Want to be more than the average sales rep? Not only hit your quota but set the bar high for others in your team? Turn prospects into loyal customers who adore you and your company? Enough questions. We found the best sales courses that will help you become one of the top-selling reps on board.
Table of contents
What training is needed for sales?
If you’re new to sales, you might be unsure where to start. You’re lucky if your employer has provided you with thorough training from the beginning. Even then, developing the right set of skills takes time, practice, and constant self-assessment. So what do you need to know?
Five things you need to learn in every new job
Even with years of experience in sales, you won’t be able to sell a product or service you don’t know. After all, you need to tell (and show) prospective buyers how it will solve their problems or meet a specific need. That is impossible without learning about your company’s customers, industry, and competition as well.
Become an expert when it comes to:
- Your company. Who are they? What is their mission? How do they succeed (and fail) in acquiring customers?
- The products and services you sell. What features do they have, or what steps do they involve? How do you use them, and what goals can you achieve with them? How would you present their value in just 5 minutes?
- The customers. What age group and gender do they represent the most? In what industries do they work? What are they looking for, and what doubts do they have concerning your products or services?
- The industry. How big is the market, and what are the biggest companies in your sector? What is your company’s role in the industry?
- The competition. What strategies do they use to acquire customers? What makes your company better (and worse) than the most prominent competitors?
This information can’t be learned from sales courses. It’s on your employer to provide you with it so you can represent them properly and sell confidently. At the same time, a complete understanding of the above topics doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s okay. You can still do well at the beginning with just the basic facts.
Here’s a checklist to help you keep on track: What Salespeople Need to Know.
What hard skills do you need as a salesperson?
Now, let’s pinpoint what hard skills every salesperson should have (and take with them to the next job).
- Prospecting with different methods. These include social media and email outreach, cold and warm calling, referral prospecting, and networking.
- Qualifying leads. Some steps of this process include lead scoring, BANT (learning about the budget, authorities, needs, and timeline involved in the buying decision), and SPIN (asking questions to identify the prospect’s situation, problems, their implications, and the need).
- Software knowledge. Every sales rep should learn how to use software to improve their productivity. With the right tools (such as proposal tracking software and a CRM system), they can automate repetitive tasks and devote more time building relationships with customers.
- Presentations and demos. While presenting requires a set of soft skills (such as time management and the ability to tell captivating stories), you also need to use your language and presentation tools flawlessly.
- Knowledge of terms such as sales qualified lead (SLQ), sales pipeline, monthly recurring revenue (MRR), customer lifetime value (CLV), etc.
Besides those, many sales courses will teach you how to use psychological techniques to engage buyers. You’ll learn how to differentiate between cold and hot sales leads (guess who’s likely to buy from you based on who has purchased in the past). And you’ll know how to close a deal so that the customer feels that you’re helping them instead of just selling a product to them.
What are the different roles in a sales department?
Sometimes, sales courses are geared towards specific roles within the sales department. The difference between a sales rep and a manager is clear, but what exactly is an account executive versus a sales development rep? If you’re unsure of who handles what in your team, let’s change that.
- Sales development rep (SDR) – the one responsible for prospecting and qualifying leads. They bring new opportunities for business to the company by finding people who might be interested in its products or services.
- Sales specialist or consultant – the person who presents demos and creates proposals for potential customers. They’re equipped to answer questions about your industry and product or service.
- Account executive – the ‘traditional’ sales reps who guide qualified leads through the sales funnel towards a close. They’re directly responsible for the outcome of each deal.
- Customer success rep – the one responsible for retaining customers. They might offer add-ons and renew subscriptions. By making sure the customers are happy with their purchases, customer success reps help secure the company’s ongoing revenue.
- Sales manager – the leader who monitors team performance. They also coach sales reps to keep them motivated and focused on the deals that matter.
Whichever of these roles you’re focusing on, sales training courses will make you into a top performer – that is if you apply the knowledge in practice and keep striving to better yourself. There are habits you need to adopt to become a successful salesperson. Are you ready to invest in your professional development?
Which course is best for sales?
We’ve already covered some of the best sales management resources, including courses. Now, we’ll focus on those geared towards sales reps and covering the basic skills and knowledge we’ve described above. We’ll also include some that will teach you intermediate and advanced selling tactics.
There’s no one course to rule them all, but there’s a good selection of both free and paid options. We’ll also divide the sales courses by location – online and offline.
Free online sales courses that will boost your skills
Inbound Sales by HubSpot Academy
This certification course is made for sales reps and managers who want to connect with the right contacts and do it better. How to identify prospects and capture their attention? How to run sales calls and presentations that result in a won deal? Learn it from HubSpot Academy in just 2:12 hours divided into five lessons.
The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process by Sales Engine
Rated 4.8 stars on Coursera by 873 people in total, this five-week sales course delivers what it promises. It covers the fundamentals of selling, applicable to B2B and B2C salespeople alike. By the end of the specialization, you’ll have built your own sales toolkit to guide your steps through the sales process.
