expertise in the Salesforce platform by passing a series of certification exams. The CSC credential is designed to identify professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in implementing, configuring, customizing, and managing Salesforce applications.
In order to become a CSC, you must complete three exams: the Administrator Exam, the Advanced Administrator Exam, and the Platform App Builder Exam. Each exam takes approximately two hours to complete and covers topics such as data management, security, workflow automation, customization and integration.
The cost for each exam varies depending on your location; however it typically ranges from $200-$300 per exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with registering for the exams.
Once you have successfully passed all three exams you will receive your official CSC certification which will be valid for two years. After this time period you will need to renew your certification by passing one or more of the available recertification exams.
6. Certified Solution Selling Professional (CSSP)
Certified Solution Selling Professional (CSSP) is a certification program developed by the Sales Performance International (SPI) organization. It is designed to help sales professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to become successful solution sellers.
The CSSP certification program consists of an online course, a five-day instructor-led workshop, and an exam. The online course covers topics such as customer needs analysis, value proposition development, and solution selling techniques. The instructor-led workshop provides hands-on practice in applying the concepts learned in the online course. At the end of the workshop, participants must pass a comprehensive exam to earn their CSSP certification.
The entire CSSP certification process typically takes about six weeks to complete. To get started, participants need to register for the online course and then attend an instructor-led workshop at one of SPI’s approved training centers. The cost for the entire program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $2,500 to $3,500 USD.
7. Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)
Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the art of negotiation. The CNE certification is awarded by the Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI), an organization dedicated to providing training and resources to real estate professionals. To become certified, individuals must complete an online course, pass an examination, and demonstrate their ability to effectively negotiate in a variety of situations.
The online course typically takes between four and six weeks to complete. It covers topics such as communication strategies, negotiation tactics, ethical considerations, and dispute resolution techniques. Upon completion of the course, students must pass a comprehensive exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to receive their certification.
To get Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) certification, individuals must first register for the online course through RENI's website. The cost for the course is $1,295 USD plus applicable taxes. After completing the course and passing the exam, individuals will receive their official CNE certificate from RENI.
In addition to completing the online course and passing the exam, individuals must also demonstrate their ability to effectively negotiate in real-world situations in order to maintain their certification status. This includes attending at least two hours of continuing education each year and participating in at least three negotiation simulations per year.
8. Account Management Certification Program (AMCP)
The Account Management Certification Program (AMCP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage customer accounts. The AMCP was developed by the American Management Association (AMA), an international non-profit organization that provides professional development and training services.
The AMCP is a four-level certification program that takes approximately six months to complete. It consists of four courses: Account Management Fundamentals, Advanced Account Management, Sales & Service Strategies, and Strategic Account Planning. Each course is offered online and can be completed at your own pace. After completing all four courses, you will be eligible for the AMCP certification exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as customer relations management, sales strategies, account planning, and service delivery.
To get certified in the AMCP program, you must first complete all four courses within six months. After completing the courses, you must then pass the certification exam with a score of 80% or higher. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your certificate from AMA recognizing your achievement as an Account Manager Certified Professional (AMCP).
The cost of the AMCP program varies depending on which courses you choose to take and whether or not you are an AMA member. For non-members, each course costs $299 USD; however, members receive discounted rates on all courses. Additionally, there is a one-time fee of $95 USD for taking the certification exam.
9. Advanced Customer Relationship Management Certification (ACRM)
Advanced Customer Relationship Management Certification (ACRM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the field of customer relationship management. The ACRM certification is offered by the Institute for Certified Professional Managers (ICPM), an independent, non-profit organization that provides international recognition of professional management skills and knowledge.
The ACRM certification program consists of two parts: an online assessment and a practical exam. The online assessment tests your knowledge on topics such as customer service, sales, marketing, technology, data analysis and customer relationship management best practices. Once you pass the online assessment with a score of 80% or higher, you can then proceed to take the practical exam. The practical exam assesses your ability to apply customer relationship management concepts in real-world scenarios.
The entire process typically takes about 6-8 weeks to complete. To get started with the ACRM certification process, you must first register with ICPM and pay the registration fee which is currently $150 USD. After registering, you will be given access to the online assessment and will be able to start studying for the exam. Once you have successfully passed both parts of the exam, you will receive your official ACRM certification from ICPM.
