This is a guest article by Brooke Dukes, Chief Sales Officer of NASP
If you find yourself wanting to invest in your own personal and professional development, certification programs are a great way to go. Sales-specific certifications are becoming more and more popular among sales professionals across the globe. As you start researching which certification program is best for you, you might start asking yourself why you should get certified, what’s the value here? It’s a question we get at NASP all the time!
In short, getting a certification in sales is an opportunity to distinguish yourself among others in this competitive industry. Certifications offer an immediate return in the form of increased sales and credibility, as well as a long-term return in the form of new and better habits, ultimately leading to a more successful career.
Here are just five of the core benefits a certification can provide:
1. New sales techniques
Getting certified is not about jumping through hoops to get a piece of paper saying you’re certified. It’s not just about having a few more letters you can add to the end of your name on a LinkedIn profile or resume. It’s about actually giving you new and better sales techniques that help you connect with your customers, powerfully influence your audience, and close more sales now and into the future.
2. New (and better) habits
Many times, habits develop on their own. When you don’t direct yourself toward a goal and willfully choose the habits that will support where you want to go, habits that may or may not serve you are developed. Good certification programs give you the opportunity to examine the habits that have brought you to where you are, discard or modify the ones that are not working for you, and build new habits. This process develops a new world of opportunities to remake yourself into the powerful salesperson you were meant to be.
3. More job opportunities
When employers look for a new hire, they screen for anything and everything, and getting certified is a powerful way to stand out in the crowd. Getting certified shows that you were committed enough to complete a program. It shows that you care about always bettering yourself and being educated on the latest trends in the industry. It shows that you’re serious about your career.
When it comes to job hunting, every tool you can employ that gives you an edge over other candidates needs to be considered. Having a professional sales certification can either give you an edge or can keep you in the running with other candidates that possess sales certifications.
Example: Imagine that you and one other job candidate are finalists for a top-paying sales position. During the final interview, you learn that the other candidate is touting a professional sales certification and you are asked if you hold any certifications. Having to answer "no" may put you behind in the job race. Conversely, if the tables were turned and you held the certification, your competitor may be scrambling to recover from not earning a certification.
4. As an indication of dedication
For those already in a sales position and with no current interest in searching for a new job, earning a certification demonstrates a commitment to the sales industry and a dedication to excellence.
For those interested in their career advancement, the certification serves as a strong indicator of an individual's long-term dedication to the continual improvement of sales skills and may impress senior leaders with the belief that the certification holder can also be skilled at teaching others how to improve their skills.
Earning a sales certification also can impress customers. Most people would rather do business with a professional; someone who takes their job seriously and has proven themselves in their chosen field.
5. As an added competitive edge
The true value of any certification is not the ability to add letters after your name on your business card or email signature, but it is the knowledge you learned while earning the certification to give you that competitive edge. Sales certifications are certainly no different.
Which sales certification should you choose?
At NASP, we have two different certifications for sales professionals to look into: The Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) and the Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL). Head over to our website for more information and register for the next available program. Investing in your own growth is never a bad investment!
Brooke Dukes is currently supporting NASP as Chief Sales Officer leading strategy and business development. Prior to NASP, Brooke was a multi-million dollar producer and excelled at various executive level positions in sales and business development, including two fortune 100 companies. She has worked with some of the largest and most successful companies including Lear, General Motors, and United Airlines and across multiple industries such as insurance, skin care and cosmetics, technology, and banking.
Brook has her BS from Michigan State University. She is the mother of two successful children and an avid traveler. Exploring the world and helping people achieve their dreams is her passion. Brooke resides in Austin, TX.