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Career Designations for Sales Professionals

Sales professionals are often the first point of contact for a company. They interact with clients, prospects, and other people in their organization to sell products and services. These professionals can specialize in a variety of areas based on their interests or career path. Once completing these programs successfully, list the designation on your resume and LinkedIn profile for hiring managers and recruiters to notice your level of expertise. 

Some common sales professional designations and how they differ from one another:

Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)

A Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) is a sales professional who holds the highest degree of certification in the field of sales. The CPSP designation is held by only about 20% of all certified sales professionals worldwide, making it one of the most elite designations available within the industry.

A CPSP can be obtained through two different pathways:

  • Accredited Certificate Program (ACP): This program involves completing a total of 60 hours that must be evenly divided between core curriculum and electives, with at least 20 hours being completed online. Core curriculum consists of six courses while electives include other topics such as leadership skills or social media marketing strategies. After completing this program you will receive an accredited certificate from The Institute for Sales & Marketing Management International Inc., which can help your resume stand out from other applicants who have not gone through this rigorous process.* Accredited Degree Program (ADP): This program requires at least 30 credit hours from an accredited university or college plus additional work experience outside academia in order to qualify for graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or its equivalent

Certified Sales Associate (CSA)

The Certified Sales Associate (CSA) designation is the first certification level within the CSP program. The CSA designation is a sales associate certification, which means you must have at least one year of experience to take the exam and pass it in order to become certified.

Certified Sales Manager (CSM)

The Certified Sales Manager (CSM) is a professional designation. CSMs are judged to be excellent leaders who recognize the importance of building relationships and understanding client needs, as well as having an ongoing commitment to self-development. They also possess strong analytical skills and demonstrate innovation in their approach to strategy development.

To become certified, you must pass a rigorous exam covering the following areas:

  • Sales management principles and practices
  • Leadership skills required by modern sales managers
  • Business acumen necessary for top level performers

Certified Sales Leader (CSL)

The Certified Sales Leader (CSL) designation is the most rigorous and advanced credential offered through the Academy of Certified Professional Sales. Candidates for the CSL must meet a number of criteria, including:

  • Five years of full-time sales experience at a senior level in either a B2B or B2C environment;
  • A minimum average score on each of the four components comprising the exam (Competency, Knowledge, Communication, and Business Acumen);
  • Submitting to and passing an extensive background check;

Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)

Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP) is the most popular and well-known designation for sales professionals, with over 1,000 professionals earning it annually. CISP was founded in 1989 by the ASPPA, or American Society of Professional Sales Professionals.

Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL)

The Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL) is a professional designation offered by the American Sales Association and American Marketing Association. It is a sales certification that requires individuals to pass a test demonstrating their knowledge of fundamental sales skills, as well as their ability to apply these skills in practice.

Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP)

The Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP) is the only sales designation in the hospitality industry that focuses on elevating customer service to a whole new level. The CHSP designee has demonstrated extensive knowledge and experience in selling products, services and ideas, as well as their ability to apply these skills in a professional manner. By passing an intensive examination process based on a candidate’s knowledge of relevant hospitality-industry selling principles/strategies and practices, CHSP candidates demonstrate their readiness to perform at higher levels of responsibility within their organizations.

Consultative Sales Certification (CSC)

The Consultative Sales Certification (CSC) is a sales certification for professionals who sell complex solutions to customers. CSC is open to all sales professionals, with the exception of those employed by companies that have their own internal training programs.

There are many certifications for sales professionals. The most important thing to know about these certifications is that they aren’t all the same. Some cover different things, and some are more difficult than others.

You should research each certification before applying for it, just like you would with any other job you’re applying for.

If you need any assistance with navigating your career, contact us for a customized approach to your needs. 

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