The cost of obtaining ACRM certification varies depending on where you are located and whether or not you require additional training materials or classes in order to prepare for the exams. Generally speaking however, it should cost around $200-$400 USD for everything needed to obtain your ACRM certification.
10. Strategic Account Management Certification Program (SAMCP)
The Strategic Account Management Certification Program (SAMCP) is an industry-recognized certification program designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful strategic account managers. The program is offered by the Institute for Professional Development (IPD), a leading provider of professional development programs in the field of sales and marketing.
The SAMCP consists of two levels: Level I and Level II. The Level I course focuses on developing the foundational skills needed to effectively manage strategic accounts, while the Level II course builds upon those skills and provides additional strategies for success. Each level requires approximately 40 hours of study time, including online learning modules, case studies, group discussions, and practice exams.
To obtain the SAMCP certification, you must successfully complete both levels of the program within one year from your initial enrollment date. Upon completion of both levels, you will receive a certificate from IPD that confirms your successful completion of the program.
The cost for enrolling in the SAMCP varies depending on your location and whether or not you are an existing IPD member. Generally speaking, it costs $1,200 USD per level ($2,400 total) if you are not an existing member; however discounts may be available if you are located outside North America or if you are an existing member.
11. International Association of Sales Professionals Certification Program (IASPCP)
The International Association of Sales Professionals Certification Program (IASPCP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of sales professionals. It is the only globally recognized certification program for sales professionals.
The IASPCP consists of three levels: Certified Professional in Sales (CPS), Advanced Professional in Sales (APS), and Master Professional in Sales (MPS). Each level requires passing an exam and demonstrating a certain level of experience.
It typically takes three to five years to complete all three levels of the IASPCP depending on your current experience level. To get certified at each level, you must first meet the eligibility requirements, which include having a minimum amount of sales experience and passing an exam.
The cost for each level varies depending on whether you are an IASP member or not. For non-members, it costs $495 per level; for members, it costs $395 per level.
Once you have achieved all three levels of certification, you will receive a certificate that is valid for two years and can be renewed by taking additional courses or exams. You will also be listed as a Certified Professional in Sales on the IASP website.
Do You Really Need a Sales Agent Certificate?
The answer to this question depends on the type of business you are running and what your goals are. If you are an individual selling products or services, then a sales agent certificate may be beneficial for you as it provides evidence that you have knowledge and experience in the area. It can also help demonstrate your professionalism and credibility to potential customers.
On the other hand, if you are running a larger business with many employees, then a sales agent certificate may not be necessary as training and hiring processes should already be in place to ensure that all staff members have the required skills and qualifications. However, if there is a specific role or area within your company where one or more employees need additional training, then obtaining a sales agent certificate could prove beneficial.
Ultimately, whether or not you need a sales agent certificate depends on the specifics of your business and what goals you have set for yourself. It is important to assess the situation carefully before making any decisions as this will help ensure that you make the best decision for your company’s needs.
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FAQs About Sales Agent Certifications
Q1: What is a Sales Agent Certification?
A1: A Sales Agent Certification is a formal recognition of an individual's knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of sales. It is typically awarded by a professional organization or educational institution and may be required for certain job roles.
Q2: How do I obtain a Sales Agent Certification?
A2: In order to obtain a Sales Agent Certification, you must complete an approved course of study and pass an exam. Depending on the type of certification, additional requirements such as experience or continuing education may also be necessary.
Q3: What are the benefits of having a Sales Agent Certification?
A3: Having a Sales Agent Certification can help demonstrate your commitment to professional development and increase your earning potential. It can also provide you with access to industry resources, networking opportunities and career advancement opportunities.
Q4: Are there any prerequisites for obtaining a Sales Agent Certification?
A4: Most certifications require that applicants have at least two years of sales experience in addition to completing an approved course of study. Some certifications may also require that applicants have earned specific degrees or completed specific courses prior to applying for certification.
Q5: How long does it take to obtain a Sales Agent Certification?
A5: The amount of time it takes to obtain a Sales Agent Certification will vary depending on the type of certification and the individual's prior experience. Generally speaking, most certification programs can be completed within 6-12 months.