SMART Sales System Training Program by SalesScripter
This sales course – a series of webinar recordings – is free to access on YouTube. Consisting of 24 videos, it takes around 17 hours to teach viewers everything from understanding prospects to hiring cold callers. How to ask the right questions to close more effectively? Find out from lessons based on the book The SMART Sales System – SELL SMARTER, NOT HARDER by Michael Halper.
Enroll to prepare for an entry-level job in sales development. Salesforce built the course to provide you with a professional portfolio and job-ready skills. Smash your next interview and start your work as an SDR well prepared, knowing the best problem-solving tools and workflow technology.
Paid online sales courses to take your career to the next level
Sales Pitch and Closing by VirtualSpeech
Have you ever used virtual reality to learn? If not, this sales course will be an unforgettable experience! With 40 lessons and 7 VR scenarios, you’ll train yourself in sales pitching and closing. Develop presenting skills to connect with prospects and do it confidently. Currently, the course costs $250, and the non-VR alternative – $150.
Introduction to Sales by GoSkills
Are you new to sales? GoSkills’ introductory course will help you become a high-performing salesperson with little professional experience. Learn from 31 practical tutorials and practice proven techniques that you’ll be ready to use at work – from prospecting to closing the deal. To participate in the course, you’ll need to create a GoSkills account for $29 per month or start their free trial.
Sales Accelerator by Anthony Iannarino
If you can spare $97 a month, you can improve your skills constantly with Anthony Iannarino – a world-famous sales leader specializing in B2B sales. Every month, subscribers attend a live Q&A webinar with him and receive a How-To lesson on one of the core sales skills. Become a member of the Sales Accelerator to access a private forum and share strategies with others, too.
This Associate or Professional Level sales course will teach you how to sell to your company’s target buyers. Role-play with actors to practice real-life sales conversations. Moderators will assess your skills and show you the best approach for each scenario. Contact Action Selling for details.
Did you find what you were looking for? If not, you can check out these training programs, too:
- Smart Calling College by Art Sobczak
- Sales Training Programs by ASLAN
- B2B Phone Skills Sales Course by SalesBuzz
- 21st Century Sales Training for Elite Performance by Brian Tracy
- Sales Training by DoubleDigit Sales
- Bespoke Sales Training by MTD
On-site training programs for salespeople
How about sales training programs for the whole team? If your company is looking to hire a trainer or coach to instruct you and your colleagues on-site, these are some of the best options:
- BE BOLD Live Training Session with Jeff Shore – a one-day session for salespeople to help them overcome mental blocks.
- Sales Training by Sandler – sessions in local training centers that deal with the entire sales process.
- Strategic Social Selling by RSVP Selling – a two-day course by Tony Hughes that helps salespeople develop their brand and strategy.
- Corporate Sales Training with Jeff Hoffman – one-day workshops for reps and managers which deal with the entire sales cycle.
- Consultative Selling Training Program by Richardson – one- or two-day live workshops for sales professionals and managers, along with ongoing digital learning.
What are the best online sales courses? Find them on these platforms
Above, we’ve listed many online courses besides on-site training programs. If you’re interested in learning remotely, the best courses will be the ones that cover the skills you need precisely. In this section, we won’t list them by name but provide you with links to platforms where new courses appear all the time.
LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)
What better place to develop professional skills than LinkedIn? Its learning platform offers over a hundred courses in sales. Most of them are short (under an hour) and deal with specific sales strategies. There are also longer learning paths designed to prepare you for a career.
Look up the authors, too – some of them are sales influencers that keep publishing tips for salespeople.
With over 800 courses related to sales, Coursera is one of the most popular platforms to educate yourself on the topic. You can filter the results by level, duration, skill, and the type of learning product, among other categories. Whether you’re looking for a specialization in sales operations or a short course in sales techniques, you’ll quickly find what you need.
Alison is the go-to platform for sales certificates and diplomas from different vendors. Do you need to learn the basics of the sales funnel? Or maybe you just want to brush up on your communication skills? You can do it here without spending a penny.
Learn from verified and trusted instructors (like Grant Cardone and Patrick Dang) on Udemy. While these video courses aren’t free, they’re affordable, and you can often grab them at a big discount. From basics to advanced selling techniques, everything you can think of is probably covered on this platform.
Another platform with paid courses on all things sales. Most of them cost between £10 and £50, including those discounted by over 90%. If you’re looking to improve your sales skills with online training, look no further. With Reed Courses, you can arm yourself with certificates and diplomas for better job opportunities.
Participate in sales courses and sell more confidently
If you’re still reading this, you surely know how important it is to constantly learn as a salesperson. The above list of sales courses will help you on that journey. Do you know any other training programs that deserve to be here? Let us know in the comments.