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February 6, 2018

The First Step to a Successful Sales Certification

The Importance of Sales Certification Programs

Sales certification paves an important two-way street of value. For sales reps, certification hones vitally important skills while expanding knowledge and providing a means to demonstrate professionalism and hard work. For managers, it offers benchmarks for key competencies while giving visibility into the tools and techniques being used by the team. Sales certification also sheds light on team members’ readiness to take on new assignments and roles (not to mention commitment to their career) so it’s probably worth investigating whether or not you’re doing it right.

We can’t afford NOT to continually evaluate the effectiveness of sales certification programs because there’s a lot on the line. Organizations make significant capital investments in new sales reps onboarding, product launch trainings, new messaging rollouts and national sales meetings; and managers rely on sales certification programs to get a clear look at ROI.

Streamlining the sales certification process is our bread and butter here at Allego, so we’ve gotten a front row seat to check out what works and what doesn’t. So what’s the best way? We’re going to look at just that in this series of posts.

Sales Certification Infographic

For more information on sales certification programs, get our whitepaper on Blueprint for Sales Certification and learn what are the 7 Elements of a Successful Program.

Download the whitepaper

Setting a Standard for Sales Certification Excellence

First things first: focus on setting the right standard. It’s impossible to hit a target without knowing what you’re aiming at. And with sales certification, that means clearly showing what “great” behaviors and achievement levels actually look like.

The advantage of using video for sales learning is that it gives the entire team a window into excellence. Mediocrity is a foregone conclusion in the absence of high standards, and a powerful example on video goes a long way. Where do people turn when confronted with an unwieldy set of assembly instructions for a newly purchased item? Where do we go when we need to quickly learn how to fix a leaky faucet? YouTube! Video conveys those “extras” that text and pictures can’t. Setting a standard of excellence by showing reps “what good looks like” at the outset of sales certification is critical.

Don’t leave sales people in the dark when asking for their submission. Kick off the initiative with short, impactful videos of top reps or subject matter experts demonstrating the right way to deliver the message. Encourage reps to model the best techniques but emphasize the importance of staying true to your own style (nobody wants robots). Taking this step at the beginning starts the team off on the right foot and spares you the hassle of unnecessary redos later.

Sales certification is a multi-step process that reaps outsized rewards when done right. Stay tuned for the next post in this series about how to spur extra practice among reps before handing in submissions.


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